By Bonta Hill
DALY CITY — Washington High School nearly blew a 24-point, second-half lead before holding off Westmoor 69-68, in the first round of the Bud Bresnahan Blue and Gold Tournament on Wednesday at Jefferson High School.
Washington senior Brenden Glapion led the Eagles (1-2) with a game-high 26 points and LaVander Moore chipped in 18 points.
Even though the Eagles forced the Rams (0-1) to commit 25 turnovers, there were feelings of disappointment in the way they finished the game.
“I’m not really [disappointed], it’s just whoever is in the game, they have to finish,” said Washington head coach Jolinko Lassiter. “We’re still trying to learn and implement the guys we got from [the football team], but at the same time we have to play 32 minutes.”
The Eagles set the tempo early as their full-court press caused Westmoor to commit 17 first-half turnovers and that enabled them to jump out to a 38-23 halftime lead.
Glapion was 8-for-10 from the floor in the first half and had 18 points, but it was two free throws he missed with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter, with his team clinging to a one-point lead, that had Glapion frustrated after the game.
“I’m bringing what I need to bring to get that championship,” Glapion said. “I miss those two free throws at the end there, which I’ve got to make.”
Westmoor fought its way back in the fourth quarter by shooting 11-of-15 from the floor and outscoring the Eagles 32-9 in the final frame. But, as was the case in the first half, a turnover on their final possession halted the Rams from completing the improbable comeback.
Errol Fernandez and Kevin Penado paced the Rams with 19 points apiece, and Maynard Raymundo scored all of his 14 points in that frantic fourth quarter.
“We played so poorly in the first three quarters, so I told our guys our objective was to just play hard in the fourth quarter,” said Westmoor head coach Herb Yaptinchay. “I didn’t care what the score was, I just told them to play hard.”
Although Washington nearly gave away the game, it moved on to the tournament semifinals, where they’ll take on Aragon, who beat Galileo 59-42 on Wednesday.
“Westmoor did a good job of playing hard and getting back into the game, but the guys understand that they have to play 32 minutes and not let their foot of the pedal,” Lassiter said. “We definitely gave the fans their money’s worth.”
Brenden Glapion – 26
LaVander Moore – 18
Jeremy Jetton – 13
Jonathon Lowe – 4
Austin Hedani – 4
Errol Fernandez – 19
Kevin Penado – 19
Maynard Raymundo – 14