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CIF Northern Regional Boys Hoops: Breaking down the vintage effort that lifted De La Salle into the Div. I semis CIF Northern Regional Div....

CIF Northern Regional Boys Hoops: Breaking down the vintage effort that lifted De La Salle into the Div. I semis

CIF Northern Regional Div. I Quartersfinals: De La Salle 43, San Leandro 39

The Spartans went to Chabot College and grinded out a nail-biting victory on March 9. Here’s how it went down.

WHY THEY WON: De La Salle controlled tempo from the opening tip. It didn’t allow the Pirates to score until the 4:15 mark of the first quarter and held them to eight points in the opening frame. On offense the Spartans connected on looks they were given; they knocked down four 3-pointers in the first half and built a comfortable 30-17 lead at halftime. They went cold in the second half scoring only 13 points but didn’t succumb to San Leandro’s stifling full-court press and got stops in the end when they most desperately needed them.

Elliott Pitts led the charge with 21 points and eight rebounds. He sealed the game by grabbing a rebound off a Pirates’ miss with two seconds left and knocked down two free throws after being fouled.

WHY THEY LOST: San Leandro relied heavily on seniors Ishmail Ali and Dejon Budreaux, who combined for 34 of the Pirates’ 39 points. It led to a lot of San Leandro players standing along the perimeter and watching. They clawed their way back mainly because of Ali and Budreaux. San Leandro nearly completed its comeback as it had two chances to take the lead late. In both situations Budreaux called his own number and missed two solid looks from 18 feet. De La Salle rebounded both misses and sealed the game at the free throw line.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Spartans travel to Elk Grove on Tuesday where they’ll take on Pleasant Grove, whom the Spartans defeated in last year’s Nor Cal D1 quarterfinals. Winner moves on to the NorCal final at Sleep Train Pavilion on March 16. San Leandro’s season is over and a likely rebuilding process is to follow. Eight of the Pirates 12 players are seniors, including Ali and Budreaux.

QUOTE OF THE GAME: “This team has overcome a lot. It’s all been about heart. It really isn’t about us having superior talent or anything other than that. It’s just we grit it out every night and compete.” — DLS coach Frank Allocco

Erik Stordahl | SportStars

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