Sunday Dec 09 2012
'You can't always get what you want': Del Oro falls to Capital Christian in tournament finale
Eight minutes away from winning their first Del Oro Invitational since 2009, the Golden Eagles came up short — literally and figuratively.
A tall Capital Christian team, outmuscling and outshooting Del Oro, allowed just four points in the fourth quarter to capture the tournament championship 60-49 at Bonner Gym Saturday night.
“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 3 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.
“They definitely had a size advantage over us,” Broyles said. “They’re quick and they’re athletic. We need to play against those kinds of teams right now. It will make us better.”
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 we’ve been playing all year.”
Collin Mitchell had 11 points for Del Oro and Keenan Finney added nine, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Capital Christian’s D.J. Wilson (11 points) and Co.
“We’re glad we made it to the championship game,” Takayama said. “We wish we would have won, but you can’t always get what you want.”
Del Oro advanced to the championship game despite coming out a little flat Friday, falling down 8-3 out of the gate.
But after an inspiration play, the Golden Eagles soared the rest of the night.
Jack Huizenga scored a game-high 17 points, including two dunks, one of which was the catalyst of a 15-5 first-quarter run for the Eagles in a 70-51 victory over River City Friday.
“A dunk fires up the crowd,” Broyles said. “They don’t always happen in high school.”
Huizenga’s slam, which wound up being a three-point play as he sunk an ensuing foul shot, sure fired up his teammates.
“You get a good play and it just gets the adrenaline going and pumps up the whole team,” Huizenga said.
Del Oro didn’t relinquish the lead after going up 10-8 and was up 38-25 at halftime. By the time Huizenga threw down his second dunk, the tournament’s hosts held a 50-28 advantage.
Connor Drake had 11 and points Aaron Freeman added 10 for the Golden Eagles against River City.
Huizenga and Freeman were both named to the all-tournament team.
Bella Vista 65, River City 52 — Bella Vista won the third-place game Saturday with Dominic Driggs and Tyler Berkness both scoring 13 points apiece. River City was led by Jose Chacon (11 points).
Oakmont 65, Whitney 59 — Oakmont grabbed a 15-point lead in the third period Saturday, but Whitney tied it with two minutes left at 55-55. That’s when Oakmont pulled away.
Lincoln 68, Paradise 35 — Paradise committed 29 turnovers in the battle for seventh place.
JV Del Oro Invitational — The Golden Eagles defeated Bella Vista 71-68 in overtime.
Reach Matthew Kimel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel