Exhausted. Everyone on the teams, in the stands and working the game were drained after seven periods in the 3rd place game of the 2018 Cardinal Classic. Half Moon Bay and Jefferson shared the PAL North title together last season. Their past several games have been among the most closely battled in the conference, making the build-up to tonight's non-conference match on a neutral court high. The contest was close all the way. The Cougars finally found the back of the net with their 3-point shots, making 7 of 14 through the first three frames. Combined with a return to 73% free throw shooting through three allowed HMB to take a 7 point lead into the final quarter. But the Grizzlies broke out for 22 in the final eight minutes of regulation and extended the game to overtime. In the final period and again in the second overtime, the Cougars led by four in the final seconds only to allow Jefferson back into the game either by a missed free throw (14 misses in the 3 overtimes), a silly foul, a missed defensive coverage or a great play by Jefferson. Its JJ Cruz brought the Grizzlies back several times, scoring 14 of his 22 in the 4th period and overtimes. Michael Hourani saved the Cougars on a last second contested lay-up at the end of the first overtime and set the model for efficiency (13 points on a perfect 5 for 5 from the field). Lukas Meighan drained 7 treys on his way to a 24 point night, earning all-tournament honors in the process. Cole Anderson's 3 free throws and 3 rebounds in the final 5 minutes of the contest could not have been more timely. Ben McKnight (16 points, 3 rebounds) and Mykola Ediger (12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists) were the other Cougars in double digits. Together with his efforts Thursday and Friday, Mykola also earned all-tournament recognition. The Cougars return to action when they take on the Hillsdale Fighting Nights. Tip off is Friday the 14th at 6:30 pm in an away game.
The Cougars played from behind much of the night, spotting the host Cardinals 5 points in the first quarter (by allowing Lowell 7 offensive rebounds in the frame). They closed to even a handful of times, though the Cardinals broke away strongly at the end of the third quarter and throughout the fourth. Weak perimeter shooting (3 of 20) and a nightmarish 8 of 17 from the charity stripe more than offset strong 2 point attempt shooting (64%), the return of Sorie Syme from concussion protocol and strong defensive pressure and a momentum shifting three from Mario Campbell. Mykola Ediger led the Cougars with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Rishi Raghavan led the Cardinals with 20 points on 8 for 12 shooting. HMB will play Jefferson in the 3rd place game at 5pm Saturday.
Once again the Cougars got off to a slow start, making only 2 of their first 10 shots. The long ball was a challenge the whole first half with HMB only landing 1 of their first 8 three point attempts. Strong defensive play and a spark off the bench from Michael Hourani, Chase Hebb and Sean Ediger were keys to keeping it close as they took a 19-20 deficit into the half time break. The Cougars were a different team in the second half as three quarter and then full court pressure frustrated the Blues. This intensity and aggression provided 11 steals, 2 blocks and 5 offensive rebounds during the game, which were Half Moon Bay's season highs by far. The Cougars also found the cylinder in the final two frames, making 67% of their attempts on more disciplined shot selection. High scoring honors went to Mathew Sherman and Indigo Albani-Bombard of Urban, who each had 15 on 6 of 11 from the floor. The Cougars advance to the semi-finals of the Cardinal Classic with an 8pm Friday tip-off against host team Lowell.
The visiting Cougars struggled from the field in the first half of the contest making only 8 of their 30 attempts. So it was remarkable that they took a 21-20 lead into the half time break as the host Falcons were similarly challenged. Scotts Valley benefited from high free throw accuracy throughout the game, though (91% to HMB's 44%), and took a small advantage into the fourth quarter. The Cougars shot 65% from the field in the second half and pulled away in the final frame. This year's HMB varsity team is not blessed with size, making tonight's match-up at center critical. Their Ryan Harris has a 4 inch height advantage to our Cole Anderson. Harris led the Falcons to victory last weekend against Stevenson, scoring 29 on 13 of 16 shooting. But tonight, Anderson out-played Harris and displayed excellent footwork in the process. Cole scored 8 on 4 for 7 shooting. He also led the team with 8 rebounds. Ryan was held to 6 points on 2 for 5 shooting. The Cougars return to action Thursday night at 4:45pm, taking on Urban in the first game of Lowell's Cardinal Classic Tournament.
