Archbishops Excommunicate Pilots from Tournament, 67-61
The St. Joseph Notre Dame (SJND) men’s basketball team’s run toward a NorCal open division championship ended after a 67-61 loss to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose last Friday, March 10.
The contest was a first round match up in the California Interscholastic Federation NorCal tournament between the three-seed Pilots and the six-seed Monarchs. The game was played at the Pilots’ home gym.
The Pilots had to overcome a huge hurdle in the contest because they were without star player Jadé Smith. Smith, a senior, was serving the second game of a two-game suspension. Smith was given the suspension after he was given two technicals and ejected from the Pilots North Coast Section (NCS) Div. IV semifinal game against Stuart Hall of San Francisco on March 1. Per league rules, players who are ejected from a game are handed an automatic two-game suspension.
The Pilots were able to keep the game close early on. They trailed 19-16 at the end of the first quarter. SJND remained in contention at the end of the second quarter, but the Monarchs had stretched its lead to 38-30 at halftime.
The game slipped away from the Pilots in the third period. SJND was outscored 19-10 in the third quarter. The 17-point deficit was too much for the Pilots to overcome. The Pilots did outscore the Monarchs 21-10 in the final quarter, but it was not enough to get the victory.
The Monarchs used size advantage to dominate the paint. Mitty forwards Riley Grigsby and Mike Diaz were effective down low in the contest. Grigsby scored 19 points. Diaz chipped in 16 points. Guard Joseph Vaughn supplied the perimeter scoring with four 3-pointers. He finished with 16 points.
The Pilots were paced by junior Cameron Ba. He led the team with 18 points. Senior Darne Duckett scored 14 points.
The loss ended the Pilots’ 28-game winning streak. The Pilots season ends with the team amassing a 30-2 overall record. The Pilots only other loss came against Modesto Christian, 72-60, on Dec. 3. The team went the entire months of January and February without a loss. The Pilots won the Bay Counties East League and the NCS Div. IV title after a 63-33 win over Lick-Wilmerding of San Francisco.
The Pilots won the CIF Div. V title last year in a 55-50 victory over St. Bernard of Playa del Rey.
The Pilots women’s basketball team advanced to the NorCal Div. IV semifinal after defeating Marin Catholic of Kentfield 52-40 Saturday, March 11. The second-seeded Pilots played Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton on Tuesday in the semifinal.
Pilot freshman Malia Mastora led the team in scoring with 20 points in the quarterfinal against Marin Catholic. The Pilots used defense to put the Wildcats away. They held Marin Catholic to just 16 second-half points. Sophomore Zhane Duckett accumulated three blocks and three steals in the game.
The Pilots thumped Live Oak in the opening round 72-25 on March 8.