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August 18, 2013
West Coast Hoops 98, Spirit of the North 86By Dave Rogahn
In the day's first game, West Coast Hoops continued its unlikely run to the title game of the Say No Classic with a 98-86 win over Spirit of the North despite a monster game from the Spirits' Wesley Saunders (Harvard), who had 30 points and 17 rebounds.
West Coast Hoops, which needed a miraculous comeback from an 8-point deficit in the final two minutes and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Gerry Blakes (San Bernardino Valley) to force overtime in an eventual win over Cal Poly Pomona in the quarterfinals, jumped out to an early 25-13 lead in this semifinal against Spirit of the North.
But the Spirits rallied, taking a 36-34 lead on a 3-pointer by Saunders, and led, 50-45, at the half. The Spirits led by as many as 7 points after a long 3-pointer by Khaliq Bedart-Ghani (Yale) made it 80-73 early in the fourth quarter.
West Coast Hoops finished strongly, however, going on a game-ending 25-6 run to race right past the Spirits and into the championship game. A.J. Harris (Post University) picked up a loose ball in the lane and scored to give West Coast an 81-80 lead.
Terrance Sutton pushed the lead to eight points with a long 3-pointer that made it 90-82 with 1:10 left. A 3-point play by Blakes after a steal made it 95-84 with 37.3 seconds left, clinching the win for West Coast Hoops.
David Nwaba (Cal Poly SLO) led West Coast Hoops with 19 points and added 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, an assist and a steal. Harris had 18 points, 9 assists and 4 steals.
Adrian Francis (Impact Academy) had 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Blakes came off the bench for 14 points and 8 rebounds, and Sutton had 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.
For Spirit of the North, Saunders led all scorers with his 30 points and also had game-high totals of 17 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Leland King (Brown) had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Bedart-Ghani also scored 16 points. Allen Guei (Humboldt State) had 15 points, 9 rebounds and a team-high 8 assists.
Next, we'll have a game report of the other semifinal win by Next Level over BTI Lab. Then we'll finish with the title game report.
The championship game will feature #4 seed Next Level Program against #7 seed West Coast Hoops, and will tip off at 2 pm on Sunday at Salesian HS.
Admission is free, though the league is holding a fundraising gala after the championship offering food, music and a chance to mingle with the participants from the championship game.
For the best and authoritative coverage of JC hoops, check out Dave Rogahn's JC Hoops website: Click Here