Both teams started cold in the Cougar's home opener vd. Wallenberg. Mykola Ediger's 12 first half points, a late first quarter spark off the bench from Michael Hourani and consistent strong defensive play allowed Half Moon Bay to take a 27-14 advantage into half time. HMB extended the lead to 17 after three. The Bulldogs took advantage of a 4th quarter decline in the Cougar's defensive efforts to close to 11 by the final buzzer. Ben McKnight led all scorers with 17 including 8 for 10 from the line in the second half. Laray Crossley led the Bulldogs with 12. Finals score HMB 52 Wallenberg 41.
Half Moon Bay traveled to Modesto Saturday for a rematch of last year's second round C.I.F. NorCal quarterfinals game against Central Catholic. This year both teams had been moved up to Division 3. The Raiders exploited 13 first half turnovers by the Cougars and a 18 to 6 Raider advantage on the foul line to take a 33-22 lead into halftime. Four Cougars were in foul trouble with 3 each as a result of the season (decade?) leading 15 fouls called against them in the half. The Half Moon Bay team focused on what they could control and after sliding further to a 24-40 deficit midway into the third quarter, the Cougars fought back to within 5 points at the end of the third and to within 3 with 54 seconds left in the game. More than offsetting zero 4th quarter turnovers, though, HMB went 0 for 7 from 3 in the final frame which ultimately stymied their rally. While their defense held Central Catholic to 36% shooting on the night, the Cougars own struggles with field goal accuracy, early turnovers and the 13 free throw attempt imbalance on the night proved too much. Sam Treanor led all scorers with 21 points, including 10 of 11 from the line. Ethan Menzies added 17 points, 6 blocks and 6 rebounds. Gavin Tomberlin contributed 10 rebounds. The Raiders were led by senior guard Joshua Hamilton, with 19 points (10 of 14 from the line; 4 of 11 from the field). Half Moon Bay closes out its season with a 25-6 record and having achieved their primary objective of securing a CCS Division Championship.
Half Moon Bay survived a tough battle against Rio Americano in the first round of the CIF Division 3 state tournament. It took advantage of Raider turnovers and played tough defense in extending to a 25-17 lead with 1.8 seconds left in the first half. This was accomplished despite shooting only 33% from the field in the first two frames. A buzzer beating banked three at the end of the half and a strong Rio Americano start in to the second half had the teams knotted up at 32-32 with 3:24 left in the third. The boys exchanged baskets for the next 8 minutes with the teams still tied at 45 with 4:26 left in the game. At this point, HMB Senior Sam Treanor stepped up and took control of the contest. His ball control, 9 fourth quarter points and a steal, aided by a Gavin Tomberlin three and a pair of free throws from Danny Mack sealed the Cougar victory. Treanor led all HMB scorers with 16 points and 3 assists. Tomberlin added 8 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. The Raiders were led in scoring by Jake Paxton with 17 and big man J. Roth with 14. The Cougars return to action Saturday evening in Modesto, facing #4 seed Central Catholic.
