Championship Wrapup: University breaks through to beat Convent in BCL West championship

University freshman guard Katie Lo tries to drive past a Convent defender on Saturday at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Devin Chen)

University High School’s girls basketball team stunned top-seeded Convent with a 50-47 win in the Bay Counties League West championship game on on Saturday at Kezar Pavilion and the Red Devils literally stole the game late.

University’s Kaiza Molina and Kayla Symanovich each had a steal on Convent’s final two possessions of the game to seal the win.

Prior to the two steals, University freshman guard Katie Lo hit two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to extend a one-point lead to the final margin.

“I felt pressured, because I know they are a good 3-point shooting team,” Lo said. “The bigger lead made us feel a little safer and made it easier on us. I felt relieved after I made them for sure.”

The Cubs (16-8) stayed close behind the play of sophomore shooting guard Jaime Hum-Nishikado, who led all scorers with 25 points.

“Our defense just was not there,” said Convent head coach Jon Mercado. “They did a good job posting up Amelia [King] and our help wasn’t there. But we played one of our worst games, and it was still [a] one-possession [game] at the end of it all, and that’s scary.”

King had 16 points and sophomore Alana Zack led the Red Devils (24-4) with 18.

“Convent played us strong and we had good defense,” King said. “They didn’t get inside on offense.”

– Josh Levine

Girls Basketball: Mitty 63, St. Ignatius 47

St. Ignatius senior guard Maria Kemiji-McDonald fades away for a jump shot in the lane against Mitty on Saturday at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. (Photo by Doug Ko)

St. Ignatius may have made the mistake of running with Mitty on Saturday in the West Catholic Athletic League championship game at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.

The free-wheeling Mitty offense thrived in transition, turning St. Ignatius turnovers and missed shots into easy baskets on the fast break in a 63-47 win.

Mitty (21-5) had four players that scored in double figures, led by 19 from sophomore guard Kelli Hayes, but it was junior point guard Vanessa Garner that dictated the tempo from the start, pushing the ball up the floor to score 16 points, while taking in nine rebounds.

“We have been working on being effective in transition and I think that’s one of our strengths,” said Mitty head coach Sue Phillips. “I also think it’s one of their strengths. We just happened to be a little more efficient on the offensive side of the ball.”

The Wildcats (23-4) never got in sync on offense and also hit a rough patch when WCAL Player of the Year Maria Kemiji-McDonald was whistled for her third foul early in the second quarter. Kemiji-McDonald had 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and fellow senior Kaitlyn Crawley added 10 points, but the pair’s trademark midrange jumpers just wouldn’t fall.

“We had some good looks, but we didn’t put them in,” said St. Ignatius head coach Michael Mulkerrins. “They just didn’t go in tonight and that’s what can happen on this stage. We got worn down a little bit and weren’t very patient at times on offense.”

– Jeremy Balan

Boys Basketball: Bay 67, Leadership 58

Bay senior guard Connor Mattoon goes up for a 3-pointer against Leadership on Saturday at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Eric Luis)

Bay School senior guard Connor Mattoon scored 12 fourth-quarter points to hold off a late Leadership run in a 67-58 win in the Bay Counties League Central championship game on Saturday at Kezar Pavilion.

Mattoon and Lucas Knorr led the Breakers (19-8) with 21 and 16 points, respectively, and nine different Bay players scored in the game.

“This is our first championship here at Bay,” said Bay head coach Pete Overfelt. “I’m definitely ecstatic. When Connor’s [3-pointer] falls it gets the whole team pumped. When he’s hot he can’t be stopped. We played great today and everyone stepped up, especially when our starters were in foul trouble.”

The fourth-seeded Griffins (13-15), who upset top-seeded Gateway on Thursday, never got going offensively and committed 18 turnovers, mostly due to the full-court pressure defense employed by the Breakers.

“I was really impressed with our kids. They were committed to fight,” said Leadership head coach George Adkins. “And give the credit to Bay. They had their starters in foul trouble and their reserves held it. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”

The Griffins were led in scoring by Francisco Chacon and Josh Blueford, who had 22 and 10 points, respectively.

With the win, Bay is seals an automatic berth in the North Coast Section Division V playoffs.

– Josh Levine

Girls Basketball: International 55, San Domenico 39

International freshman guard Shayna Mehta turns the corner against San Domenico on Saturday at Kezar Pavilion. (Photo by Eric Luis)

International High School claimed its first Bay Counties League Central championship in three years, using a huge first half to defeat San Domenico 55-39 at Kezar Pavilion.

International freshman Shayna Mehta had a game-high 22 points, with 21 coming in the first half, and sophomore Natalie Kelly added 18, as the Jaguars (18-9) used two extended first-half runs to open up a 43-17 halftime lead.

“This is amazing,” said International head coach Charlene Murphy. “This has been our goal since the first day of practice. I have a really young, talented and experienced group of girls that were determined. They were determined and I’m just lucky I have the chance to coach them.”

The first quarter belonged to Mehta and senior guard Denia Ebersole, who combined for 21 points in the frame.

A 17-3 run gave International a 24-11 lead after the first quarter and International continued their surge in the second quarter, using a 17-4 spurt to take a commanding 26-point lead at the break.

