EL SEGUNDO – The South Bay Lakers suffered a heartbreaking loss as they fell to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 128-127, on Friday night. Scott Machado tallied 20 points and 10 assists off the bench for the Lakers (13-22) and Johnathan Williams tallied his 15th double-double of the season. Michael Frazier led the Vipers (25-12) with 27 points.
Danuel House Jr. provided the winning points, sinking three free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining.
The Vipers jumped out to a six-point lead after one, 34-28, as Gary Clark scored eight points in the first quarter. Isaac Bonga and Williams combined for 15 points in the opening frame to keep the Lakers close. RGV extended their lead at the half, 72-57, behind nine points from House Jr. in the second quarter. Machado and Andre Ingram combined for 13 points in the second quarter for South Bay.
The Lakers started to climb back into it in the third quarter as they poured in 41 points in the frame, to go into the final quarter with a 105-98 deficit. Machado scored nine points in the fourth, but three free throws by House Jr. in the closing seconds secured the win for the visiting team.
Frazier’s game-high 27 points (7-11 3FG) led the Vipers to the win as House Jr. poured in 24 points of his own. Clark was the only other Viper to score in double figures, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
Double-doubles from Machado and Williams paced the Lakers as Bonga finished the night with 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists, three steals and three blocks. Alex Caruso and Travis Wear scored 16 points apiece, while Ingram (12 points) and Justin Harper (11 points) also scored in double figures.