FAIRFIELD — A strong second-half effort from the Armijo High boys basketball team made things interesting Tuesday night, but visiting Vanden held on in the final minute for a 59-53 nonleague victory at E. Gary Vaughn Gymnasium.
Armijo’s Hosea Barfield sank a baseline drive with 1 minute, 8 seconds left in the game to tie it at 50-50 – the second time the Indians (6-2) tied it in the quarter.
Vanden’s Brandon Davis followed with a spin-move layup from the left side that made it 52-50 with 50 seconds remaining.
With just 32 seconds left, Barfield attempted the same play, but missed the shot, and the Indians were forced to start fouling.
It was all Davis from that point as he hit six of the Vikings’ seven free-throw attempts in the final 30 seconds of the game.
“It was huge,” said Vanden coach Micheal Holloway. “Brandon Davis really took on the challenge of being a senior, especially with out main emotional leader out in Leon Williams. The last couple games, Brandon Davis has (taken) on that mantra of being the leader, being the scorer, penetrator. He’s taken on may different roles, so he’s looking real good right now.”
Davis finished with a game-high 22 points and he was a perfect 7 for 7 from the line.
Teammate Jordan Collier added 17 points for Vanden.
For the Vikings, it was a steady early attack that helped keep the Indians at bay before the home team shot 42.4 percent in the second half to close the gap.
Vanden (5-2) led 27-19 at the break and by as much as 10.
“It just took us too long to finally get going and I think, ultimately, the way we played in the first half cost us the game tonight,” Armijo coach Carly Perales said. “We missed a lot of shots in the first two quarters and it looked to me like we were taking it back to the other end and we were letting it affect our defense at the other side instead of playing hard on the defensive side to make up for the fact that the ball wasn’t going through the hoop.”
Armijo shot 25 percent ( 8 for 32) in the first half.
Its defense produced 11 first-half turnovers, but missed shots nullified the extra possessions.
Playing without one of their top players in the injured Troy Anderson, Perales said the Indians need to step it up as a group.
“We’ve got to continue playing basketball, we’re a good team,” he said. “We need to have people step up a little bit more, it doesn’t have to be one person, just collectively everybody’s got to chip in a little bit more, and tonight we didn’t really get that. We had some guys who had some off nights, but the bottom line is, we had our opportunities to win this basketball game and we didn’t make the plays we needed to make.”
Holloway credited Armijo for its strong second half, especially the perimeter shooting.
“We gave them confidence by letting them look at the 3, and they were knocking it down,” Holloway said. “And that’s what we tried to alleviate. (Tyree Carrie), is a real good 3-point shooter as a center, so it was hard to defend.”
Carrie led Armijo with 11 points, including three treys.
Aaron Green also had 11, including the last of Armijo’s three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
The Indians are right back at it, visiting Benicia tonight and the Vikings head to Redwood City to face Sequoia on Friday.
In junior varsity action, Vanden (6-5) rolled to a 61-41 win behind 22 points from Javin White. Tony Terry added 12 for the Vikings.
Armio’s Dae’ron Spencer led his team with 10 and D’mario Johnson added nine.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.