Coming into their game against Terra Nova, Lowell boys’ basketball coach Robert Ray was concerned. His team had not practiced since returning from a tournament in Florida last weekend.
"Our gym is closed [for repairs] and I was a little worried that Terra Nova could take this one," he said following Lowell’s 70-60 win Wednesday.
For a part of the fourth quarter, Ray’s comments seemed entirely prescient. With 3:06 left to play, a 15-6 Terra Nova run had the Tigers (5-4) down only two, with the momentum running completely in their favor.
Ninety seconds later, a goaltending call against Lowell’s Arthur Jones snapped a lightning-like 10-2 run that put the Cardinals (10-1) up 67-59. Lowell cruised the rest of the way.
"Without giving away too much," Ray said, "we know not to panic. We choose when to press and know that we click or go home."
They chose to click, converting two steals and a block on successive plays into six quick points.
Four of those points came on layups by junior point guard Travis Hom, whose seven points overall spoke little of his impact on the game. Hom had a game-high nine assists, which led to four Lowell players scoring in double figures.
"Travis sets the tempo," Ray said, "but we have trust in everyone. I let the team figure it out."
Jordan Wong’s 21 points — including four 3-pointers — led Lowell. Center Pat Schock had 12 points and Alex McNabb 10. Jones had a double-double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Stephen Powell scored 15 points, including a tough jumper in the lane that broke a 47-47 tie with under two minutes remaining in the game, leading the host Knights (10-2) to the win over the Colts (3-8).
The Knights jumped out to a 29-18 halftime lead, but they twice had to fight off spirited runs from the Colts in the second half to pull out the win.
El Camino started the third quarter on a 15-4 run to pull within 34-33, but Stuart Hall responded, getting 3-pointers from Winslow Hicks and John Bickle and a three-point play from Powell to enter the fourth quarter ahead 43-34.
The scrappy Colts continued to fight back, getting eight points from Anthony Smith (21 points, eight rebounds) in a 13-4 run to knot the score up at 47 with three minutes left.
But Powell hit a floater, Jairo Camacho put in a rebound and Kris Suzuki added two foul shots to help the Knights hold off El Camino.
"We didn’t have a good practice yesterday and it showed in the game," said Powell, who also had five rebounds and three assists. "We game out flat offensively, but we dug in on defense and were able to pull it out."
— Will Reisman
Paul Toboni led the Wildcats (6-1) with 20 points and six rebounds in a win against the Mariners (5-6).
After grabbing a 15-13 lead in a tepid the first quarter, St. Ignatius tore the game open in the second period, outscoring Aptos 15-2 for a 30-15 halftime advantage. The Mariners’ only two points in the quarter came on Ryan Rocha free throws with 1:48 left.
Victor Bull dominated down low, scoring 14 points and forcing the Mariners to rely on outside shots that simply weren’t falling. Couple Bull’s defense with his game-high eight rebounds and the Mariners simply couldn’t keep up.
— Amanda Stupi