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Posted On: 03/3/18 7:04 PM
Mission Bay capped off a historic season Friday night with a 52-42 win over a shorthanded Foothills Christian in the CIF Open Division Championship.
It wasn’t the prettiest affair – the teams shot a combined 35 percent and 30 turnovers – but the Buccaneers were able to hold off a late push from the Knights to seal the school’s first title since 2007.
What were some of the keys to the Mission Bay victory? Prep Hoops gives you some of the key takeaways
Mission Bay has been at its best this season when they spread the scoring out as close to even as possible, given they have such a prolific scoring threat as Boogie Ellis. Saturday night, three Buccaneers (Ellis, Andre Scott, Savaughn Davis) scored in double figures, which is usually a winning formula for the team.
Scott, a 6-1 combo guard, was impressive in the first half, when he scored 9 of his 11 points. Davis was huge in the fourth quarter, scoring six points in very critical moments.
Ellis led Mission Bay with 16 points, but only scored 2 after halftime, making his teammates contributions even more important.
Mission Bay essentially took control of the game in the first quarter, when they jumped out to a 24-9 lead, a margin they wouldn’t relinquish. The team’s 2-2-1 press was a big reason, as Foothills guards turned the ball over on multiple possessions leading to easy points on the other end.
The Knights would make the adjustment later in the game, but the damage was already done.
Gharram, a 6-2 point guard, was bloodied after the game, a testament to how hard he played in a losing effort. He led all scorers with 17 points and collected 12 rebounds and hit big shots in the Knights second half comeback. Known for his court vision, Gharram showed the ability to score from midrange and get to the free throw line regularly. His shooting from the perimeter is streaky, but improved over the year.
Gharram should be a guard that, at the very least, mid major programs should monitor during the summer.
Ellis took the arithmetic out of the debate of CIF Player of the Year after beating his closest competition, Torrey Pines G Finn Sullivan, in this week’s instant classic victory. With Foothills Christian F Taeshon Cherry out of the running, it’s Ellis’ title to win.
He did his best to seal the deal Saturday with a 16 point performance, which included 4 three pointers in the Bucs’ opening-quarter blitz. Ellis also showed some toughness finishing plays through contact, an area he has grown significantly in his junior year.
Foothills Christian’s game plan was dramatically altered by the absence of Cherry, who was reportedly expelled from school on Friday. Without their leading scorer and rebounder and interior presence, Foothills struggled to keep Bucs C Ronnie Latting off the boards (12 rebounds) and couldn’t stop the Bucs dribble penetration. Savaughn Davis was able to get into the teeth of the defense on two possessions late in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach.