Capital Christian came on strong offensively and defensively to overtake the Del Oro’s boys basketball team in the fourth quarter on Saturday.
They went on to post a 60-49 win over the Golden Eagles in the finals of the Del Oro Invitational tournament.
“They really amped up their defensive pressure in the fourth quarter,” Del
Oro coach Geoff Broyles said. “I thought we had some good looks, but the ball didn’t go down for us. … Give credit to them. They defended really well in the fourth quarter.”
Del Oro (4-1) had a 45-38 lead late in the third quarter when Ryan Takayama drilled his third 3-pointer of the game. But Capital Christian’s Uchenna Iroebgu, who tallied a game-high 20 points, knocked down a three of his own to bring his team within four at the start of the final quarter.
That’s when tournament MVP Nifae Lealao Jr., a 6-foot-6, 275-pound junior, took over. Lealao scored 14 points on the night, and the Eagles had no answer to stop the big man inside the paint.
Del Oro jumped out to a 16-11 lead in the middle of the first stanza after connecting on four shots beyond the arch.
The Eagles, however, would only make one more 3-pointer the rest of the night, shooting 5-for-15 from 3-point land.
“At first we were making a lot of shots, but the fourth quarter came around and we couldn’t really make any shots in the fourth quarter,” said
Takayama, who led Del Oro with 12 points. “We played really well as a team the first three quarters, that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Del Oro opened the tournament on Thursday with an easy, 85-38, win over Paradise in the first round.
“It was good to get a lot of different players in tonight like we did and get the win,” said Del Oro coach Geoff Broyles after the game.”
Thirteen different players reached the scoring column for the Golden Eagles.
However, one player who didn’t score for Del Oro was 6-foot-5-inch junior forward Kyle Setterlund, who watched the game sitting next to Broyles after going down with a season-ending ACL knee injury in last Tuesday’s 58-43 win over Mira Loma.
“With Kyle not in there we have to change our game a little,” said Broyles. “It’s a tough injury because he was playing so well for us.”
With Setterlund idle on the sidelines, the Golden Eagles were fueled by different sources as Keenan Finney, a 6-4 junior, scored 17 points, mostly in the first half when the hosts ran out to a 48-26 cushion by intermission.
Also scoring for the winners were Mason Curry, who added 11 points; 6-8 junior Connor Drake, who followed with 10 points; and Trevor Pistochini and Collin Mitchell, who chipped in with nine points each.
In Friday’s 70-51 semi-final round win over River City, yet another source in the form of Jack Huizenga helped power the Eagles.
With Huizenga scoring 17 points – including a couple of throw down dunks, Del Oro led 38-25 by halftime and 58-37 at the end of three quarters.
Drake chipped in with 11 points; while Freeman added 10; Finney eight; Takayama six and Pistochini five.