The Pinole Valley High School girls basketball team rarely found itself down to a good team this season, so when Archbishop MItty came out like it meant business, the Spartans looked timid.
And timid is definitely not the way you want to start the CIF NorCal Division II championship game. Pinole was flat against a super-charged Monarchs team, fell behind early and couldn’t recover.
The final score was 55-49 but it wasn’t even that close. The Spartans had four turnovers and missed a shot on their first five possesions and didn’t look like a team searching for a state championship.
Meanwhile, Mitty established their big early, as Nicole Anderson was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and outplayed DeNesha Stallworth in the beginning. Stallworth recovered late in the second half, going 6-for-8 from the field including a 10-point fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the Spartans trailed by 10 points for the majority of the game.
Forward Marnique Arnold showed so much heart in this game, taking the ball fearlessly to the rack. She didn’t want to go home, that’s for sure.
In the end, Mitty’s pressure and inside game were too much for the Spartans.
Although he’s been a monster on the boards and has a few blocked shots, Fillmore just missed consecutive 3-point attempts. Still, Baker hits a clutch 3 to bring the lead down to withing 51-48 with 31.1 seconds remaing.
Brue is at the line and hits two free throws to give O’Dowd some cushion, but Joe McGlynn hits a 3 and the lead again is 53-51.
Joey Anderson causes a turnover as he forces out Daniel Koches and its the Dons ball. Everyone in the building is on their feet. Anderson takes the inbound pass at midcourt, puts his head down and goes straight to the basket. There’s lots of contact, but no foul was called as he misses the lay up. Dragons control the rebound and are fouled.
It’s only fitting that Lewis is on the line in the double bonus and hits the first and the second free throws.
Time runs out on Acalanes.
Final Score: Bishop O’Dowd 55, Acalanes 51
Lewis comes up with the highlight of the game (not that he doesn’t have a few already) but he delivered a tip-jam, follow-dunk, whatever you want to call it, that was just amazing.
In other news, there’s been a Fillmore sighting. He’s now 1-for-2 in the game after missing a 3-point shot. Meanwhile, O’Dowd is starting to pull away. Justin Brue has three emphatic layups in the lane and O’Dowd is leading 49-43 with 1:50 reamaining in the game.
Shawn Lewis flicks his wrist and nails a 3-pointer to give O’Dowd a 41-35 lead with 6:15 in the fourth quarter. The guy is straight ballin’ and Dons coach Russ Scheibley calls a timeout right after the make to try and cool the Dragons down.
All of a sudden both teams have found the 3-point touch… Shawn Lewis pulled up and hit a three for the Dragon and Joe McGlynn comes right back down and returns the favor.
Brooks Baker has two power moves to the bucket, including a three-point play in which he absorbed the contact, finished for the bucket and hit the free throw. The play gives Acalanes a 33-30 lead.
Lewis is playing with confidence and has 12 points so far in the third quarter and 20 overall for the Dragons.
It’s 36-35 O’Dowd going into the final quarter. Fillmore did not take a shot and is stuck on two points, while the Dons are being carried by Baker (10 points) and Anderson (14 points).
Fillmore didn’t have many touches in the first half and finished with two points on one shot attempt and the game is still tied, which bodes well for the Dons. Fillmore did have five rebounds as Acalanes outrebounded the Dragons 18-12.
Anderson leads the Dons with 7 points and Baker has five.
Acalanes shot nine-for-23 in the first half but O’Dowd didn’t do much better, shooting 8-for-24.
Three point shooting, or lack thereof, has hurt Acalanes. Fillmore gets doubled down and finds the open man on the perimeter but the Dons are 1-of-11 from the 3-point line.
Check out Acalanes student Will Ewing’s take on the LaMorinda Blog:
Fillmore takes his first and only shot of the quarter with 1:24 remaining and hits on a tough inside lay up on a pass from Anderson and makes it 20-18 Dragons.
The Dons had missed their last four shots and had three turnovers in their last seven possesions before Fillmore’s bucket.
Anderson hits a jumper from the top of the key to tie the game at 20-20. Anderson has been active all day, sporting the early Brent Barry/Pistol Pete shaggy hairstyle. Anderson leads the Dons with 7 points.
Game tied 20-20 at the half.
Jordan Fillmore has yet to take a shot, but he did just assist on a 3-pointer by Brooks Baker. It looks like their going to put a man on him to shadow is every move and deny him the ball. If he tries to post they have two guys collapsing on him.
Right now, the Dragons Kenny Chinn (5-foot-9) is all over Fillmore like a gnat. Fillmore gives a him a shoulder in the chest and knocks him down but no foul is called.
Chinn by the way has three points on runner in the lane and a free-throw.
Two montser blocks by Brandon Walker and Justin Brue sends the Dragons faithful (who were all given free black T-shirts that read “Dragon Pride” by the school) in a frenzy.
Game tied 16-16 3:30 in the second quarter. Shawn Lewis leads all scorers with 9 points.
Early in the first quarter, both teams are struggling to find a rhythm. Acalanes has turned the ball over four times and it looks like there are early jitters.
However, Dons’ Joey Anderson just takes his man to the basket with a strong move and Hunter Hewitt does the same and Acalanes is settling down.
Shawn Lewis is keeping O’Dowd in the game. With a layup around Fillmore and a 3-pointer to tie the game at 10.
Brandon Walker’s 3-pointer just gave O’Dowd a 12-11 lead with under a minute to play.
Bryan Perkins corrals an airball and converts the lay-up and the score is 13-12 Acalanes at the end of the first quarter.
Acalanes outrebounded O’Dowd 9-2 in the period.
The Division III boys NorCal championship between Bishop O’Dowd and Acalanes is about to get under way but first lets compliment the Stockton Arena. It has a “mini-Arco Arena” feel and is great for an event like this. The parking structure is nearly full and more people are coming.
In the Division III girls game, Sacred Heart Cathedral won its second straight NorCal championship, holding off the Dragons late rally and last second shot by Tennesee bound Vicki Baugh to hold on for the 67-65.
The buzzer sounds and Acalanes is looking to repeat its 17-point beat down of the Dragons. The announcer just introduced the Dons and the Acalanes student section is deep. Of course,6-foot-8 senior Jordan Fillmore gets the loudest ovation.