McClymonds upset San Ramon Valley to advance to the NorCal regional Division I finals. Also Grant picked up its second straight road win and plenty more from a full night of action.
The McClymonds Warriors traveled to Danville on Saturday night to take on the San Ramon Valley Wolves in the second round of the Division I playoffs. The Warriors came into the game ready to strike as they outscored the Wolves in each of the last three quarters, going on to win by a score of 57-48.
McClymonds was led to victory by outstanding play from senior forward Deion Ellis and junior guard Mike Walker. The 6-foot-4 Ellis finished the game with 18 points and seven rebounds on 6-for-15 shooting, while Walker added 10 points and three steals on 4-for-11 shooting. The Warriors also came up clutch at the free-throw line, going 18-for-20 from the charity stripe.
San Ramon Valley did not play a bad game, they just played an inconsistent one. One of their main scoring options, sophomore guard Austin Henderson went just 1-for-8 from the field for three points. Westmont bound Jerry Karczewski struggled early, but then started to score as he finished with 18 points on 5-for-16 shooting. David Gunn, also headed to Westmont, played a great game for the Wolves as he added seven rebounds, two blocks, and 14 points.
After a tremendous regular season, the postseason did not treat the Wolves well at all, as they were bounced from the North Coast Section playoffs and the NorCal regionals earlier than expected. Still, San Ramon finished the season with a 24-6 record, including a win over Monte Vista.
With the surprise win, the Warriors must get ready to battle the top ranked Monte Vista Mustangs (29-1) and if this win wasn't an indication, McClymonds' coaches and players feel they are ready for the challenge. Derek Lytle
Pacers 'Rise to the Occasion'
The seventh seeded Grant Pacers entered the Concord High school gym on Saturday night wearing t-shirts that read "Rise to the Occasion."
Fast forward a couple hours and that's exactly what Grant did as it upset second-seeded Concord 66-58.
"We just wanted it more," Grant junior guard Donovan Brown said. "After we lost to Folsom, now we just want it."
The second round contest in the Division II tournament was back and forth for the bulk of the night, but once Brown gave his team a 56-55 lead with 2:26 left in the game, there was no turning back.
"I got the ball and I had a hot hand from three so I knew they would be up close," Brown - who finished with 14 points - said. "So, I gave them a pump fake and took it to the rack."
While Grant ultimately came away with the victory, there was a period in the third quarter where it appeared Concord was primed to make a run a put the game away.
The Minutemen, who had a strong second quarter and led by three at halftime, came out sharp in the third quarter and extended their lead to six, prompting the Pacers to call a timeout.
And whatever coach Deonard Wilson said in that timeout worked.
Grant responded with a 13-4 run, highlighted by a couple of Cameron Oliver dunks, to take a 44-43 lead.
While there would be multiple lead changes in the rest of the third and throughout the fourth quarter, that 13-4 run was instrumental to Grant's victory.
In addition to Donovan's strong shooting performance, Grant received 18 points from Jeremee Churchill, 10 from Jordan Echols and 21 from Oliver. William Boor
Serra holds serve at home
Montgomery built leads of 15-12 after the first quarter and 29-23 at halftime against Serra in the second round of the NorCal Division II playoffs in San Mateo. The Vikings had all the momentum and a game high lead of ten points of 33-23 in the early moments of the third quarter, but Serra made a run to end the quarter with a 40-38 advantage. Turnovers, poor free throw shooting, and stagnant offense by Montgomery allowed the Padres to close out a 59-54 victory.
Montgomery finishes the season at 25-7 after dominating the North Bay League. The Vikings will regret the 14 free throw misses in the game with nine coming in the first half. In addition, untimely backcourt turnovers led to multiple Serra fast break attempts. Senior forward Alec Raven was efficient with both his perimeter shot and post moves as he accounted for 26 points. The Vikings started five seniors as they look to reload for next season.
Serra overcame early foul trouble to key starters and had balanced scoring as five players scored more than seven points. Senior guards Sean Watkins and Danny Mahoney accounted for 16 and 13 points respectively. The Padres were able to throw enough players and fouls at Raven to slow him down.
The Padres essentially play a four guard set that needs good perimeter shooting and ball control to succeed. The interior play is undersized, but was solid in this game as forwards Trevor Brown and Jake Killingsworth combined for 19 points.
Folsom cruised against another West Catholic Athletic League opponent in defeating St. Ignatius 66-40 to setup a Tuesday semifinal matchup with Serra in Folsom. Top seed Folsom averages over 70 points per game and is balanced both inside and outside. If Serra can control the tempo, get enough perimeter scoring, and win the battle for the defensive rebounds in the post, then the Padres will have a solid chance to advance. Steve Hu
Other NorCal results
The old cliché is big players show up in big games. Elliott Smith did just that with 27 points and 16 rebounds in a 74-72 win over Rodriguez.
Lake Lutes and Isaiah Bailey combined for 38 points in Jesuit's 76-47 win over Lincoln-San Francisco.
Monte Vista had no problems on Saturday in a 70-42 win over Bellarmine. The Mustangs got 18 points from Spencer Rust and 14 points from Trevor John.
It was Folsom early and often in a 66-40 win over St. Ignatius. Sophomore point guard Jordan Ford had 17 points in the win.
Cosumnes Oaks outscored Leigh 27-10 in the final quarter to post an 82-63 win. The quartet of Eric Toles (20 points), Jaaron Stallworth (18 points), L.J. Reed (16 points) and Alex Van Dyke (15 points) combined for 69 points.
Four players scored in double figures for Campolindo, which rolled past Vanden 96-64. Justin Dunn had 27 points as the Cougars will try to make its second straight regional final on Tuesday against Riordan.
Riordan led 24-14 at halftime and held on to beat Christian Brothers 43-41. Jiday Ugbaja had a team high 12 points.
In the latest installment of Drew Anderson's senior year, the 6-foor-4 Miramonte forward had 34 points and 20 rebounds in a 78-76 upset of Burlingame. Frankie Ferrari had 29 points in his final game.
Junior Jesse Hunt had 38 points and 10 rebounds as Drake shocked defending NorCal champions Sacred Heart Cathedral 69-60. The nine seed will get a home game on Tuesday against Miramonte.
Freshman point guard Damari Milstead had a team high 18 points as top seed Moreau Catholic rolled past Encina Prep 84-49.
Behind 18 points and nine rebounds from UC Irvine bound post Jonathan Galloway, Salesian beat Sacred Heart Prep 69-58.
St. Patrick/St. Vincent defeated Riverbank (64-51) and Half Moon Bay moved past Fortuna (67-57) to send the top four ranked teams into the semi-finals.
St. Joseph had no trouble with Pinewood in advancing with a 57-35 win. Senior Temidayo Yussuf had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Jonathan Boddie had 23 points and 15 rebounds as Central Catholic stayed on course for a potential regional final appearance with a 73-58 win over University.
Branson (62-51 win over Liberty Christian) and Brookside Christian (75-58 over Stuart Hall) rounded out the top four seeds qualifying for the semi-finals.