San Leandro won the 36th annual St. Francis Holiday Tournament with a 66-60 win over El Camino in overtime.
The game was back and forth throughout, with 18 ties and 16 lead changes. El Camino led 14-13 after the first quarter and the game was tied at halftime. San Leandro took a 45-42 advantage into the fourth quarter, but El Camino had a chance to win it at the end of regulation. The Colts couldn't convert on a couple of chances and the game was sent into overtime.
Kennon Noble knocked down a three to start the overtime session and the Pirates were in control. El Camino tied it at 60, but San Leandro finished the game on a 6-0 run to take home the victory.
"We were a little sluggish," said San Leandro head coach Sean MacKay.
"I don't know if it was [because of] the holidays, but it came down to the end and we were able to seal out. El Camino's got a couple good players that were solid, well-coached, and executed. It was good to get the win especially in a tournament out here."
The Pirates were led by senior guard Dejon Budreaux, who was named tournament MVP. Budreaux was a strong slashing guard who could score around the basket or get to the free throw line. He was 12-of-13 from the charity stripe and finished with 20 points along with five steals.
"He's a solid guard," MacKay said of Budreaux. "He's definitely one of the better guards here in Northern California. A lot of people don't know about him, but when the top games come, he shows. We've been guard heavy in the last few years and he's carrying on the tradition.
He's definitely one of the better guards around."
Seniors Michael Smith and Elijah White led El Camino with 26 and 20 points respectively. Smith, a 6-foot-3 guard, finished with a double-double with 11 rebounds as well. He is a good shooter with range and a gritty rebounder down low.
White, a small, quick point guard, was able to get to the rim and finish or dish to a teammate. He also added seven rebounds, but at times forced a pass or shot.
El Camino fell to 8-4, but should be a strong contender for the Peninsula Athletic League North title with Half Moon Bay and Westmoor.
The Colts open league play on the road against Oceana on January 8th.
San Leandro is filled with guards, with only two players at 6-foot-4.
It uses gritty defense and tough drives to the basket on offense to compete. The Pirates will have to take down favorites Bishop O'Dowd and Castro Valley in a tough West Alameda County Foothill Conference and open league play on Friday at Berkeley.
"League is going to be tough," MacKay finished. "We're battle tested and we've had some close games. We're a work in progress and our goal is to get better everyday. With Bishop O'Dowd, Castro Valley, and San Lorenzo on the rise, league's definitely going to be tough."
Earlier Tournament Results:
3rd Place Game: Mountain View 55, San Ramon Valley 45 5th Place Game: Leigh 68, Soquel 66 (2OT) 7th Place Game: Sweetwater 71, St. Francis 64