Uriah Carter came out with a basket and steal from the jump of the second half trying to spark his team into making a valiant comeback. The intensity on defense stepped up for Bullard early in the 3rd quarter as well and Dominguez starting making mental mistakes on defense by fouling the shooters as well as being beat to the loose balls. Dominguez started to get sloppy and missed 6 layups in a row before finally finishing in the lane. After 3 quarters, Wayne Arnold (Dominguez) has 32 points and Bullard as a team has 40. After 3, the score was Dominguez 83, Bullard 40. The fourth quarter was just a formality and finishing out the game, but what was already known was that Dominguez would be capturing the 5th place title over Bullard. They won by a score of 94 to 47. Making the All-Tournament Team for Bullard was Uriah Carter. Finishing with 34 points, and also making the All-Tournament for his respective team, Dominguez, was sophomore sensation Wayne Arnold. His teammate, freshman Sean Harlston also secured his place on the All-Tournament Team
Our final game of the tournament has reached the halfway point with Dominguez leading Bullard at the half. . Both teams came out of the gates applying their full court pressure and causing immediate turnovers and baskets. Neither team was able to handle the pressure applied defensively at the beginning of the game. Bullard’s players take pride in their defense and playing hard but freshman Sean Harlston tried to put a stop to their defensive prowess by converting a big time dunk and layup to put his team up 4 early on. On subsequent possessions Bullard showcased their team first concept by passing the ball around and hitting the open player to get a couple buckets on the board. I would quantify the first quarter as being dominated by good defensive pressure leading to fast-break opportunities with more opportunities being finished by Dominguez. In a high-scoring first period, Dominguez doubled up Bullard, 32-16. Uriah Carter picked up 2 early fouls and Bullard missed his presence on the offensive end. Dominguez finished the quarter on a 17-2 run when Carter went to the bench for Bullard. The second was much of the same, too much Dominguez and not enough taking care of the ball by Bullard’s players. Bullard’s system is catching up to them in this game. as they are unable to get any fluidity going because of how much subbing in and out the players are doing. Bullard, when they get looks at the basket, are passing them up and making an unnecessary extra pass which leads to turnovers rather than shots at the basket. As a result, what was a 16 point lead for Dominguez after one has ballooned to 36 after 2, 61-25.
Foothill High School. They won the tournament after defeating SVC by a score of 70-56. Foothill was up 3 after 1, 10 after 2, 18 after 3 and finished winning by 14 points. The defense of SVC had some major collapses in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to allow Foothill to get many fast-break points and easy buckets. SVC struggled to convert their shots on the offensive end during that span. Foothill hit some big 3 point shots in the 3rd quarter to increase their lead to 21 at one point (51-30). Foothill was extremely patient and worked their offensive sets to get the shots they wanted throughout the 3rd quarter. Foothill opened up the game in the 3rd where they outscored SVC 21-13. SVC struggled offensively in the 3rd quarter, but Trey Smith opened up the 4th with a 3 point bucket as he tried to spark his teams comeback. SVC made a late push to cut the lead to 10 at 61-51 with a little over 1 minute left to play, but SVC struggled to comeback from the large deficit they sustained in the 3rd quarter. Leading his team to victory and earning the title of Tournament M.V.P. was Lucas Araujo (Foothill). His teammates Connor Stinson and Paulo Araujo earned All-Tournament spots as well for their stellar play during the course of their games this week. In a losing effort, but not to be outdone were the selections of Josh Crutchfield and Trey Smith from SVC as they secured their place on the All-Tournament Team for their play throughout the week as well.
Half the game has been played. Two quarters. One half. One team is winning. One is losing. One hopes to build on their lead in the second half. The other hopes to comeback and win the championship. Bragging rights are officially 16 minutes away. In an all Orange County final pitting the Warriors out of Saddleback Valley Christian against the Knights out of Foothill, the score currently is in favor of Foothill. The first quarter ended in a 3 point lead for Foothill over Saddleback Valley Christian by a score of 13-10. I would classify the beginning of this game as a battle between two teams who are fighting for that championship plaque. It is a back and forth game where both teams are playing defense and not allowing for easy buckets. Both teams have guys who can drive to the basket as well as hit the outside shot so it’s been an evenly matched first half. Both teams are also extremely disciplined in their game strategy and approach as well. Foothill has had a little more offensive firepower and hit big shots in the first half to secure their lead with 16 minutes left. The second half should be interesting to see who has enough in their tank to win the coveted top spot of champion. Foothill leads SVC, 30-20 at the half. SVC will need to get some stops defensively if they want to comeback in the second half and win the championship.
The second half wasn’t much different from the first. Clovis West exerted their dominance on both ends of the court and were able to cruise to a 3rd place title to bring home with them to Fresno. Joel and Christian Finney did all they could to score for their team, but it was too much of a collective effort imposed by Clovis West to overcome offensively. The final score was Clovis West 74, Central City 35. Both teams placed guys on All-Tournament team due to their stellar play throughout the week. Joel FInney (Central City) and Eseosa Ogbeide and Adrian Antunez (Clovis West) all were selected for the All-Tournament team from this 3rd place game.
