The cardinals push Saint Francis of the WCAL to the edge before the faults wreak havoc
MOUNTAIN VIEW – Junior Aden Cury, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound goalie / forward, put Santa Cruz High on his broad shoulders for 3 3/4 quarters in the Joe Schram Holiday Basketball Classic Championship on Thursday night. But when he fouled, the Cardinals’ backs were broken.
The Cardinals, the reigning Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League champion and Central Coast Section Division IV runner-up, saw their offer to stun Saint Francis of the mighty West Catholic Athletic League fail, 65-55, in the tournament in front of an energetic, masked crowd.
“We had no place in this game,” said Cury. “They thought they were going to come fuck us up, forgive my language, but I really think we showed what we were doing. I really think if there had been a shot or two a whistle didn’t sound and a whistle sounded, that was our game, honestly.
Cury had 25 points and 10 rebounds when he committed his fifth personal foul with 2:29 left and the Cardinals (9-3) trailing five points, 58-53. The Lancers (8-2) outscored the Cardinals 7-2 over the home stretch, with all seven runs coming from the free throw line.
The game was physical, hotly contested and fluid for most of the first three quarters, but officials used their whistles for the final eight minutes. The Lancers had 21 free throws in the fourth quarter – they made 18 – while the Cardinals shot 5 of 6 from the line in the last stanza.
Santa Cruz had 10 free throws in total compared to 30 for the Lancers.
“I feel like the refs got the upper hand more than they should have, stepped out of their seats, honestly,” Cury said. “That’s what it is, I can’t blame the refs. They scored more than us. It’s like that.”
Cardinals coach Lawan Milhouse said, “If you’ve got a team that’s not from your area, a public school that’s competing with a Catholic school, come on, give them their due. My children have well deserved their due. And I have the impression that the referees took it from them. I’m not gonna lie, I feel like they took it from them.
Santa Cruz got off to a good start and led up to seven points, 11-4, behind a strong defensive rebound and solid ball swing in the first quarter. Kosi Warren-House elicited a loud roar from the crowd as he led the pitch and divided defenders Harlan Banks and Tim Netane for a one-handed traffic jam.
“These last two games have been a battle but that’s what we thrive on,” said Warren-House. “We know we’re not going to win every game by 20. Some games are going to be a chore. Today was just a chore.
But the Lancers’ height advantage was significant as they came back with a bang. They had four shots on a possession in the second quarter, with goaltender Thomas Motil’s 3-pointer tying the score to 17.
The teams traded heads 10 times over the next 10:48.
Cury was a force in the third quarter, when he scored nine points. His last field goal came on a basket and basket as he was a three-man team, prompting him to scream and flex before making his way to the foul line. He missed the free throw, but the Cardinals had a 43-39 lead in the fourth quarter.
“Aden showed on a big stage what kind of a player he is,” said Milhouse. “He showed on a big stage where he is. They were looking for guys to watch him. Not a single one knew how to keep it. And that’s how it is, inside, outside, mid-shift, everywhere. He was a leader tonight. He led and that’s what I want from him. He did a great job tonight.
Cury and Netane, a 6-4 forward, shared a colorful dialogue throughout their search for position at both ends of the pitch.
“I told him he was too small, and-a, look down, a little bit of everything. You have to throw the whole bag in a game like this, ”Cury said.
Netane said: “It was back and forth. He had me a lot in the first half, especially in the third quarter, but I was able to have him, I guess, in the end. It was good to fight with him. It was a fun game.
The players praised each other for its competitive nature.
“It just adds more fuel to the fire, more competition, especially coming from a tough WCAL league,” Netane said. “We’re used to playing harder teams. For them, playing with that chip on their shoulder not only made it harder, but also a better game for us. ”
The Cardinals have managed just three field goals in the last eight minutes, a 3 point from Cury and layups from Langston Burkett and Warren-House. Still, the teams found themselves deadlocked the eighth and final time at 52-all with four minutes to go.
Warren-House scored 11 points, each in a rush worthy of a highlighted cover. Senior guard Matt Burns scored eight points and second-year forward Ben Dotten added six points.
Banks, a 6-3 goaltender, finished with a team-high 16 points for the Lancers. Netane and 6-6 goalkeeper Vince Barringer each scored 13 points and Motil added 10.
Cury finished with 56 points and 44 rebounds in three games, but was snubbed by the all-tournament team. He had 11 points and 20 rebounds, a season-high, in a 37-35 win over Cupertino in Wednesday’s semifinal, and 20 points and 14 rebounds in a 66-40 win over Tamalpais in the first Tuesday round.
” I do not care. Either way, ”Cury said. “I think everyone knows what should have happened, what didn’t happen. It’s perfect.”
Cury was told by a Lancers employee working the clock that he hadn’t won all the tournaments because of his attitude, which infuriated Milhouse enough, that he told Lancers coach Mike Motil that Santa Cruz wouldn’t return to the tournament afterwards. year.
“I am 100% surprised that he did not succeed,” said Milhouse. “But then you tell a teenager that he doesn’t go to every tournament because of his attitude. Why? He was playing basketball. The same as any other kid in America does while he plays, he’s horny, turns his teammates on, leads his team, and you tell him he hasn’t made it to all the tournaments because of his attitude. It shows me how it is here (in Mountain View). And it’s good. Our guys competed and that’s what we want them to do.
Teammates Burns and Warren House received honors in all tournaments.
“We spoke after the game so I think we’ll be fine,” the Lancers coach, an Aroma resident, said of his conversation with Milhouse. “I think we’ll find out. Lawan and I have a long history and a long relationship, so we’ll talk about it.