Cody Hiroto, far left, joins the celebration after Rio Hondo Prep clinched the CIF Southern Section Div. 6 title, Saturday in Santa Ana. (KAZUYA KIMURA/For the Rafu Shimpo)

Late defense was the key for Rio Hondo Prep on Saturday morning, as they captured the CIF-SS Div. 5 title, 47-40 over Trinity Classical Academy.

In the game, played at Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, the top-seeded Kares got an assist from Cody Hiroto, one of only three subs used in the game. Hiroto missed on his four field goal attempts.

Leading by only one point at the start of the fourth quarter, Rio Hondo turned away Trinity on six straight possessions and forced them into four turnovers.

Rio Hondo (21-7) will open the State tournament Wednesday, with a Div. 5 matchup against visiting Foothill Christian.

Among the teams joining Rio Hondo in the boys’ State tournament will be:

-Mater Dei, with Jamie Kobayashi, who begin Open Div. play Friday against visiting El Camino Real.

-Palisades and Louis Kurihara, who begin matters in Div. I Wednesday at Mission Viejo.

-Arroyo Grande and Kevin Ikeda, who visit Westlake Wednesday in Div. II.

-Ocean View, beginning Div. III play Wednesday at Tustin. The Seahawks feature senior Nathan Kosai.

-LACES, with Dean Tanioka, will host Crespi in Div. IV on Wednesday.

-Trinity Classical and Colton Oshiro, who travel to Tranquility Wednesday for their Div. V game.

-Flintridge Prep, featuring Robert Cartwright and Kyle Hamane. Their Div. V matchup against home team Village Christian will be played Wednesday at Masters College in Santa Clarita.

-Rolling Hills Prep, with Grant Kitani, who will take on San Gabriel Academy in Div. V. The game will take place at Mary Star High School in San Pedro.

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