By Aidan Fitzsimon
CARMICHAEL — Sheldon High School looked vulnerable early in the opening round of the Father Barry Classic at Jesuit High School, but quickly showed St. Ignatius why they are a Sacramento-area power and cruised to a 67-44 win.
St. Ignatius (0-1) led 6-4 early in the first quarter, but Sheldon (2-0) went on a 9-0 run to end the frame and the Wildcats never held another lead.
The Wildcats found little refuge in the second quarter, when the Huskies came out with a full-court pressure defense that led to several St. Ignatius turnovers and helped build a 32-11 Sheldon lead at the half.
“We held them to 11 points in the first half,” said Sheldon head coach Joey Rollings. “[In the] second half we came out slow, but the first half was really good [defensively].”
The Huskies used a balanced scoring attack, with only juniors Dakari Allen and Ryan Manning scoring in double figures with 10 points apiece.
With five players still playing football and standout junior Stephen Domingo out with a wrist injury, the Wildcats only had nine players suited up for the game and lost junior Vince Butler early in the first quarter to another injury.
In the first half, the Wildcats struggled to find an offensive spark, but in the second, they got a push from sophomore point guard Trevor Dunbar, who had 12 points in the half and lead all scorers with 16 in the game.
“We’re still learning stuff. Guys are still figuring out the rules,” said St. Ignatius head coach Tim Reardon. “You try not to make excuses about the football players and Stephen not being here, [but] these guys have to figure out what they can do to win too.”
The tournament, which features eight teams from three different states, is considered one of the elite tournaments in California. The Huskies advance to play national power Strake Jesuit of Houston, Texas, while the Wildcats will play a tough Oakland Tech team in the consolation bracket on Friday.
“It was good preparation,” Reardon said. “These last two weeks we played St. Joseph Notre Dame [in a scrimmage] and Sheldon tonight, which will prepare us for Oakland Tech. So, hopefully we’ve learned enough to be successful tomorrow.”
Dakari Allen — 10
Ryan Manning — 10
Armani Hampton — 9
Devon Chapple — 8
Nate Iese — 8
Trevor Dunbar — 16
Antonio Aguilar — 10
Nicolas Johnson — 6
Daniel McLean-Vernic — 4
Michael Loginoff — 3