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February 24, 2010 > Newark Memorial wins MVAL

Newark Memorial wins MVAL

By Biff Jones
Photos By William Mancebo

Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) and Bay Counties League (BCL) each had boys basketball post season league tournaments last week, using the Shaughnessy format (four-team, single-elimination tournament; no.-one seed must be beaten twice).

League tournament winners automatically qualify for the North Coast Section (NCS) Tournament in six divisions based on school enrollment. Leagues without a post season tournament, such as the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL), send the regular season champion to NCS post season play with the automatic bid.

In the BCL Tournament played on the campus of Fremont Christian High School, one semifinal had the second-seeded hosts face off against no.-three California School for the Deaf (CSD) Eagles on Wednesday, Feb. 17. In the other semifinal, no.-one Emery High School played no.-four Chinese Christian High School of San Leandro.

CSD and the Warriors split their two regular season games, both winning at home. In the rubber match, the teams played even through the first quarter with Fremont taking a 13-11 lead. Second quarter was all Warriors as CSD could not get their shots to drop and were outscored by the hosts, 16-8, for a 29-19 lead at the half.

Second half was again even and low scoring as the Warriors outscored the Eagles 8-5 in the third quarter. Both teams tallied 12 each in the final quarter to give Fremont a 49-36 win and send the hosts to the championship game on Friday, Feb. 19, against Emery who defeated Chinese Christian.

Leading the Warriors were brothers Jeremiah and Jericho Herzog with 17 and 12 points respectively.

Championship game on Friday was a real nail biter. Emery, undefeated in BCL play, had only six players dressed for the final.

End of quarter one saw Emery take a 15-14 lead as the Herzog brothers scored all of Fremont's first-quarter points. In the second quarter, Emery's 6'4" center Armani Ward picked-up his third foul and had to take a seat on the bench. This enabled the Warriors to hold Emery to six second-quarter points as Fremont took a 28-21 lead into the halftime break.

Third quarter saw the league leaders, with Ward back on the court, come out and use a full-court press against the slower and shorter Warriors to close the gap to 37-34 going into the final quarter.

With just over five minutes to go in regulation, Emery tied it at 43-43 and the regular-season champs would eventually take a 52-50 lead. Only 13 seconds remained when one of Emery's players was called for a technical foul to give the Warriors two free throws and the ball.

However, the hosts were only able to convert one from the charity stripe and with two seconds left, the Warriors were called for traveling before they could get off a potential winning shot. Emery would come away with a 52-51 victory and the automatic bid to the NCS Tournament in Division V.

Again, leading the Warriors were Jeremiah Herzog (25 points) and brother Jericho (14 points). Both brothers were selected to the All-Tournament Team.

MVAL action on Thursday, Feb. 18, saw no.-one Newark Memorial High School host fourth-seeded John F. Kennedy High School while three-seed Washington High School traveled to no.-two James Logan High School with the winners meeting on Friday, Feb. 19, at Newark.

First half of the Logan-Washington game was an offensive show as the hosts took a 32-19 lead after one quarter of play. Washington would answer in the second quarter as they outscored Logan, 24-17, to close the gap to 49-43 at the half.

In the second half, the defenses stepped up and Logan was able to hold off the visitors, 79-71, moving on to Friday's championship game.

Leading Washington was Mikhael McKinney with 29 points while John Songponnopachon added 13 points and Jack Veronin 12 points. For the winners, the scoring was pretty evenly spread among nine players with Jonathan Masulit and Joshua Seki leading the way at 12 points apiece.

Other semifinal on Thursday saw Newark easily handle JFK, 83-47, to set-up the championship game on Friday against Logan.

In the final, Newark showed why it is undefeated in MVAL play while suffering only three losses on the year with all three defeats to top quality teams. Newark Memorial trounced James Logan, 73-34, to move on to NCS post-season play in Division I.

First round NCS games played on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Division I were no.-11 California High School of San Ramon at no.-six James Logan and 10th-seeded San Leandro High School at no.-seven Washington. Division II had fourth-seeded Hayward High School host no.-13 Windsor High School; and in Division III, no.-nine John F. Kennedy traveled to eight-seed Albany High School. (Results of the games were unavailable at press time.)

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, no.-15 Fremont Christian plays second-seeded San Francisco University High School at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco at 8 p.m. in the NCS Division V tourney.

Saturday, Feb. 27, will have no.-five California School for the Deaf travel to no.-four Point Arena High School for a 7:30 p.m. game in Division VI. Newark Memorial earned the top seed in the Division I tourney and earned a first-round bye. They resume play at home on Saturday, Feb. 27, vs. the winner of Antioch and Deer Valley high schools. Time is yet to be determined.

Check the TCV Sports Web site (www.tricityvoice.com/sports) for all results and future match-ups and times.

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