By Bonta Hill
Mission and University high schools are both known for an uptempo style of play, and on Tuesday night, both schools lived up to their reputation.
In a hot-shooting, fast-paced game, visiting Mission shot 50 percent from the floor and pulled away late, defeating University in a 90-81 non-league shootout.
Mission junior point guard Antoine Porter scored a team-high 22 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds, and all five Bear starters scored in double figures. Mission (4-4) also had 24 assists as a team.
“It’s a fun game whenever we play University,” said Mission head coach Arnold Zelaya. “I told [the referees] to just turn the shot clocks off, because it’s not going to matter [tonight].”
The fireworks started immediatley, as the teams combined for 30 points in the first five minutes of the game.
University (4-4) shot 57 percent from the field in the first 16 minutes, but turned the ball over eight times in the half, which allowed the Bears to break out in transition and get easy baskets.
Porter got hot late in the second quarter and knocked down four 3-pointers in the frame to give the Bears a 45-41 lead going into the halftime break.
“I was just thinking that we had to keep pushing the ball, pushing the tempo and be smart,” Porter said. “[Zelaya] kept telling us before the game to keep the energy up, and that’s what we did.”
Despite the hot shooting, it was tough for Mission to shake the Red Devils, partly due to the return of junior guard Harold Getz.
Getz, playing in his first game of the season after missing the first seven due to an ankle injury, had a game-high 25 points off the bench for the Red Devils.
“We really missed him and he showed us why we missed him tonight,” said University head coach Randal Bessolo. “We’re just really happy to have him back and hopefully we can get Will [Carroll] back soon.”
In the middle of the fourth quarter, with Mission holding its largest lead at 76-63, the Red Devils went on a 7-0 run, forcing Zelaya to call a timeout.
Gione Edwards’ three-point play after the timeout gave the Bears a nine-point cushion and Mission went 6-of-8 from the free throw line in the final minute to seal the victory.
“Last week was a rough week for us, playing four games in five nights, and we still haven’t had a lot of practice time together yet,” said Zelaya, who again had to play with a thin bench due to the lingering football injuries of guard Algeron Malbrough and forward Darius Grays. “Defensively, we’re still struggling because our legs aren’t there yet.”
Bessolo has yet to see his team at full strength, with Carroll, his starting junior forward, still out with an injury. The Red Devils did get the pace they wanted on Tuesday, but couldn’t cool down the Bears’ hot shooting.
“They were on fire,” Bessolo said. “Frankly I’ve never seen them, or anybody shoot the ball that well. We tried three different defenses and no matter what we did, they kept knocking down the shots.”
Antoine Porter — 22
Kevin Murray — 19
Shaquille Fisher — 18
Miles Prescott — 16
Gione Edwards — 15
Harold Getz — 25
David Medoff — 18
Chris Mah — 11
Jack Gale — 9
James Burton — 8