Bulldog Gavin Maloney drains a trey from the side. CCSR photo Arnold J. Roe
Keyshawn Thomas hits a jumper in the paint. CCSR photo Arnold J. RoeThe Berrendo Bulldogs came into Mountain View Middle School as the underdog Tuesday afternoon. They were not deterred by that label and mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter to win the game 27-24 in the first game of the 7th grade championship.
Down 8-17 at the half, the Bulldogs continued to fight despite shooting troubles early in the game.
“At half time I told them the big difference is we’re playing great defense, playing good offense, the biggest difference is I felt we were shooting five baskets to their one. Difference is their’s was going in and ours weren’t. ” Berrendo head coach Mike Guerrero said.
That was certainly the case for the Bulldogs in the first half as many of their possessions resulted in three or more offensive rebounds, and no points.
The did get some key baskets from Gavin Maloney and Z. Carrillo in the third. The duo combined for seven points in the period in brought their team within three heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was the turning point for the Bulldogs. After trading baskets for the first half of the quarter, Gavin Garcia would knock down a huge three to tie the game. at 22 all. Mountain View’s Keyshawn Thomas would answer with a nifty little post move to give the Mustangs a 24-22 lead. V. Bolanos would knock down a huge triple for Berrendo, giving them the first lead of the entire game, and seemingly getting the Bulldogs out of a funk they’ve been facing all season.
Bulldog Jake Sartain chases down a rebound and looks to pass underneath. CCSR photo Arnold J. Roe“The shooting all year has been killing us,” Guerrero said. “Then Gavin Maloney hit that one three and then Gavin Garcia hit that one three and it seemed like they kind of relaxed. Our big guys finally got some baskets underneath the basket and were being a little bit more physical.”
A few free throws from Maloney would ice the game. Guerrero said he was pleased to see his team play with such heart and never give up.
“...I was very proud of my kids. They never gave up,” he said. “We’ve been kind of inconsistent all year and I felt like they really wanted this game tonight. No one gave us a chance. [We were]The dark horse, and we pulled through and won it.
They go to Sierra Thursday Feb. 28 where Guerrero said a powerhouse awaits them. He’s hoping his kids will take the same mindset and heart into that game, as they had in Tuesday’s game.
“I’ve told them all year, we’ve yet to see their best basketball,” he said. “Tonight it all came down to who wanted it more. We knew Mountain View, Sierra and us, it was going to be a battle all year long. Hopefully one of us will sneak up on Mesa. Mesa is hands down the best seventh grade team, so hopefully one of us can sneak up on them and go from there.
Alonzo Grujeda gets fouled going up for a shot. CCSR photo Arnold J. RoeMaloney led the Bulldogs in scoring with seven points, while
Jake Sartain chipped in six. For Mountain View, Thomas led all scorers with 11, while Isaiah Pacheco tallied six.