With an explosive 16-0 run in the first 4:37 of the second half, Half Moon Bay took a commanding lead in the CCS D4 Championship Game at Santa Clara University's Leavey Center. It finished the 3rd quarter leading by 18 after outscoring Santa Cruz 25-5 in the set. Santa Cruz was never able to bring the game back to within single digits thereafter. The contest had been a see-saw battle to that point with the Cougars giving back a 7 point 2nd quarter lead to the Cardinals who had finished the first half on a 9-0 run. The evening started with a quick and athletic Santa Cruz team in full court press mode. Five first quarter HMB turn overs neutralized any offensive advantage the Cougars may have enjoyed. Field Marshall Sam Treanor's lead of the press break the balance of the game allowed HMB to run its offense which included alley-oop passes from both David Billington and Gavin Tomberlin to Ethan Menzies who finished with crowd inspiring dunks. Perhaps the most memorable play of the game and the tournament was in the third quarter when Menzies took on two Cardinal defenders and drove strongly to the hoop, posterizing the SC defender with a jam and being awarded an and-one in the process. The HMB bench, which together with the partisan HMB crowd had been true 6th men, were charged a bench technical for excessive celebration. Notwithstanding brief runs by both teams thereafter, the two opponents played evenly the rest of the night. The Cougars game plan had been to run their offense, distribute the ball and look for their best opportunities. It quickly became apparent, though, that the Cardinals had no answer for Menzies. Ethan finished the night with 38 points on 17 for 23 from the field and 4 of 4 from the line. He owned the glass with 15 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Treanor finished with 10 points. Tomberlin added 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Strong defensive play down low by Hayden Von Almen and Danny Mack were critical to the Cougars 2nd and 3rd quarter runs. Leading the way for the Cardinals were Max Dehart with 14, Jeremiah Elmore with 12 and reserve guard, Makai Norman, with 11. The victory marks the first CCS Boys Basketball Championship for Half Moon Bay since 1996 and Coach John Parsons' first both as a player and as a head coach. Both teams have qualified for the CIF NorCal tournament which begins Wednesday where they will be facing opponents to be announced Sunday evening.
The CCS Division 4 semi-final game was a rematch of the February 10th non-conference contest between Half Moon Bay and Carmel. It had been a battle of the big men with 6'7" Cougar Ethan Menzies with 26 points on 12 of 13 shooting besting 6'5" Padre JT Byrne with 15. Carmel's strategy was to focus on Menzies and prevent that from happening again. The Cougars led by 2 at the end of the 1st with Byrne accounting for ALL of the Padres scoring and as importantly, getting Menzies into early foul trouble. An 11-2 HMB burst at the beginning of the second quarter, led by Cougar 6th man, David Billingon's deep threes, took advantage of the Padres zone defense. Carmel fought back early in the 3rd quarter as the Cougars missed their first 7 shots and Carmel went on a 6-0 run cutting their deficit to 33-32 at the 5:51 mark. After a John Parsons time out, the Cougars regained form with two more Billington threes extending HMB to a 6 point lead at the end of three. Ten of the Cougars' 15 points in the final frame came from the line as the Padres' focus shifted to the foul/free throw/possession game. Sam Treanor led HMB scorers with 21 points (including 9 of 12 from the line). David Billington had 17 including 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. Menzies was held to 3 points, but his 13 rebounds (10 second half) and 2 blocked shots were critical to HMB's defensive effort. JT Byrne finished with 21 points for Carmel. The Cougars play for the CCS D4 Championship Saturday against Santa Cruz at a site and time yet to be announced.
The CCS Division 4 semi-final game was a rematch of the February 10th non-conference contest between Half Moon Bay and Carmel. It had been a battle of the big men with 6'7" Cougar Ethan Menzies with 26 points on 12 of 13 shooting besting 6'5" Padre JT Byrne with 15. Carmel's strategy was to focus on Menzies and prevent that from happening again. The Cougars led by 2 at the end 1 with Byrne accounting for ALL of the Padres scoring and as importantly, getting Menzies into early foul trouble. But an 11-2 HMB burst at the beginning of the second quarter, led by Cougar 6th man, David Billingon's deep threes, took advantage of the Padres zone defense. Carmel fought back early in the 3rd quarter as the Cougars missed their first 7 shots and Carmel went on a 6-0 run cutting their deficit to 33-32 at the 5:51 mark. After a John Parsons time out, the Cougars regained form with two more Billington threes extending HMB to a 6 point lead at the end of three. Ten of the Cougars' 15 points in the final frame came from the line as the Padres' focus shifted to the foul/free throw/possession game. Sam Treanor led HMB scorers with 21 points (including 9 of 12 from the line). David Billington had 17 including 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. Menzies was held to 3 points, but his 13 rebounds (10 second half) and 2 blocked shots were critical to HMB's defensive effort. JT Byrne finished with 21 points for Carmel. The Cougars play for the CCS D4 Championship Saturday against Santa Cruz at a site and time yet to be announced.