Boys Basketball: St. Ignatius blows away Aptos in CCS quarterfinals

St. Ignatius senior forward Michael Loginoff eyes the Aptos defense on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

By Jeremy Balan

It didn’t take long to figure out Aptos High School’s boys basketball team was overmatched on the road against St. Ignatius in the Central Coast Section Division III quarterfinals.

The third-seeded Wildcats jumped out to a 14-0 lead just 2 minutes in to the game, led 29-2 late in the first quarter and cruised to a 74-40 win on Saturday.

St. Ignatius sophomore point guard is suspended in midair on a drive against Aptos on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

“We did it two other times this year, once against Santa Cruz in a quarter and in the second quarter against Serra,” St. Ignatius head coach Tim Reardon said of the first-quarter effort. “They can do it, it’s just a matter of sustaining it, and we’ve been waiting for so long to play a basketball game and they had to ride a bus 2 hours from Santa Cruz. It was the perfect storm for us to have a quarter like that.”

St. Ignatius (11-15) shot 13-of-16 from the floor and 3-of-4 from 3-point range in the first quarter, and got easy baskets in transition off stellar defensive performances from guards Albert Waters and Trevor Dunbar.

The pair finished with just nine total points, but combined for five of the Wildcats’ nine steals in the first quarter. With the ball in the open court, Dunbar dished out five assists in the first quarter, while Waters, listed at 5-foot-8, collected a team-high seven rebounds.

“It was [assistant] coach [Rob] Marcaletti that decided we were going to make somebody else other than their point guard handle the ball and they couldn’t handle the pressure,” Reardon said. “This team won their league. They’re not push-overs. I can’t explain it. It was just one of those nights.”

Twelve St. Ignatius players scored and three finished in double figures, led by seniors Nick Johnson and Michael Loginoff, who were tied for the team lead with 13 points apiece, as the Wildcats had their highest point total of the season.

SI shot just over 55 percent from the floor, while the Mariners (21-7) compounded the early turnovers with ice-cold shooting. Aptos shot 20 percent from the floor through three quarters and trailed 61-25 heading in the the fourth.

“They got turnovers, were hitting their shots and came out very aggressive,” Aptos head coach Joe Smith said of the Wildcats. “We’ve had a really good season and we would definitely like to think that this was an off game for us.”

The Wildcats advance to a semifinal matchup against second-seeded El Camino, which took down Santa Cruz in another quarterfinal game on Saturday. The Colts defeated SI 54-44 in non-league play on Dec. 16, but the circumstances will be slightly different for the playoff game.

St. Ignatius junior forward Stephen Domingo goes up for a fall-away jump shot against Aptos on Saturday at St. Ignatius Prep. (Photo by Eric Luis)

Their first meeting was standout St. Ignatius forward Stephen Domingo’s first game back from a broken wrist and the Wildcats had just returned several players from the CCS-championship-winning football team.

“They’re damn good and Santa Cruz was a tough matchup for them, but I think we can get them if we play really well,” Reardon said of El Camino. “We might have to play like we did tonight to do it.”

Reardon compared his team’s level of play in the win over Aptos to their upset win over Serra in the regular season several times, but tempered any excitement his team may have heading into the semifinals.

“When everything is firing and looking to make each other better, they are really good,” Reardon said. “We just haven’t been able to be consistent. Last time we played a game like this, we came out [in the next game] and laid a big dump on the floor against Bellarmine. We of course mentioned that to the players, so they won’t get too excited.”

Scoring Summary

St. Ignatius
Nick Johnson – 13
Michael Loginoff – 13
Stephen Domingo – 12
Daniel MacLean-Vernic – 8
Trevor Dunbar – 7

Aptos
Jake Harrell – 13
Justin Montoya – 13
Cole Welle – 9
Ryan Parker – 3
Tyler Clark – 2

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22 Comments

  1. JJ says:

    #31 in the last picture looks like Hall of Famer, Reggie Miller. SI looked fresh in this game, like a team that hasn’t played for a couple weeks. I think the days off helped them, but like the head coach said, they are inconsistent. They already lost to El Camino, so it can happen again. SI needs to hit some 3’s in order to beat El Camino. I don’t know how Aptos beat Santa Cruz twice, because SC looked like the better team.

    • SF says:

      SC looked better becuase they were playing E Camino and Argon was playing a wcal team. El Camino’s team is a joke they cant hang with the WCAl, I don’t care if they got a couple luck wins in the preseason. Good luck against SI they going to destroy them.

  2. GCJ 01 says:

    Congrats to SI….however, it was an expected win for them.

  3. JJ says:

    The highlights of this game was when A. Vollert (a future 2012 1st team WCAL wide receiver) hit a long-distance 3 and when J. Yang (a JV call-up) broke an Aptos player’s ankles, only to shoot an airball.

  4. SF_Mikey says:

    SI vs El Camino should be an interesting game. I watched the first half of the El Camino vs Santa Cruz game and wasn’t as impressed with El Camino as I thought I would be – they looked decent but not as impressive as I expected (first time seeing them play this year). Maybe I’m a being a City homer but I really like Si’s chances since i am not sure they have anyone to match up with SD31 plus playing on their home court doesn’t hurt.

