Matthew Lickona 11:13 a.m., May 24
Saints advance to championship game with uptempo 14-point victory
CARMEL VALLEY – It took a quarter for St. Augustine to adjust to the frenetic pace of College Park (Texas) in the Holiday Classic Senators Division semifinals at Cathedral Catholic High on Thursday night, but after that the Saints raced past the Cavaliers. St. Augustine outscored College Park in each of the final three quarters, advancing to the championship and remaining undefeated with a 90-76 victory.
“We just had to play our game,” said St. Augustine junior guard Brynton Lemar. “We know we can run with anybody and we just had to play together.”
St. Augustine (12-0) fell behind in the first quarter as College Park came out with an uptempo offensive attack and pressured the Saints into early turnovers. The Saints trailed by seven early and College Park (16-6) led 22-17 at the end of the first quarter.
“It was a fast-paced game. They were really aggressive and we had to match their intensity,” Lemar said.
In the second quarter St. Augustine scored the first seven points to pull ahead, and after a back and forth quarter the Saints led 37-35 at halftime. A 9-3 run to open the second half helped St. Augustine build a double digit lead, and the Saints held a 60-52 advantage at the end of the quarter.
St. Augustine remained in control in the fourth quarter and shot 17-for-20 from the free-throw line to prevent College Park from mounting a comeback. Early in the quarter, Saints guard Trey Kell hit three-pointers on three consecutive possessions to bury the Cavaliers.
“We just had to play our game and keep fighting, because eventually they would go away,” Lemar said.
Kell led St. Augustine with a game-high 27 points, and was one of four Saints in double figures. Lemar added 24 points, doing most of his scoring off the dribble drive.
“In the first half I was trying to get my teammates involved, but coach said I needed to start scoring so I got myself going,” Lemar said.
St. Augustine advances to play Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite (8-4) in the Senators Division championship tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. at Cathedral Catholic High. The Saints are currently one of only three remaining unbeaten teams in the section.
“We all like playing with each other, we all know what we like to do, and we work hard every game,” Lemar said.
College Park had three players score in double figures led by senior guard Evan Cooper (21 points). The Cavaliers had a 10-game winning streak before falling to St. Augustine.
St. Augustine – 90 (17-20-23-30)
Kell 27, Lemar 24, Madsen 16, Peterson 13, Moreno 4 (starters) Drapp 4, Degraw 2
College Park – 76 (22-13-17-24)
Cooper 21, Fleming 9, L. Zinsmeister 7, Wright 2, Mauck 0 (starters) Makel 17, R. Zinsmeister 10, Andaya 8, O’Donnell 2
Holiday Classic Governors Division
Cold fourth quarter in semis dooms Poway against West Torrance
TORREY HIGHLANDS – In the Holiday Classic Governors Division semifinals at Westview High, Poway struggled offensively for three quarters against West Torrance and let the game slip away by shooting 17 percent from the field in the fourth quarter. Poway scored five points in the final quarter as West Torrance erased a three-point deficit and went on to defeat the Titans 46-39.
After a back and forth start, Poway (9-5) scored the last six points of the first quarter to take an 11-8 lead. The Titans stretched that lead to 10 points in the second quarter with an 8-0 run that featured five straight points from senior forward Brian Guendling.
West Torrance (9-4) slowly chipped away at Poway’s seven-point halftime lead and made it 34-31 headed into the fourth quarter on a Jamin Lackey floater at the buzzer. The Warriors scored the first four points of the final quarter and didn’t give up the lead after a Fidel Herrera three-pointer made it 38-36 with 6:03 left.
Senior center Sam Beeler led Poway with a game-high 17 points, and was the only Titans player in double figures. Junior guard Stefan Inouye scored 13 points to lead West Torrance.
Poway plays Lodi (9-2) in the Governors Division third place game tomorrow at 5:40 p.m. at Westview High. West Torrance meets Los Angeles Pacific Hills (10-3) in the championship at 7:15 p.m.
West Torrance – 46 (8-9-14-15)
Inouye 13, Herrera 8, Yamada 8, Lackey 6, Carter 6 (starters) Roos 3, Basso 2
Poway – 39 (11-13-10-5)
Beeler 17, Erb 5, Maher 3, Dumas 2, Boegler 0 (starters) Guendling 7, Babiash 5
Pictured: St. Augustine guard Drew Peterson looks for a teammate with College Park guard Layton Zinsmeister defending