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Frazier knocks off California, 53-43

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 1:06 a.m.

Frazier outdueled a sloppy California Areas squad Tuesday, turning a tight game into a 53-43 Section 5-AA victory.

The Commodores (3-3, 1-1) outscored the Trojans 18-9 in the fourth quarter, thanks to solid free throw shooting and clutch play from 6-4 sophomore Mark Dillon.

“We kept Mark Dillon buried down low in the second half,” Frazier coach Ed Keebler said. “They were pressuring and our guards did a good job of seeing where the press was coming from and sending it down low and he was able to get some easy baskets.”

Dillon finished with eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and helped the Commodores outrebound the Trojans (2-2, 1-1) by a 2-to-1 margin over the final eight minutes.

“Mark Dillon, he's only a sophomore and this is his best game to date,” Keebler said. “Hopefully we see a bunch more of this inside play from him down the line. He grabbed plenty of rebounds, made some baskets and blocked a couple of shots.”

Frazier outplayed the Trojans, but California was able to remain in the game thanks to the clutch shooting of Demetri Clements. He had 15 of his game-high 17 points in the first half as the Commodores went to the locker room with a 25-24 lead.

But Clements went cold in the second half and fouled out with two minutes left in the game.

“We just fell apart a little bit,” California coach Steve Luko said. “The whole game they had been beating us to loose balls. That was the key, they were outhustling us.

“You can't let Frazier hang around or they will find ways to beat you.”

Frazier continued to cling to a one-point lead (35-34) heading into the fourth quarter, but as California's missed shots and fouls mounted, so did Frazier's rebound total and lead. Roger Cline finished with a team-high 13 points for Frazier, while Caleb Cox sank 12 and L.A. Ross added 10.

“We quit shooting threes, that was big, we were just launching them wildly in the first half and it was making me mad,” Keebler said. “They had some key guys get in foul trouble toward the end of the game which was a huge factor. We were pretty bad from the line in the first half, but we talked about it at the half and the kids stepped up toward the end to really put the game away. I'm proud of the way my kids played tonight.”

Aaron Previsky was the only other Trojan to hit double figures, with 10 points, while two of California's starters were held off of the scoreboard.

“We got outhustled and out rebounded, late in the game we got ourselves into some foul trouble and that led us to not execute the way we should have,” Luko said. “I give Frazier credit, they played their hearts out.”

Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.

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