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