The Cougars passed their biggest test so far this 2014-15 season with a hard fought win over the St. Patrick-St. Vincent Bruins today @ the MLK Showcase held @ Piedmont HS.
The Bruins came into the game 15-2, with their 2 losses against NORCAL powers De La Salle and El Cerrito. Both those teams play at an ELITE level and have excellent opportunities to play in the OPEN division of NORCALS. They are very talented, well-coached by Derek Walker and battle-tested. Last season, they took Moreau Catholic, the NORCAL Div. 4 champions, to double OT in the NORCAL semis, before falling just short 73-71.
The game started out like a heavyweight fight as both team landed some blows early, but didn't score many points as the 1st quarter ended with and 8-8 tie.
But, in the 2nd quarter the Cougars turned up their half court man-to-man defense holding the Bruins to just 7 points while tallying 17 to take a 25-16 halftime lead.
The Cougars continued their tough D into the 3rd quarter and extended their lead to 39-25 heading into the final quarter. But, the Bruins are champions for a reason as they begun to force a few Cougar mistakes to close the gap to 40-33.
The game see-sawed from there as both teams traded points until the end.
Final score Cougars 51, Bruins 45.
The Cougars were led by Austin Hilton's 15 points. Tommy Nuno added 12, Case DuFrane added 11 and Jake Salinero chipped in 9, including 7 free throws.
This was a very intense game for mid-January and one that will benefit both teams moving forward. Great competition to celebrate the MLK weekend. Both teams played very hard and both teams have a good chance to play deep into the March calendar.
There might even be a SEQUEL in the future, with much more at stake.
Next up for the Cougars are the Terra Nova TIgers on the road. The Tigers are tied for first place in the PAL-North, so this game will be a good one. 7;45p tip-off this Friday.
Need the Cougar Nation to be at that game in full force.
Cougars improve to 17-0 on the season.