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    Fairmont Prep and La Habra boys basketball teams playing like CIF-SS contenders
    • January 23, 2024

    Orange County boys basketball will have plenty of teams capable of going far in the CIF Southern Section playoffs that begin Feb. 6.

    Fairmont Prep and La Habra will be among those teams based on how they have played lately.

    Fairmont Prep’s roster has been strengthened by improved health and the addition of four transfer players who became eligible to play Dec. 24. That’s when the sit-out period expired for transfers who do not make the change of residence that would have made them eligible at the start of the season.

    One of those now-eligible players for the Huskies, who are 16-8 overall and 4-1 in the San Joaquin League, is Kamerin Lewis, a 6-1 junior guard who transferred from Buena Park.

    “Kam’s averaging 13 points a game,” Fairmont coach Joedy Gardner said. “We haven’t lost since he’s been active.”

    The Huskies have won five in a row, including a 66-47 victory over Pacifica Christian in a league game Saturday. Fairmont Prep lost to Pacifica Christian by 10 points in their previous league encounter.

    Also bolstering the Fairmont Prep roster are sophomore transfers Leroy Davis and Jacob Hsu.

    The remainder of Fairmont Prep’s regular-season schedule is challenging. The Huskies, who are No. 14 in the Orange County rankings and tied for first place with Pacifica Christian, have a league game at home against Orangewood Academy on Thursday. Then they play a nonleague game against Del Rio League-leading La Serna on Saturday before league games against Capistrano Valley Christian and San Gabriel Academy next week, the final week of the regular season.

    Fairmont Prep will be in Division 1 of the CIF-SS playoffs.

    La Habra is alone in first place in the Freeway League with a 6-0 record. The Highlanders are 20-4 overall, have won 11 in a row and could be considered under-ranked in the Orange County Top 25 at No. 17. They are No. 1 in the CIF-SS Division 3AA poll that comes from the CIF-SS Basketball Committee.

    Grayson Sinek, a 6-1 guard who was All-Orange County fourth team last season as a sophomore, is averaging 17 points, four rebounds and two steals a game.

    “Grayson does it on the defensive end, too,” said La Habra coach Aaron Riekenberg. “He gets in the passing lanes to get those steals for us. Our point guard Acen Jimenez has been playing lights out. He was all-league last year as a freshman and he’s taken another big step this year.”

    Riekenberg said 6-3 junior Jaedon Anderson has been another consistent contributor.

    After playing Troy on Wednesday the Highlanders have league games remaining against Sunny Hills and Fullerton before finishing the regular season at home against Sonora, which is tied with Troy for second place.


    A rule change that went into effect this season is the elimination of the one-and-one free-throw shooting situation that began with the seventh team foul of a half.

    Now teams are awarded two free throws when the opposing team has reached five team fouls in each quarter. Teams begin the following quarter with zero team fouls.

    Coaches like it, including Canyon’s Nate Harrison.

    “I feel like we’re shooting fewer free throws because of it,” Harrison said. “I think it’s been good for the flow of the game. It’s been a good rule.”


    The CIF-SS boys basketball playoff brackets will be released Feb. 4 at noon. Before the brackets come out the CIF-SS will announce which teams received at-large spots in the playoffs.

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    ​ Orange County Register