Free throw collection cashed in by Cardinals

Bishop Diego's Reese Moulton handles the ball on the perimeter

AGBU's Greg Torossian goes over the back of Bishop Diego's Noah Tack for a foul in the first half

Bishop Diego’s No. 2-seeded boys basketball team didn’t have an easy time in their first-round CIF matchup with AGBU of Canoga Park on Wednesday. The Cardinals needed a strong fourth quarter – started with a 13-2 run – to eliminate the visiting Titans from the Division VI-AA playoffs.

The Cardinals sank 13 of 16 free throws in the final period and outscored AGBU 19-10 to advance into Friday’s second round.

“It wasn’t what we expected because the other team was bigger than we thought, but we played hard,” said Cardinals guard Ben Kwock, who led the team with 14 points.  “We scrapped and made some shots when it counted so it was nice to get that win.”

The Titans, an at-large team from the Westside League, were neck-and-neck with Bishop late in the third quarter. AGBU was three points behind at 37-34 before Kwock found Noah Tack for a layup at the end of the third quarter.

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The Cardinals’ 13-2 run to start the fourth put Bishop up by 16 with three minutes remaining.

“I felt our defense really picked it up, which really allowed us to force the tempo and force some turnovers,” Kwock said.

Elias Muñoz tallied 13 points for Bishop Diego, which featured six players score five or more points. The Cardinals connected on seven 3-pointers in 16 attempts, led by Kwock’s three makes.

“We sort of lived by the three tonight – could have died by it – but we made it by tonight,” said Bishop Diego head coach Dean Prophet.

Zohrab Keshishian led the Titans with 14 points and Edwin Manoucheri added nine points and a handful of assists.

“They’re a good interior passing team and that killed us in the first half,” Prophet explained.

The Cardinals will travel to either California Lutheran or Waverly on Friday.

The Titans finish their season with a 9-13 record while the Frontier League champion Cardinals improve to 19-7 overall.

BISHOP DIEGO 58, AGBU 44

Bishop Diego – Ben Kwock 14, Nolan Tisdale 8, Elias Munoz 13, Johnny Diaz 7, Paul Garcia 5, Reese Moulton 5, Devon Poindexter 2, Noah Tack 4. Totals 18 FG, 15-22 FT, 58.

AGBU – Edwin Manoucheri 9, Greg Sarksian 5, Alexander Markarian 2, Mark Pirichian 5, Greg Torossian 6, Zohrab Keshishian 14, Arno Bozuk 3. Totals – 16 FG, 10-17 FT, 44.

Bishop  11  15  13 19 – 58

AGBU  8  13  13  10 – 44

3-pointers – AGBU 2 (Keshishian, Sarksian), BD 7 (Kwock 3, Munoz 2, Garcia, Tisdale)

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