Boys Basketball: Marshall pulls away in second half to beat Galileo in AAA playoffs

Marshall junior guard Aumen Holliday drives past a Galileo defender on Friday at Galileo Academy. (Photo by Clarivel Fong)

By Bonta Hill

It wasn’t pretty, but Marshall High School did enough defensively to move on in the Academic Athletic Association playoffs.

The Phoenix pressed and trapped Galileo into 22 turnovers, and held the Lions scoreless for a long stretch in the second half to secure a 60-42 road win.

Marshall senior center Mark Alexander goes up for a layup against Galileo on Friday at Galileo Academy. (Photo by Clarivel Fong)

Marshall sophomore guard Mizelle Parker led the Phoenix (14-12) with 16 points, senior center Mark Alexander added 14 points to go along with 16 rebounds and five blocks, and junior guard Aumen Holliday contributed 12 points and seven steals in the win, to advance to face Lincoln in the AAA semifinals next week.

“The key thing with us is we have to stay focused through the whole game, not just two or three quarters,” said Marshall head coach Dezebee Miles. “This is a perfect gym to trap and press in because the width in this gym is [smaller] than regulation. No disrespect to [Galileo], but I knew our guards were stronger and would be able to press them.”

Marshall’s full-court pressure troubled Galileo (13-15) throughout, but the Lions didn’t wilt. They simply couldn’t put the ball in the basket.

After Galileo guard Brion Gregerson’s 3-pointer cut the Marshall lead to 34-29 with 2:47 left in the third quarter, the Phoenix held the Lions scoreless for nearly 7 minutes of game time.

Galileo center Chris Lee finally broke the scoring drought on a layup with 4:02 remaining in the game, but by that time, Marshall’s lead increased from five points to 15.

If they did beat the press, the Lions still struggled to get into the paint, with Alexander manning the middle of Marshall’s 2-3 zone.

“In the second half and specifically in the third quarter, we turned the ball over seven times, and then we were settling for a lot of outside shots,” said Galileo head coach Jeremy Lee. “Their length definitely bothered us today.”

Miles still wasn’t satisfied after the game, noting the Phoenix were equally sloppy with the ball and had 16 turnovers.

“We turned it over nine times in the third quarter, when we could have been safely ahead earlier in the game,” Miles said. “We have to stay focused the whole game, not just two quarters. I want them to understand what our overall goal is.”

As Marshall moves closer to its goal of a AAA championship, the season comes to a close for the Lions, who had their first winning season in league play since 2009.

“I told the team before the game that whatever happened today that we still had a great season,” Lee said.

Scoring Leaders

Marshall
Mizelle Parker – 16
Mark Alexander – 14
Jason Smith – 14
Aumen Holiday – 12
Preston Demming – 4

Galileo
Ryan Seto – 12
Brion Gregerson – 10
Max Betkowski – 8
Chris Lee – 8
Two players tied with 2 points

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11 Comments

  1. LL says:

    Let’s go Marshall!!

  2. mger says:

    great jod marshall

  3. Don L. says:

    I think Coach Miles meant to say the court LENGTH is less than regular. The width of the court is fine as there is plenty of space for a baseline three pointer (see first picture). However, the length of the Galileo court is quite short and it’s a huge advantage for quick, long and athletic teams to trap and press. A shame that the Balboa and Galileo don’t quite have regulation courts to play on.

    • JJ says:

      Maybe he meant there is no room on the outside (width), because if you are double-teamed, u really can’t make a jump pass from the sidlines, because u can hit your head on a fire hydrant.

    • GCJ 01 says:

      I remember when Gal used to play their home games at the Presidio gym. I wonder why they stopped doing that. On the other hand, Marshall should be used to playing on small courts, since they have one themselves. I should correct myself a little; Marshall may have a regulation size court, but the gym itself is small, as there is about six inches (or less) from the bleachers to the the sideline.

      On the same note, Mission used to play their home games at the Mission Rec Center. I don’t know what urged both Gal and Mission to play their games on campus, but they should’ve at least did some reconstruction on their gym prior to doing so.

      • Don L. says:

        Well, back in the “Jet Offense” Days of Balboa (mid 1990’s), Balboa also played their games at the old CCSF gym. Imagine a ton of 6’3″ to 6’8″ guys (which Balboa had back then) playing at the current Balboa gym.

        I’m curious how where all the teams played their games back in the early days of the AAA. I can’t imagine playing at the tiny gyms that the kids do today. I heard some games were always at Kezar.

        • GCJ 01 says:

          I remember the days when the AAA had tall players. It’s not like that anymore. After the 2001-2002 season, there were no more players over 6-3 or 6-4. I remember having to face 6-7, 6-8 guys almost on a nightly basis. The players these days don’t know how easy they have it. They play against guys their own height. It’s rare that you’ll see someone 6-5, 6-6,6-7 and above in the AAA these days. I do believe Marshall has a player within this height range, but I’m not sure.

          The AAA is basically a guard oriented league now. The good thing is, the league still puts up 70-80 points easily. However, the quality of the defensive side of the ball has gone down.

          • Don L. says:

            GCJ01,

            Yeah – I know. Wallenberg had a couple of 6’5″ kids that were pretty good (forget what years) and one of them GREW to 6’8″ after he went to JC (later played at UCSB). But height is seriously lacking in the AAA these days. If the teams have any height, it seems they are rail thin kids! :) That’s a bit of an interesting thing I’ve always wondered about too. Do AAA basketball teams every weight lift (or high school baskeball teams in general)?

            In watching Lowell play Wallenberg last week, Lowell had some guys with some pretty well defined muscles while the Wallenberg guys were just thin. To be fair, Wallenberg isn’t exactly blessed with great facilities so they make do as best as they can. But AAA teams are generally smaller than most and some added strength would be useful when contending with bigger teams.

            One last note GCJ01: You’re definitely too young and I probably missed it by a few years, but I know the AAA used to have “lightweight” basketball teams back in the 1970’s until the early 80’s (at least). I assume this was to allow other players who may not have been big enough to play varsity. These days, most teams are basically fielding almost all lightweights. :)

            • sf alum says:

              Good point about lifting weights, and in general just doing the things 15 and 16 olds need to do (im not an expert but diet, weights, speed and agility work, 1000s of shots, top AAU comp) to become d1 players. I think it is unfair to pin it on the players though, they are just kids, they need access to the offseason training programs and facilities used by top recruits.

              The AAA has always had great competition and the playoff games at Kezar are a blast, but there just aren’t many D1 players coming out of the league. I think this has more to do with what happens (or doesnt happen) in the spring and summer.

            • GCJ 01 says:

              Don L.,

              I was about 3 or 4 when the AAA stopped their light weight division in the late 80’s. It started in the early 30’s and ended in the late 80’s. But at those times, there were a lot more kids attending AAA schools (not to mention some of the high schools like Commerce and Polytech closed and SI and SHC moved to help form the WCAL).

              As for the weight lifting, I do believe almost every school does have a weight room, however, I think only a few schools utilize them. When I was playing for Burton, we didn’t do any weight lifting. I know Lincoln, McAteer (when it was open), Lowell, and Wash used to.

              These days, the AAA is made up of fast guards. We are now a guard oriented league. Sadly, we’re the high school version of the Golden State Warriors. All athletic guards, few bigs, and no bulk on our players.

  4. GCJ 01 says:

    Congrats to Marshall. Good luck in the second round.

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