    • JJ says:

      You only saw the 1st half, but El Camino turned it up a notch in the 2nd half, particularly in the 4th quarter. One of SC’s forwards dove for a loose ball and landed on top of El Camino’s Michael Smith, As they were getting up, the SC player with the black eye, stepped over M Smith’s head and Mr. smith did appreciate it. The rest of the game, Mr Smith was talking trash to him and El Camino eventually won pretty handily. Plus, I’m sure you have been at SD31’s games went he went 1 for 11, so if he doesn’t have a good game, the season will end on Wednesday for the Cats.

    • IC Stars says:

      El Camino did beat them by 10 points earlier this season.

  5. sf alum says:

    Thanks for the imagery of a melted snickers bar on the floor, coach.

  6. Big guy 24 says:

    My opinion SI beats El Camino this time cause now SI is healthy anbd playing better ball at this time. I watched E.C vs Santa Cruz and they looked sloppy and a team that wasn’t making the extra pass to score. I got SI by 7pts to win…Good luck kids..

  7. Kevin B says:

    The game between EC and SI will be exciting. SI looked amazing Saturday and while EC looked sloppy and not at their best, they have really had some amazing games. They are a team that when they are hot have three very tough offensive players to stop. Their guard White, while a great athlete needs to look to Knight and Smith much more underneath. Those two forwards can play strong underneath and Smith had been a scoring powerhouse all season and Knight is a truly gifted athlete. The win won’t be easy but I think EC can actually pull it off.

    • Bay Rider says:

      I like the thought of EC winning and putting these teams on notice that there will sometimes be a team that while smaller in size and from a smaller school play their butt off and want to win just as much as anyone else. I saw El Camino beat St Francis and no one expected that at the St Francis Tournament. I also saw them play pretty good against a Deer Valley Team that would be hard for any school to beat. Smith made all tournament and it was probably the best tournament he has played preseason. Athony Knight keeps this team in the game and of course their guard is a true threat to any team. The team though is starting to look a little selfish and is missing what has got them this far. TEAMWoRK. If they get it back like they did against Deer Valley then SI better come prepared for a hard game.

  8. JJ says:

    Just like the Big 3 of SI, El Camino also has a Big 3 (all 3 made 1st team in their league, PAL). The Big 3 that plays the best will win this game. El Camino already beat SI by 10 back in December, and also beat St Francis, who SI never beat. It will be very interesting what the final outcome of this game will be. I wonder which team is favored, SI or El Camino?

    • sf says:

      haha PAL league sucks dont even compared it to the WCAL. El Camino has no chance of winning CCS. That team isnt very good. They had a good run in their sorry league and got a lucky number 2 seed. As we have all forgotten is SD31 was just back from his injuryed hand. El Camino has no chance Si has gotten better playing in the WCAL.Also SI beat serra at the jungle were El Camino would probably lose by 20.

  9. Ari Gold says:

    El Camino’s Michael Smith is going to be the reason SI wins or loses. Hes not imposing but SI doesnt have anyone tough to body him. None of these teams have the size to match up against WCAL teams which is why so many fall by the wasteside shooting nothing but 3 pointers and unable to go up and down with the better athletic players the WCAL has. El Camino is different.

    White and Knight drive to the basket. White has his teardrop shot from the free throw line. Knight is a good penetrator and gets a decent shot up against short players. He will not get that against Pratt or Fox. I see Albert Waters guarding him and making it difficult for him to get into a good rhythm. White and Dunbar may get into a one-on-one And 1-like dribble-fest. … It wont matter, SH will beat either of those two in the final.

    • SanFranPreps Fan says:

      What if Fox isn’t able to play, how do you see it?

      • Ari Gold says:

        Ive never had a high ankle sprain but I can imagine it will limit his mobility. Certainly I cant imagine Josh going for dunks because its his left ankle that got messed up and he would take off with his left foot. If he can give SH 6 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes I would say thats good enough. Fortunately Khalil James is playing out of his mind his last 5 games. You look at him, hes super skinny, not very tall but he has no fear when he goes into the lane. The kid just has a nose for the basket and he plays big in crunchtime.

        With Fox, SH wins 13-19 points… Without Fox 7-12 point win against either SI or EC.

  10. Stone Man says:

    Smith is their leading scorer and has a 17 point average according to max preps. When he is allowed to play a post, he can muscle in against much bigger boys. I think Ari is right that he will be the reason they win or lose and the coach better use him the way he does best in order to rebound and score, which he is more than capable of. I actually think EC might pull this out. The game of the year might be the EC vs SI.

  11. @SA says:

    El Camino also has 6′-4″ center Mathiesen who got every board in the first meeting between SI and El Camino. SI has struggled all year getting boards and If they don’t make adjustments, they’re done.

    • Stone Man says:

      Mathieson has never gotten every board but is definately a good contributor. Defense will probably win in for El Camino.

  12. COncerned Citizen says:

    What happened to Terrence Roberts?

    • JJ says:

      I don’t think he’s on the team anymore. SI could’ve used him to guard Michael Smith. I think Loginoff or Nick Johnson might be the players who guard him. Or Maybe SD31 might guard him?

  13. COncerned Citizen says:

    That’s too bad, he was an emerging talent in the WCAL this year. Will he still be at Si playing next year?

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