EL SEGUNDO – The South Bay Lakers saw three players record double-doubles, but ultimately fell to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 128-120, on Saturday night. Travis Wear led the way for the Lakers (10-13) with a season-high 28 point and 12 rebounds. Brandon Sampson finished with a team-best 27 points to give the Vipers (8-18) the road victory.
Wear scored eight points in the first quarter to lead the Lakers, but Rio Grande Valley maintained a 26-21 lead after one. Wear finished the half with 16 points, but the Lakers trailed by 11 points, 68-57, at the intermission. Isaiah Taylor scored 17 points in the first half to lead all scorers.
The Lakers took the lead in the third quarter, 96-94, as Zach Norvell Jr. scored 15 points in the frame and South Bay tallied a season-best six steals in the quarter. However, the Vipers were able to pull away in the fourth quarter behind a combined 17 points from Jaron Blossomgame and Brandon Sampson.
Sampson’s team-high scoring performance led the Vipers and Taylor finished with 24 points and seven assists. Ray Spalding tallied a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double to go with four blocks and William Howard also finished in double figures with 19 points. A trio of bench players scored double digits for the Vipers, including 14 points from Blossomgame and 13 points apiece from Jacobi Boykins and Kerwin Roach.
A season-best performance from Wear (28 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block) paced South Bay, while Norvell Jr. finished with a career-high 25 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Talen Horton-Tucker secured the third double-double of his career with 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Jordan Caroline also tallied a double-double off the bench, recording 13 points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes. Reggie Hearn scored in double figures with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists.