February 20, 2020

High school basketball: Mitty handles Serra on Senior Night

SAN JOSE — Fresh off a road victory to create a three-way tie atop the West Catholic Athletic League boys basketball standings, No. 6-ranked Archbishop Mitty found itself trailing at home Friday night with halftime fast approaching.

No. 11 Serra, which wasn’t yet mathematically eliminated from even an outright WCAL title, came out firing from beyond the arc.

But the well ran dry over a span of 8-plus minutes as the host Monarchs scored 19 unanswered to set the stage for a 68-48 triumph on Senior Night in San Jose.

“We really tried to focus on running them out of the 3-point line, because they hurt us in that first quarter,” Mitty coach Tim Kennedy said. “That was a point of emphasis, most of the shots were contested and we did a good job of limiting them to one shot. And then we’re at our best when we’re going downhill in transition.”

The Monarchs (19-4, 10-3) remain deadlocked for first place with Bellarmine and Archbishop Riordan, which both held serve on the road.

It’s quite likely Mitty can claim at least a share of the title next week, with an outright crown a slim possibility.

“It’s what we’re going to have to deal with,” Mitty senior Marcus Greene said. “We’ll take it.”

Nothing is guaranteed, though.

A week ago, Mitty lost 55-54 at St. Ignatius. Friday night, Valley Christian avoided going winless in the WCAL with a 65-61 squeaker at S.I.

Mitty closes out its regular season at Valley (9-14, 1-12).

“It’s on the road, it’s a WCAL game, it’s an earlier game, it’s a 4 o’clock game, so there’s always going to be that challenge,” Kennedy said.

Serra (16-7, 8-5), which is now eliminated from title contention, led 15-12 after the first quarter and clung to a 23-20 edge with 4:21 left until halftime as Antonio Abeyta and Dimitri Koutsogeorgas had combined for 16 points and four 3-pointers.

The Padres didn’t score again until a layup by Abeyta with 3:59 left in the third quarter.

“When we hit shots, our defense had energy,” Serra interim coach Brian Carson said. “And when we started missing shots, then our defense didn’t have any energy. So we let our offense affect our defense, and we just can’t do that.”

Mitty closed out the first half on a 10-0 run, then put up another nine quick points — including a 3-pointer by junior Michael Mitchell and a floater by Greene, both contributing 11 points apiece.

Trailing 39-23, the Padres never recovered.

“We’ve been really focusing on the third quarter the last few games,” Mitchell said.

The Monarchs, with wins in six out of seven games during the second half of the WCAL slate, had three other players crack doubles digits, with Mason Ryan, Arrish Bandhal and Nigel Burris each scoring 13.

“It’s been great,” Greene said. “We really hit our stride together as a team, got things flowing.”

Abeyta finished with a game-high 16 points, as the Padres prepare to take the road for a season-finale at rival St. Ignatius.

“We told the kids in the locker room that we’ll start with practice …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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