Bru­ins slam Her­cules in quar­ters of play­offs

Alexan­der, Jack­son, Con­tr­eras pro­pel St. Pa­trick-St. Vin­cent to win over Her­cules

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - FRONT PAGE - By Matt O'Don­nell mod­on­[email protected]­al­don­line.com @mod­onel­lvth on Twit­ter

The sec­tion semi­fi­nals seem like a rite of pas­sage for St. Pa­trick-St. Vin­cent High boys bas­ket­ball play­ers.

The No. 2-seeded Bru­ins ad­vanced to that stage again af­ter blow­ing away No. 7 Her­cules 78-45 on Fri­day in the North Coast Sec­tion Di­vi­sion III quarterfin­als at the Bruin’s Lair. The win also guar­an­tees St. Pat’s it will make the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia State Play­offs.

The fran­tic and rough pace by the Ti­tans never seemed to bother the Bru­ins.

“We try to prac­tice pretty phys­i­cal and Her­cules was a phys­i­cal and ath­letic team,” Bru­ins head coach Derek Walker said. “It’s the play­offs and they have noth­ing to lose so why not lay it all on the line and be ex­tra ag­gres­sive and phys­i­cal? I think it worked for a while. Once we set­tled down, we had to pick our spots.”

The Ti­tans had no an­swer for St. Pat’s ju­nior Jaden Alexan­der, who fin­ished with a game-high 24 points, in­clud­ing a break­away dunk in the fourth quar­ter. Se­nior cen­ter Dis­hon Jack­son, who stands 6-foot-11, added 14 of his 16 points in the sec­ond half and added three dunks, 12 re­bounds and three blocked shots.

Walker gave some credit to Her­cules for hold­ing Jack­son to two points in the first half.

“No. 35 (Price Ama­joyi) was be­ing re­ally phys­i­cal on de­fense and he made things kind of dif­fi­cult for D.J.,” Walker said. “In the sec­ond half, I’m glad he re­sponded though.”

St. Pat’s (20-10) led prac­ti­cally from start to fin­ish even though Her­cules stayed within

strik­ing dis­tance in the first half.

A three-point play from John Robin­son cut the Bru­ins’ early lead to 7-5, but Esai Con­tr­eras re­sponded with three straight buck­ets to up the lead to 13-5 and force the Ti­tans to call time­out. Con­tr­eras fin­ished with 10 of his 12 points in the first half to help com­ple­ment Alexan­der, who had seven points in the first quar­ter, as the Bru­ins led 20-7 af­ter a pe­riod.

The Bru­ins scored six of the first eight points in the sec­ond quar­ter to in­crease the lead to 26-9. Izz Fi­fita, who had eight points, had two buck­ets in that spurt.

The Ti­tans (22-8) did whit­tle the lead down to 13 points again by the end of the half as Ajani Monroe hit an in­side shot with 33 sec­onds left. The Bru­ins set­tled for the 34-21 lead head­ing into the locker room.

The two teams each scored 14 in the sec­ond quar­ter and Con­tr­eras noted that was talked about at half­time.

“We knew go­ing into the half that we gave up too many points,” he said. “We were still beat­ing them by a lot but we still shouldn’t be al­low­ing that many points.”

That mi­nor is­sue was quickly solved in the third quar­ter as a 12-6 spurt ex­tended the lead to 46-27. Alexan­der had six points in the run. The Bru­ins even­tu­ally led by 20 points at 51-31 af­ter a three-point play from Alexan­der. St. Pat’s led com­fort­ably at 55-31 af­ter three and Walker emp­tied the bench in the fourth quar­ter.

St. Pat’s has two blowout wins in the play­offs with­out point guard Jalen Scott, who sat out his sec­ond straight game with an in­jury. Walker wasn’t sure when he would be back.

The road gets much tougher from here though. On Tues­day, the Bru­ins will host ri­val and No. 3 seed St. Joseph Notre Dame, a 5840 win over Drake. On the other side of the bracket, top-seeded Bran­son and No. 5 Mi­ra­monte face off in the other semi­fi­nal.

“The first two games are usu­ally kind of dif­fer­ent but the last two you re­ally have to earn it and buckle down,” Walker said. “We told the kids that they’re prob­a­bly not go­ing to win by 30 on Tues­day so we have to do what we have to do to get ready for that.”

CHRIS RI­LEY — TIMES-HER­ALD

St. Pa­trick-St. Vin­cent’s Dis­hon Jack­son slams down a dunk for two of his 16points in Fri­day’s 78-41win over Her­cules in the play­offs.

CHRIS RI­LEY — TIMES-HER­ALD

St. Pa­trick-St. Vin­cent’s Jaden Alexan­der el­e­vates to the hoop for a dunk for two of his 24points in Fri­day’s 78-41win over Her­cules in the play­offs.

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