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Boys' basketball: La Verne Lutheran is back

February 21, 2013 |  9:24 am

La Verne Lutheran (24-6) has come out of seemingly nowhere to reach the Southern Section Division 4AA semifinals and get the opportunity to play on the road against unbeaten Torrance Bishop Montgomery on Friday night.

The Trojans won two Southern Section championships and two state titles under former Coach Eric Cooper Sr., who left after last season to become coach at Long Beach St. Anthony. Players scattered to St. Anthony, Orange Lutheran, Chino Hills and Los Osos.

But Brandon Lee, who was the associate coach, took over the program, and the Trojans have won 17 consecutive games since one of their two returning players, McKay Anderson, came back from a broken leg in late December.

“This is a great opportunity for us,” Lee said. “When do you get to play one of the top teams in the nation?”

Besides Anderson, 6-foot-5 junior Joseph Rushing has been a big factor. He’s a transfer from Aquinas who has been rebounding and scoring consistently. Jay Miller is averaging 13 points, point guard Ashon Provence, a transfer from Rancho Cucamonga, and shooting guard Skyler Williams, a transfer from Corona Centennial, have also made major contributions.

La Verne Lutheran knocked off Windward earlier this week

As for the 6-6 Anderson, Lee said, “He was so talented he signed with Southern Utah with a broken leg.”

The Trojans were 7-6 until Anderson came back. They're 17-0 with him.

-- Eric Sondheimer