HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Crusaders top Sedro-Woolley in Walter Wong Classic
A late start to the season hasn't slowed down the Saint Louis basketball team.
Jamison Miller, a 6-foot-5 forward, scored eight of his 14 points in the first 4 minutes of the second half and the Crusaders never trailed in defeating Sedro-Woolley (Wash.) 72-37 to end the first day of the Walter Wong Holiday Classic at McCabe Gym.
Junior Dean Viena added a team-high 15 points off the bench and Moses Samia had eight points and seven rebounds for the Crusaders, who are the two-time defending champions in this tournament.
"This team is playing well and has done a good job of molding with each other in a short amount of time," Saint Louis coach Delbert Tengan said.
The Crusaders didn't start practicing until the beginning of the month and last night's game was just their fifth of the season.
Saint Louis struggled shooting the ball early, but still managed to lead 17-5 at the end of the first quarter as it dominated on the glass. The short-handed Cubs were outrebounded 36 to 17 and couldn't handle the Crusaders' muscle inside.
Ethan Brown had 20 of the Cubs' 37 points, including nine in the second quarter as the Cubs pulled to within 13 at halftime.
"Our guards were settling for perimeter jump shots," Tengan said. "We wanted to attack the free-throw line and in and we started to get more out of the low post."
Saint Louis opened the second half making more of an effort to pound the ball inside and went on a 16-5 run to lead 46-22.
"Coach told us to look inside more," Miller said. "We came out tired and weren't motivated in the first half, but got it going after halftime."
The Crusaders led 50-29 at the end of the third quarter and used the final eight minutes to get some of their bench players extra minutes.
Viena made the most of the extra time with 11 of his 15 points coming in the final quarter and Kamakani Usui added six points in the period.
"It was good to get the second group some minutes and I thought they played well," Tengan said.
Sedro-Woolley junior Taylor Pedroza scored eight points and David Janicki added six. The Cubs arrived at the gym at 3 p.m. and had to sit through three games before finally taking the court.
The Crusaders will play Deer Creek from Oklahoma in today's second semifinal game at 7:30 p.m.
It isn't the first good team from the mainland the Crusaders have played this year. Saint Louis opened its season against Rice ( N.Y.) in the Iolani Classic, a team ranked 10th in the country.
"We're going to have to play better against Deer Creek," Tengan said. "We've faced some good competition this year and it's going to help us when the (ILH) regular season starts."
One of Saint Louis' biggest strengths this season is its depth, and it was evident last night. Eleven different Crusaders scored and Cole Shidaki scored all six of his points in the first quarter, allowing the rest of the team to take over from there.
Micah McClinton and Michael Tuiloma both finished with six points and Tuiloma added seven rebounds and two assists.
Martin Luther King (Calif.) 65, Saint Louis II 28
Eric Wise poured in 12 points to lead the Wolves past the Crusaders.
Kawhi Leonard had all nine of his points in the first half as Martin Luther King led 40-10 at halftime.
Brandon McKee paced the Crusaders with 11 points.
Cimarron Memorial (Nev.) 82, Academy of the Pacific 14
Mike Cutright scored the first 10 points of the game and finished with a game-high 20 as the Spartans routed the Dolphins.
Dillon Brummett nailed three 3-pointers and added 13 points for Cimarron.
Brad Foster had eight points for AOP, which was outscored 39-2 in the second half.
Deer Creek (Okla.) 44, Cypress (Calif.) 43
Kyle Ferguson hit a jumper with 8 seconds left to give the Antlers the slim victory.
Josh Phillips led Deer Creek with 14 points, as the Antlers never led in the game until Ferguson's shot.
Justin Delinger scored 14 points and Shane Rothman added 10 for Cypress.