Boys Basketball: Win over Lincoln keeps Mission at the top

Mission senior forward Alec Tatum holds off a Lincoln defender on Wednesday at Mission High School. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Jeremy Balan

Mission High School’s boys’ basketball team may look almost entirely different from last season’s Academic Athletic Association championship team, but the Bears are still right where they need to be — in first place.

With a 62-47 win over visiting Lincoln, the Bears (17-9, 11-1) stay atop the AAA’s Lang Division, tied with Washington, with four games to play.

Lincoln senior center Kevork Demirjian leaps over Mission's Shaquille Fisher on Wednesday at Mission High School. (Photo by Devin Chen)

“It’s a good win, and we had to have it because it’s in our division,” said Mission head coach Arnold Zelaya. “To be honest, though, I’m still not happy [with how we’re playing]. We’re still not where we need to be.”

Zelaya’s frustrations were at their peak after the first quarter, when Lincoln (16-11, 9-3) took a 16-9 lead and Mission went scoreless in the final three minutes of play, but the Bears steadily outscored the Mustangs in every following quarter to pull away.

The Bears took a 26-24 lead into the half, but it was a dominating rebounding performance by the Mission frontcourt that put the game away.

Mission forwards Gione Edwards, Shaquille Fisher and Alec Tatum dominated the offensive boards, giving the Bears second, third and sometimes fourth chances on several possessions.

“Their size really showed, and we really couldn’t rebound the ball defensively,” Lincoln interim coach Matt Jackson said. “You have to rebound on the road, especially against these guys. They’re long and athletic and we just have to rebound the basketball.”

While the Mission forwards were controlling the glass, the smallest player on the court, Mission senior Jaleel Stancil, provided a constant spark in the second half.

After being held scoreless in the first half, Stancil had 12 points in the second half.

“We always need senior leadership,” Zelaya said. “He’s the smallest guy on the team, but he’s got the biggest heart. He’s been with me for four years and he knows what I expect from him, so I’m going to lean on him.”

Even though the Lincoln offense limped down the stretch, 6-foot-5 senior center Kevork Demirjian was a scoring threat throughout, finishing with a game-high 18 points, including 10 in the first quarter on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor.

“We ask a lot out of him, because he’s our one true big man,” Jackson said. “But when you’re going up against three or four guys [that size], it’s tough.”

Scoring Leaders

Mission
Antoine Porter – 16
Gione Edwards – 12
Jaleel Stancil – 12
Alec Tatum – 12
Shaquille Fisher – 5

Lincoln
Kevork Demirjian – 18
Chris Young – 12
Remfel Ganal – 5
Atrix Thomas – 4
Nick Young – 3

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5 Comments

  1. mission student says:

    what is up with Mission getting away with hacking? how is that justified, just watch the video. Coash zelaya got away with this win again. I am a Mission fan but damn, too much hacking and not enough bb talents.

  2. bb fan says:

    i still think mission will be knock out in the semi-finals. WAshington and Lincoln are a very hard team to beat when it comes down to it.

  3. bb fan says:

    shot went in for mission and Lincoln shot did not. Lincoln had a lot of good shot but spun out. i agree that Mission had a lot of call for them. the refs missed alot of call. but seeing the outcome of the game, Mission haas no chance in the semis. bb fan guarantee it!

  4. airball says:

    Washington and Mission are clearly the two best teams as the regular season winds down.

  5. Lowell Fan says:

    Lincoln will be getting one of there best players back Anthony Henderson with him there he will help lincoln in a big way I remember coach Mike telling me this kid Henderson will play when he has too and when he is going its no slowing him down not on offense or deffense.Look out AAA

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