What a pace in the first quarter of this game. The full-court pressure defense applied by Clovis West is causing all kinds of chaos for Central City who for a couple minutes couldn’t get the ball past half court as Clovis West went on a 17-2 run halfway through the period to take a commanding lead after the first quarter. Joel Finney, the best offensive player for Central City, went out a few minutes into the first quarter with a stinger and that is when Clovis West went on their run. After the first period, Clovis West held an 18 point lead (31-13) over Central City. The second quarter was much of the same, as the defensive intensity displayed by Clovis West created a hectic pace for Central City and they were unable to keep pace with the Golden Eagles of Clovis West. The Finney borthers (Joel and Christian) were the lone bright spots on the offensive end for Central City in the first half. The biggest difference (besides defensive pressure) between both teams is that Central City relies heavily on the offensive skills of the Finney brothers whereas Clovis West employs more of a team sharing the offensive load concept. At the half, it is Clovis West 50, Central City 22.
All four quarters have been played. One team finishes the tournament on a high note securing a win and the other leaves with another loss added to their record with hopes that they fair better in the next tournament they enter. Right out the gate, Paul Head hit Christian Anderson with a nice pass for an easy bucket to start the second half. Great passing by the Ocean View team allowed them to increase their lead to 17 at the 2 minute mark of the 3rd. LB Wilson was unable to handle the increased defensive pressure applied by the Ocean View defenders, thus committing numerous turnovers or forced shots, resulting in misses. After 3 quarters of play, the Seahawks lead 51-32 over LB Wilson. LB Wilson took advantage during a span of the 4th period where Ocean View became sloppy with the ball thanks in part to the defensive pressure by LB Wilson in the half court, to score and try to cut into the lead, however, ultimately the margin was too much to overcome that late in the game and Ocean View sealed the victory. The final score was Ocean View with 72 points and LB Wilson with 59 points.
2 quarters are in the books, with the host school, Ocean View leading the designated visitors from LB Wilson by an 8 point margin, 34-26. Both teams are looking to avenge some losses in this tournament by finishing it off with a win. Grant Gochman came out and scored the first 6 points for Ocean View after being inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this season. After the first period, Ocean View led by 6 points (17-11) thanks to fast-break points. LB Wilson halfway through the quarter were able to start hitting their shots and cut the lead down to 6. Starting the second period, Preston Curtis hit a bank three-point shot from the top of the key to get his team within 3 points. LB Wilson was able to capitalize on defensive lapses and offensive turnovers by Ocean View to cut the lead to 1 (21-20) with under 5 minutes remaining in the half. Rafael Johnson tied the game up at 23 a piece with 3 minutes remaining in the half thanks to a free throw make. However, on the ensuing possession Andrew Reynolds converted both of his free throws to put the Seahawks back on top of the Bruins. Some great passing by Ocean View helped them increase their lead back up during the final 3 minutes of the half.
Bullard came out on a scoring rampage to begin the third period to cut the 7 point lead to 2 with 3:30 left in the quarter thanks to stifling defensive pressure and getting out and running. But on the ensuing possession SVC executed a beautiful out of bounds play to push the lead back up to 4 with less than 3 minutes on the clock in the 3rd period. With less than a minute to play in the 3rd quarter, SVC stepped up their defensive pressure as Bullard got sloppy with the ball, enabling SVC to jump out to a 47-38 lead with 48 seconds remaining, closing the quarter on a 9-0 run to push the lead to 11 points entering the final period of play. In the final period of play, Bullard came out aggressively and put on the pressure defensively to tie the game at 51 a piece with less than 5 minutes to play. Bullard then took their first lead with 4 minutes left to play but it was short-lived as Trey Smith (30 points- SVC) came right back and scored on a layup to put his team back in front for good. Uriah Carter (27 points- Bullard) put his team on his back in game offensively but they came up short in the final minutes defensively. The final score on the scoreboard was in favor of Saddleback Valley Christian, 68-63, over Bullard, but both teams left it out on the court tonight.
The games are set. Championship Saturday is awaiting our teams. One team is onto the finals against Foothill and the other is headed to the 3rd place game against Clovis West. It will be an all Southern California final and all Northern California final. We look forward to crowning either Foothill or SVC as the champions of the 2015 Jim Harris Memorial Tournament of Champions. Best of luck to all teams continuing tomorrow, and to those whose tournament play has concluded, best of luck the rest of the season.
Our second semi-final game of the evening has just finished the first half with Saddleback Valley Christian leading Bullard by a 7 point margin, 31-24. This also is a battle between a Southern California team and a Northern California team. These teams play two contrasting styles of play with the bulk of Saddleback Valley Christians scoring coming mostly from their starters whereas Bullard plays a platoon style system where everyone on the team plays. This helps keep them fresh and enables the players to play hard for a couple minutes before making way for their teammates to come in and continue the intensity. It was a good first half by both teams which can only get better in the second half. Both teams are battling and want that second spot in the championship game.