Vikings fall to Cougars in NorCal boys quarterfinals

By From page B1 | March 16, 2014

16 bball 1

Vanden's Thomas Avent, left, drives to the basket against Campolindo's Andrew Zolintakis during the NorCal Division III boys basketball quarterfinals at Campolindo High School in Moraga, Saturday. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

MORAGA — Same team, different gym, worse result.

The last time the Vanden High boys basketball team went against Campolindo it was on a neutral floor on Dec. 20 and the Vikings fell 66-47. This time around, the Cougars hosted Vanden in the quarterfinals of the Northern California Regionals and routed the Vikings 96-64, Saturday.

Campolindo (23-7) made its first nine shots of the fourth quarter and didn’t miss until 1 minute, 52 seconds was left in the game, already outscoring Vanden 25-14 in the quarter to that point to lead 92-61.

“They seemed to impose their will as far as physicality,” Vikings coach Micheal Holloway said. “We didn’t match their intensity and they took control. . . . They were pushing and we didn’t push back. They made every shot even when we pressed.”

Once the third-seeded Cougars got going, they did not stop, scoring 26 points in both the second and third quarters, topping it all off with 29 in the fourth.

The Vikings (20-12) couldn’t match that pace and didn’t score more than 16 points in any quarter and only had the lead for 4 minutes, 42 seconds of the game.

Vanden was competitive in the first quarter, especially on its first basket of the game as DeMarre Walker hit Jihad Woods on an alley-oop, making it a 2-1 with 6:10 left in the first quarter.

Vanden went on an early 6-2 run and then the home team called a timeout with 4:29 to go in the first period.

After the timeout, Campolindo went on a 10-1 run and had a 13-9 advantage.

Woods put Vanden within 13-12 with a 3-pointer at the 1 minute mark from the top of the key, but that was the last lead of the game for the visitors.

The Vikings’ next basket would not come until 6:12 was left in the second quarter as Thomas Avent hit a pull-up jumper to cut the deficit to 21-14.

Avent had six points in the second quarter, but it was not nearly enough as the Vikings found themselves down 41-26 at the half.

Campolindo outrebounded Vanden 17-6 in the first half and only turned the ball over twice compared to the Vikings’ seven.

“When we start a front of 6-7 and 6-8, we don’t expect to have only six rebounds at halftime,” Holloway said. “We were competitive in the beginning but did not match what Campolindo brought.”

Vanden did better in the second half on the boards as it grabbed 16 rebounds compared to the Cougars’ 15, but that doesn’t help much when a team is shooting 68 percent (21 for 31) in the second half.

Campolindo made the most out of its offense as it scored on 15 of its 23 possessions in the third quarter.

Justin Dunn of the Cougars topped all scorers with 21 points, while Woods led the Vikings with 15.

“We have to play basketball the right way,” Holloway said. “Talent-wise we can play with anybody. When we want to go 1-on-1, thats when we lose games.

“We have to go into the spring and summer and learn to play the right way if we want to play on this level against these types of teams,” Holloway said.

Of the success the Vikings had this year, Holloway said it was a fantastic season.

“Winning our first SCAC championship and making our first NorCals appearance, both since (19)96-97 season, has been impressive,” the coach said. “To do it with a young group, a group that I have had and will have for three years, is exciting.”

Marcus Lomtong


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