NCS final: Salesian overcomes COVID, San Ramon Valley for Division II championship
DANVILLE — In December and January, when Salesian Significant was strike with a seemingly countless operate of lousy luck getting generally to do with the COVID-19 virus, the thought of raising a North Coastline Part title pennant seemed just about unthinkable.
However there was the Delight Saturday night time, accepting its initial-location medals and posing for photos with family members pursuing a 49-47 highway earn against best-seeded San Ramon Valley in the North Coastline Segment Division II championship sport.
“There were a good deal of times when we did not visualize this,” Salesian coach Monthly bill Mellis claimed. “I’m proud of these men because they’ve weathered a good deal of storms. We’re ultimately starting up to click.”
Salesian, 13-8, lost a huge chunk of its year mainly because of COVID-19, with a number of players coming back from a preseason event in Las Vegas with the virus and then losing other people for the reason that opponents could not participate in for the very same rationale. Mellis estimates a dozen gamers and coaches were being influenced by the virus at different times.
It was an uphill struggle just to have a postseason, and instead of the Open Division berth Salesian appeared destined for, the Delight have been labeled as Division II. And the title match was an uphill fight as nicely.
San Ramon Valley, 17-9, led 16-8 at the conclusion of the initial quarter, and was up 24-19 at halftime. The Pride lastly tied the game 32-32 immediately after three quarters and by no means led until eventually the fourth.
Senior Austin Johnson led Salesian with 12 details, with Tyler Harris introducing 10 and Evan Goodwin 10. For San Ramon Valley, Mason Thomas scored 10 points, with Parker McClaughery incorporating nine and Duke Beardsley 9.
Salesian in no way led until eventually Goodwin hit a 3-pointer to make it 35-32 with 7:42 still left, San Ramon straight away ran off 10 straight factors for a 42-35 direct with 5 minutes to participate in.
But Salesian stored preventing on both equally sides of the court docket, and the Wolves managed only 5 details in the last five minutes.
A 3-point basket by Eric Watson tied the score 43-43, and the Satisfaction took a lead they by no means relinquished at 45-43 on a pair of foul pictures from Chris Sanders with 57.1 seconds remaining.
Seamus Peely, who experienced minimal fourth-quarter time for the reason that of foul hassle, rattled in a 3-issue basket to get the Wolves within just 48-47 with 3.8 seconds still left, but the Wolves have been not able to provide a wonder end.
“We’ve been up and down this season and this recreation was up and down,” Mellis reported. “I’m proud of how these guys tuck togehter and created it’s possible one particular or two additional plays than the other staff did. I considered San Ramon Valley was terrific. They did a good position.”
The Wolves will advance to the NorCal tournament along with Salesian. Beside’s Peely’s foul problems, the San Ramon also shed Thomas, a freshman guard, just after he took a awful spill with 2:53 to perform and the Wolves primary 43-30. Thomas did not return with a head injury and will be evaluated even further, but was on the courtroom with his relatives just after the recreation.
“I thought we played phenomenal,” San Ramon mentor Brian Botteen said. “We just did not make some vital shots at the stop. They did almost everything they could. We don’t again down from a combat. It stings, but do we analyze almost everything we did incorrect or what could have been? We’ve bought to get all set for a video game on Tuesday.”
Thomas said he started to truly feel great about the Pride’s odds immediately after a major acquire over Benicia to open up the match, but conceded there was a time when it seemed his group was not destined for the form of celebration it liked Saturday night time.
“I love this crew to dying,” Thomas reported. “We generally perform tricky in apply and we persevered by a whole lot. You look at our report and it’s possible imagine we’re form of terrible, but we didn’t treatment about that or what other persons said. We just locked in and played challenging and obtained greater.”