No Fox, no Petroni, no problem.
Without two starters, top-seeded Sacred Heart Cathedral advanced to the Central Coast Section Division III boys basketball championship game with a 56-47 win over fourth-seeded Valley Christian on Wednesday at St. Ignatius Prep.
With standout forward Joshua Fox still out with an ankle injury that has forced him to miss over a week of games and practices, and starting senior shooting guard Tyler Petroni out with an illness, senior forward Taylor Johns took control.
Johns had a team-high 22 points and 19 rebounds (11 offensive and eight defensive), and the Irish scored the first six points of the game and never surrendered the lead. Sacred Heart sophomore guard DeOndre Otis added 14 points and seven rebounds.
“We had two guys out that mean a lot to our team and our kids responded,” said Sacred Heart head coach Darrell Barbour. “At this time of year, every win is a good win.”
Sacred Heart held a 27-17 advantage at the half, but the Warriors cut the lead to 31-27 early in the third quarter before the Irish responded with a 8-1 run and held the double-digit lead until a Valley Christian score in the final seconds.
After the game, the attention shifted to Fox, who still hasn’t been cleared to play by the Sacred Heart training staff.
“It’s up to our trainers,” Barbour said of Fox’s likelihood of playing in the CCS championship on Saturday. “I’m expecting him to play on Saturday and hopefully practice tomorrow. He hasn’t touched a ball in 11 or 12 days, so his conditioning is suspect, but his presence on this team is off the charts.”
Boys Basketball: Branson 73, University 46
Third seed University fell behind 9-0 but stormed back to take a 21-18 lead with 4:17 left in the second quarter.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, they had no answer for Gabe Moynihan in the North Coast Section Division V semifinals on Wednesady at the College of Marin in Kentfield.
The Branson senior guard keyed a 16-2 run to end the second quarter and finished with a game-high 25 points. At one point Moynihan scored nine consecutive points.
When junior forward Harold Getz converted a three-point play, University had its short-lived lead. Getz finished with a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds, and sophomore forward Jack Gale added 14 points.
– Harold Abend
Boys Basketball: Mission 66, Lowell 51
The Bears led after every quarter in the Academic Athletic Association semifinals and had four players score in double figures.
Senior forwards Gione Edwards and Miles Prescott, and junior guard Kevin Murray, finished with 13 points apiece and junior forward Armani McFarland added 10. Edwards and Prescott also had double-doubles, with 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
Girls Basketball: St. Joseph Notre Dame 58, University 44
The fifth-seeded Red Devils stayed with the top-seeded Pilots in the first half of the NCS Division V semifinal matchup at Kezar Pavilion and only trailed 31-26 at the break, but St. Joseph pulled away steadily in the second half.
University freshman guard Katie Lo scored a team-high 13 points, standout senior center Amelia King had 10 and sophomore guard Gabby Chua added nine.