The Jaguars shot 54 percent from the floor in the first half.

“I live for these games and we, as a team, were ready for this day all week,” Ebersole said. “We knew we had to run against them because they’re a lot bigger than us. We capitalized on our running ability today.”

Despite scoring only 12 points in the second half, but the Jaguars wouldn’t allow the Panthers to get within 13 points in the second half.

“For my first year being with this team, this is great,” Mehta said. “This is a unbelievable feeling.”

– Bonta Hill

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  1. GCJ 01 says:

    Congrats to all the champions and runner-ups alike. Everyone should be proud of their accomplishments.

  2. SuperFan says:

    “But we played one of our worst games, and it was still [a] one-possession [game] at the end of it all, and that’s scary”
    how ungracious… you say that to your team in the locker room, not to a reporter.

    congrats devils – way to play!

    • University Fan says:


    • HS BB Fan says:

      What is the problem with the coaches at Stuart Hall High School and Convent? I do not understand why the schools put up with the poor sportsmanship of the basketball coaches. The comment above by the Convernt coach “our worst game …” is an incredibly poor display. Let me make a suggestion coach: “We did not play our best game. University did what they needed to do to win. I have a lot of confidence in our team and look forward to the NCS playoffs.”

    • Cubs Fan says:

      Again with the negative comments…

  3. Convent Fan says:

    People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Poor sportsmanship, look in the mirror University, nasty comments on Facebook, offensive posters at your school during home game against Convent. Our coaches are superb, our girls played a great game, let’s not forget that two of Convents baskets were overturned by bad ref calls. Get over yourself University and play ball!

    • Devils Fan says:

      @Convent Fan
      You dont know what youre talking about. offensive posters? people don’t even make positive posters for the girls team. Also I know for a fact that every girl on the Devils believes Mercado is an awesome coach-nobody said otherwise. The girls team and coaches have been nothing but courteous to the every opponent and nobody denies that both teams played well and bad calls are inevitable and happen on both sides. And university did play ball and they won. So take your own advice…

      • Parent says:

        @Devils Fan
        I believe Convent Fan was responding to a post above by HS BB Fan accusing the Convent coach of bad sportsmanship in his comments after the game. That is such an outrageous charge — Mercado and Chris are excellent coaches and ALWAYS put good sportsmanship above everything else.

        And, I don’t know about negative posters at games, but there was quite a profane tirade on facebook by some UHS PLAYERS (not fans, but players) after the second loss to Convent during the season. I saw it with my own eyes, and believe me, It should not have been tolerated by UHS parents and coaches. But I guess it’s okay for UHS to post profane, hateful things on Facebook but coaches and players from other teams better not say even a slightly negative thing about UHS. You guys really do need to get over yourselves.

        • Convent Fan says:

          I also saw with my own eyes the nasty disrespectful posts that University students posted on Facebook about previous games, sports writers, etc. Funny, how none of the other school we have played, but University, have been so angry when they both lost and won, sour grapes perhaps. Two wins one loss, what can we say. Best offense is a good defense when one lives in a glass house, University, so stop throwing stones and play ball!

  4. University Parent says:

    @Parent..I believe the comment about the Convent coach was from what he said in the article. Normally a good coach will complement the other team for a good game played, not say how scary good his team is, I take it as a rookie coach mistake, and nothing more.
    Regarding negative posting, maybe you shouldnt snoop around in your daughter’s facebook if some of the comments offend you so much, because I know Convent girls will never post anything offensive.

    • Parent says:

      @University Parent
      I understand the post was regarding the statement the coach made in the article. I believe the poster over-reacted to what the coach said. It was a very close game that really could have gone either way, it just didn’t go Convent’s way, and you know what, we are over it — onward and upward!

      I find that UHS parents, fans and players as a group seem to be overly-sensitive, in my opinion, to comments made about their team and players. And, frankly, it gets a bit tiresome for the rest of us.

      The problem here is that UHS rushes to accuse others of un-sportsmanlike behavior after games, while at the same time seeming to turn a blind eye to their own. The facebook comments are a case in point. Please don’t hold others to a high standard of sportsmanship that you are unable or unwilling to hold yourselves to.

      And your comment regarding my daughter’s facebook? Some of us don’t need to snoop.

      • Kezar For Keeps says:

        I’ve been saying this for a while now. Glad someone else finally is speaking out about this. Private school kids/parents, don’t validate the stereotype of being spoiled/entitled. Not everything has to break your way, all the time.

  5. HS BB Fan says:

    I cannot comment on Facebook postings I have not seen. I have no doubt that students / players / fans for both schools have made comments that should never have been posted. Teenage judgment is often lacking.

    No coach or school is perfect and all of the fans, parents, administrators should continue to demand the highest level of behavior and sportsmanship of all participants. Unfortunately, there have been too many times that have read quotes from coaches that demonstrate a lack of maturity, judgment, or sportsmanship. I do not think the quote from the article represents of the qualities that each school and the community should expect of the coaches.

    Let’s not defend the indefensible and let’s encourage and cheer the positive.

    Good luck to Convent and UHS in the NCS playoffs.

  6. Arthur Chin says:

    Lets hope they both keep winning and meet again on March 2nd or 3rd for the title.

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