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March 22, 2014

NorCal D-4 Final: Moreau Catholic Tops Salesian

Nor Cal Division IV Regional Final:
Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 61, Salesian (Richmond) 52

By Gerry Freitas

The Moreau Catholic Mariners used a 15-2 run to start the third quarter and built a 19-point lead, 40-21, and withstood a couple runs by the Salesian Pride to pull out a 61-52 victory for the Nor Cal Division IV championship.

The Mariners move to 27-6 on the year, in winning their first-ever appearance in the Nor Cal finals. Salesian ends its season at 23-15 in its sixth Nor Cal final appearance (they are now 3-3).

Moreau head coach Frank Knight said he tells his team all the time, "The first five minutes of the second half is the most important part of the game." Nothing was more true than that in this game.

After the Mariners got their 19-point lead the Pride was never able to get closer than six points the rest of the way. Moreau's 3/4 court press in the second half slowed Salesian down and created some turnover problems as well. Salesian had 12 turnovers after the break to finish with 21 overall.

Moreau did make it tough on themselves with 22 turnovers of their own.

Freshman Damari Milstead and sophomore Brandon Lawrence each had 15 points to pace the Mariners. Sophomore star Oscar Frayer, battling foul trouble the whole game, chipped with 11 points and 9 rebounds.

UC Irvine-bound Jonathan Galloway had 19 points and 10 rebounds in his final game for the Pride.

"What these guys have accomplished is remarkable," said Knight. He quickly added with a smile, "But we have one more game." Amazingly, Moreau has no seniors and only one junior on its roster. Knight emphasized to the media afterward that "we are young."

So the future is very bright for the Mariners. But as famed football coach George Allen was fond of saying, "The future is now."

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