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    Youthful Los Amigos boys basketball races past Loara to stay unbeaten in league
    • January 13, 2024

    ANAHEIM — Los Amigos boys basketball has a roster with just one senior on it, so coach DeAndre Ferguson notes that “growing pains” have been a theme this season for the Lobos.

    However, their youth was not a deterrent as they defeated Loara 63-46 in a Garden Grove League game Friday night at Loara High.

    Los Amigos improved to 13-6 overall and 3-0 in league play as they were led by a sophomore, Mekhi Belote, who had a game-high 23 points, and a freshman, Marc Basallo, who scored 13 points.

    “They are going through the growing pains,” Ferguson said of his team. “And they’re slowly coming out of it, but there’s many more (games). They (Belote and Basallo) had a great night tonight but it was a team effort.”

    Lobos guard Tomas Pacheco and teammate Joshua Martinez both had eight points, and Rich Toledo played great defense on Saxons center Markus Toscano, an all-league selection last season.

    Toscano grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked two shots but was held to eight points.

    “Richie (Toledo) is special, he’s an impact player, no matter what,” Ferguson said. “He brings a lot to the table. If it’s not scoring, its rebounding and defense. He shows up in other ways,”

    Toledo collected 10 rebounds and two blocks.

    Loara coach Mohammad Abuhadwan credited Los Amigos for its defensive effort on Toscano.

    “They have a lot of length to match him,” Abuhadwan said. “I thought they did a good job getting a hand up on him, they were physical with him, and their athleticism was a factor against us.”

    Los Amigos jumped out to a 8-1 lead in the first quarter before the Saxons (13-7, 2-1) settled in and chipped away at the deficit thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Raska Neak.

    Neak finished with 12 points on four 3-pointers and Aaron Cortez added 11.

    Belote was active in the opening quarter, scoring eight points.

    Loara tied the game 14-14 to end the quarter when Cortez drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

    The Lobos outscored Loara 15-5 in the second quarter and took a 29-19 lead into halftime.

    Los Amigos and Loara went back and forth in the third quarter with Basallo knocking down three 3-pointers during the eight-minute period.

    That helped the Lobos keep a 10-point advantage thanks to the clutch shooting from Basallo.

    “That’s a special point guard right there,” Ferguson said of Basallo.

    Belote scored 10 points in the fourth to help the Lobos pull away while Gerald Loadholt added six points.

    The Lobos continue league play next week when they face La Quinta while Loara will look to bounce back against Santiago.

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    ​ Orange County Register