BERKELEY, Calif. -
Three hot hands are better than one. Even if that one is Aaron Gordon
De La Salle's (Concord, Calif.)
defensive jaws of life took a major backseat to the offensive prowess of Elliot Pitts
, Amadi Udenyi
and Nick Sullivan
as the Spartans rolled to a thoroughly entertaining 69-62 overtime win over second-ranked Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
in the premier game of the 15th Annual Martin Luther King Classic at Cal’s Haas Pavilion on Monday.
“Entertaining” has never been De La Salle’s forte – especially on the big court and backdrop of Haas – but the fifth-ranked Spartans (13-2) exploded for a season-high point total, getting 16 each from Udenyi and Pitts and 15 by Sullivan.
They all took over at certain points to help offset the impressive talent of 6-foot-8 Gordon, the reigning Metro Player of the Year, who had 32 points and 14 rebounds.
Gordon, however, fouled out with 1:04 left in overtime with the score tied at 62 and Udenyi, a 5-11, 180-pound senior who is leaning toward San Diego State, took over.
He drilled a 3-pointer with 27.7 seconds left to put De La Salle in front for good, and added two free throws and a steal after that as the Spartans handed the defending State Division II champions its second straight loss.
De La Salle made 10 3-pointers.
“I felt when Elliott fouled out (first minute of overtime), I needed to pick things up,” said Udenyi, who scored all but two of his points after halftime. “This was a big win for us. Huge.”
Gordon, one of the top 10 juniors in the country, was pretty much unstoppable – except when he went to the line. He missed three of four free throws in the final 50 seconds of regulation and two straight in overtime. He was 6-for-12 from the line. It appears to be the only chink in his armor. He shot less than 50 percent from the line last season.
Mitty, coming off a 61-59 loss to Serra Saturday, was 10-for-21 from the line as a team.
Coach Tim Kennedy seemed more concerned with Mitty's defense than Gordon's foul shooting.
"We're leaving too many guys wide open," he said. "We play hard and always show heart but we've given up too many points the last few games. That's something we must chore up to get better."
As far as Gordon's foul shooting, Kennedy said. "It's all mental. His form is about perfect. He works and works and works at it. He'll make 20 in a row at practice. Sometimes he just hurries to the line because he wants to get things corrected. He'll be fine."
Gordon is coming off a bout with mononucleosis. He sat out one game last week and didn't start another. No one else was in double figures for Mitty though
and Neil Vranicar
combined for 17.
De La Salle got huge contributions from Pitts early - 14 of his 16 were in the first half - Sullivan in the middle two quarters (12 of of his 15) - and Udenyi late. Steve 0ronos
also gave De La Salle quality minutes off the bench with nine points and Jeremy Gunder
filled in for Pitts and drilled four straight free throws in overtime. GETTING TOUGH: Newark Memorial (Newark, Calif.)
and Franklin (Elk Grove, Calif.)
were looking to get some good, hard games in. Winning was an added bonus.
Newark Memorial (12-4) used a 16-6 run in the fourth quarter and a game-high 16 points from four-year starter Casey Norris
in a 50-38 win over Lake Oswego (Lake Oswego, Ore.)
(10-4), which got 15 points from Calvin Hermanson
As usual, Newark Memorial, the 2010 Division I Northern California champs, received numerous contributers including 6-5 sophomore Damien Banford
(nine points, nine rebounds), senior guard Kenneth Jones (seven fourth-quarter points) and Joey Frenchwood (key fourth-quarter 3-pointer).
"Good win, great finish," Newark Memorial coach Craig Ashmore said.
Bay Area teams have ended Franklin's season the last three years so its 54-51 win over Deer Valley (Antioch, Calif.)
was very satisfying to head coach Jesse Formaker. Franklin got a huge game from 6-2 junior forward Victor Rustin
, who not only scored a team-high 15 points but he helped hold Deer Valley's 6-9 post Marcus Lee to just four points.
"He's a high-energy and team guy so it's nice to see him have such a big game," said Formaker, a former Hayward High head coach. "This is a big win for us. We got better as the game progressed."
It was a terrific match-up between evenly matched teams as neither squad led by more than six points and the score was tied after the second and third quarters. Deer Valley, led by a combined 30 points from its talented back court of Kendall Smith
(17 points) and Olajuwon Garner
took its biggest lead 48-42 following a fastbreak layup by Garner and two free throws by Smith.
But Franklin battled back and took its first lead of the fourth quarter 52-51 on two free throws by Kelton Newman
with 50.1 seconds left. After Deer Valley missed a layup, Rustin took an inbounds pass from Newman to score a layup with 17.0 seconds left.
A 3-pointer by Smith missed and Franklin (14-4), which got 14 points by Darin Johnson
and 12 by Theo Johnson
, got the rebound and held on. MORE LIKE IT:
On Friday, Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)
, the state's No. 3 team, got 31 points from junior sensation Jabari Bird
in a lopsided win at Berkeley. On Monday, the Pride (15-2) was back to their balanced selves and needed on six points from Bird to post a 62-41 win over Sacramento. Jeffrey Parker
, a 6-5 junior, led Salesian with 16 points, Mario Dunn
added 11 and Davion Mize
and Freddie Tagaloa
contribued 10 points each. No one on Sacramento scored in double digits.
"We were off on Friday so Jabari did what he needed to do," said Tagaloa, a 6-foot-7, 315-pound post - one of the top 100 football players in the country who Monday night confirmed his football commitment to Cal. "Tonight everyone was more themselves. It was a good victory."
In the other boys games, Oregon State-bound
had 19 points and Justyce Key
18 as Berkeley
Mary’s-Berkeley 65-39. TITLE PREVIEW?
If you're going to run with seven-time state girls champion St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.)
, you better convert all your opportunites. Carondelet missed too many layups and free throws and the Rams (11-3) simply ran and pressured their way to a 73-58 win.
Courtney Range, a long 6-1 junior wing, led St. Mary's with 18 points, gritty senior guard Regina Camera added 11 while Jessie Viss and Lexi Campbell each drilled three 3-pointers and combined for 18 points.
Notre Dame-bound Hannah Huffman
led all scorers with 21 points for Carondelet (Concord, Calif.)
(12-3) and super sophomore Natalie Romeo
In a likely Northern California Division II title-game match-up, the Rams broke open a close game with a 20-6 run in the third quarter. Camera did much of the work with eight points. She led a defense that forced 27 turnovers.
"Our defense makes our offense go," Camera said. "We definitely got things going in the second half. That's a great team we played and we might play them again. We still have a lot of room for improvement."
Neither coach - Tom Gonsalves, of St. Mary's, and Carondelet's Margaret Gartner - had second thoughts about having the game scheduled. Carondelet, not nearly as deep as St. Mary's, could have used the rest with a big league game Tuesday with Granada. But then again, the Cougars got a chance to "experience" the St. Mary's pressure.
"You can talk about it and watch it, but until you experience it you won't know how to handle," Gartner said. "In that sense, this was very good for us. We played hard and I was pleased how we fought back late. But we obviously have a lot to work on."