Maywood Nighthawks Win Their First CIF Basketball Championship Title- Article

Photographed by Melanie Cortes

Stefany Silva, Journalist

The Maywood Academy Nighthawks won the CIF LA City Section Division 4 Championship title by defeating the Sun Valley Pioneers with a score of 65-63 on Wednesday, February 26th at Granada Hills High School.

The Championship game was hosted by #1 seed Maywood Academy, playing against the #2 seed, Sun Valley Magnet.


The starters for Maywood were Sebastian Villareal, Andrew Camarena, Joshua Aguilera (co-captain), Brian Gracian (co-captain), and Damien Olmos (captain). The Sun Valley starters were Juan Virgen, Flavio Torres, Marco Elizalde, Brian Mariscal, and Josue Abundis. 

Tip-off! Photographed by Stefany Silva

Quarter 1:

Tip-off was at 7:32pm. Villareal bobbled the ball, causing Torres from Sun Valley to get the first jump ball of the game. 

Torres made the first points of the night with a layup at minute 6:33. Villareal responded right afterwards with a two pointer to tie the game. 

At minute 5:40, Olmos blocked Torres as he was attempting to make a layup. 


Aguilera made the first three pointer of the game with 3:48 left in the second quarter. The Nighthawks scored an easy two pointer with 5 seconds left. The first quarter ended with Sun Valley winning 17-16, both teams committed 2 fouls.


Quarter 2:

Camarena made a two pointer and a wide-open fast-break layup after stealing the ball from Sun Valley. Once Aguilera fouled, Avalos went in for him at minute 2:24. 


This is when it was clear that Coach Delgado was running an eight man rotation, only keeping the starters, Roman, Julian Lopez, and Avaloz in the game. 

Rasheed Roman Looking for an Open Player Photographed by Stefany Silva

Camarena shot a three pointer to end the quarter. Maywood scored 17 points and committed 4 fouls whereas Sun Valley scored 16 and committed 2 fouls. 


During half-time, both Nighthawk and Pioneer fans were kept entertained by a mini half court shot contest. Elian Hernandez, Maywood Academy alumni from 2018, made a shot that foreshadowed the game winning buzzer beater that happened the last few seconds of the game. As a prize, he won a Gatorade towel.

Halftime Cheer Performance Photograph by Albert Sanchez

Quarter 3:

Although Virgen scored first, Gracian stepped in and made his first three pointer of the game 44 seconds into the quarter. 


After Coach Delgado from Maywood called a full timeout at minute 2:41, Torres fouled Camarena. After he missed both free throws, Camarena blocked Torres while he was attempting a three pointer. 

The Nighthawks had 17 points with 4 fouls and the Pioneers with 12 points, 4 fouls. 

Overhead Pass by Julian Lopez Photographed by Stefany Silva

Quarter 4:

At minute 4:10, Aguilera blocked a Sun Valley player.


At 53.5 seconds, Aguilera attempted to block Torres’ three point shot but suffered a groin injury. Once he was fouled out, Gracian subbed in. 


Up until this point the Pioneers were leading the Nighthawks 63-61. 


With 3.6 seconds on the clock, Gracian fouled Virgen. 


At this moment, the entire gym was full of cheer and screams.


However, the game made an unexpected turn. After Virgen missed his opportunity to ice the game for Sun Valley, he missed his two free throw shots. Roman reached up for the rebound and passed the ball to Gracian when there was 2 seconds left. Gracian, being guarded by two Sun Valley players, shot from half-court when there was 0.7 seconds left. 


Gracian hit his buzzer-beater three point shot. The final score was 65-63.

Watch the game winning shot here!


Top scorers for Maywood were Andrew Camarena with 17 points, Gracian with 12 (all were three pointers), and Sebastian Villareal with 11 points. The only Pioneers that scored this game were Brian Mariscal with 3 points, Marco Elizalde had 10, and Juan Virgen scored 11. It’s safe to say that the star for Sun Valley was Flavio Torres who impressively made 39 points.

#1: Damien Olmos Photographed by Stefany Silva
CIF Division 4 Medals Photographed by Albert Sanchez

Although Sun Valley Magnet’s 2019-2020 season came to an end, the Maywood Nighthawks won the first ever CIF LA City Section Division 4 Championship title in school history. This is definitely a comeback from the last time Coach Jon took his 2016 team to the Championships, but this time around the Nighthawks were victorious.

First CIF Boys Basketball Trophy in Maywood History Photographed by Albert Sanchez

Tomorrow, the Nighthawks will face the Fowler Redcats at 7:00pm at Fowler High School in the first round of the CIF State 2020 Boys’ Basketball Championships Division 5. 

Los Angeles Times Article:

Scorebook Live article: