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March 16, 2012 > Cougars knock off Padres

Cougars knock off Padres

By John Suza
Photos By Mike Heightchew

In a CIF Division II quarterfinal game, Newark Memorial Cougars triumphed over the Serra Padres in spectacular fashion. Damien Banford made the winning basket with 1.3 seconds left in the game after a phenomenal dribble penetration, eluding two Serra Padre defenders, by Casey Norris. The go-ahead layup, fed by 6-1 guard Norris was a dramatic close to the contest that saw Norris score a game-high 21 points including 15 straight and a 3-point basket to end the half.

At the beginning of the game, Serra started slowly, allowing the Cougars to open a 6-point lead. Serra, with great defense and control of the middle lane, found its way back into the game and ended the half with an 8-point margin.

The third quarter was a real battle - back and fourth - as each team tried to dominate without success. Every shot counted and the score was locked up. The Cougars were tested and showed their fortitude as they would not yield. Scoring was even up to the last two seconds of the game, finally concluding with an exciting finish, the best high school basketball has to offer.

In the next round of the CIF Basketball Tournament, scheduled for March 17 in Sacramento, the 12th ranked (CA) Cougars will face the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs from San Jose, ranked #2 in California.

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