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Posted On: 02/28/18 2:22 PM
Bellflower, Ca. — With the top-seed in Southern California Division I state playoff grouping on the line, St. John Bosco rode the backs of Jonathan Salazar and Josh Adoh to a 72-60 victory over Crespi Tuesday night.
Salazar led the Braves with 22 points, while Adoh added 16. Crespi guard Brandon Williams led all scorers with 31 points and junior forward Kyle Owens pitched in 17.
Though the momentum seemed to favor Bosco (23-7) for the majority of the contest, the Celts (26-4) managed to keep things close throughout, trailing by four, 45-41, heading into the fourth quarter, and cut the deficit to three on a 3-pointer from Brandon Williams with 4:27 left in the fourth.
The Braves pulled away after that, closing the game on a 19-7 run, capped by a windmill slam from Salazar.
Jonathan Salazar is as naturally gifted as they come
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound forward has the uncanny combination of size, strength and explosiveness that makes him a tough cover in both transition and half-court settings. The junior has an inside-out offensive package complete with the ability to stretch the floor from 3-point range, use the dribble to attack the basket off the bounce and operate some in the post. What makes Salazar so effective is his ability to rebound the defensive glass and start the break.
The Braves supporting cast doesn’t get enough credit
While Salazar and Adoh usually get most of the publicity, Bosco’s unsung heroes are really just about every other player that touches the floor. Braves’ coach Matt Dunn isn’t afraid to dig deep into his bench to find someone to produce. Jordan Brown (mentioned below), freshman point guard Boogie Evans and junior wing Jalen Manson came off the bench to contribute.
Brown provided good minutes for Bosco
Six-foot-4 sophomore forward Jordan Brown is a glue-type at this point who came up with timely defensive and offensive rebounds and knocked down a big corner 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter run that helped Bosco pull away. Brown has a solid frame and clears a ton of space in the paint whether it be on a block-out defensively or a post-to-post screen offensively.
Brandon Williams continues to put up big scoring numbers
The 6-foot-3 scoring guard lived up to his reputation, pouring in 31 points before leaving at the 2:03 mark of the game with an apparent foot/ankle tweak after landing awkwardly on a transition finish. Williams is obviously well-known as an explosive three-level scorer, and while he did plenty of that Tuesday, it came at a high volume clip.
Kyle Owens showed why he’s an intriguing prospect
The rangy 6-foot-6 junior got off to a rocky start, but once he settled down and settled in to the flow of the game, he became a match-up problem for the Braves guards and wings. Owens has some throwback type feel to his game where he operates at the mid-range and mid-post levels, moving without the ball and knocking down face-up 15-foot jumpers with consistency. Owens also stepped out and hit a corner 3-pointer.