ANAHEIM, Calif. — There was never a doubt in St. John Bosco head coach Derrick Taylor’s mind that the Braves would win the CIF Southern Section Division 3A Championship. And win they did, in convincing fashion, with an 80-56 victory over Chaminade at the Anaheim Convention Center Saturday morning.
So confident in his team, Taylor went so far as to say that he believes it’s not only the best in the Southern Section, but the best in the state as well.
“I believe that if we play to our ceiling, our ceiling is higher than anyone else’s in the state of California,” Taylor said.
Although Taylor did acknowledge that the Braves have not always played to their potential, Bosco did make a strong case in their championship win.
The Braves (24.6) shot 46.2 percent from the field with a balanced offensive attack that was led by the Hamilton brothers, Isaac and Daniel, as well as Tyler Dorsey and Darien Williams. Isaac had a game high 23 points and Dorsey was right behind at 22 with six rebounds. Daniel scored 14 with seven assists and Williams, whom Taylor called the “ex-factor”, scored 14 with and pulled down nine boards.
The Braves executed in all facets. They moved the ball well and recorded 16 assists and turned it over only eight times. Defensively, they held Chaminade to just a 31.1 percent mark from the field.
Chaminade (24-7) senior Jeron Martin 13 points with six assists and Jack Williams led the Eagles with 16 points.
“We knew how good they were going to be coming in,” said Eagles head coach Todd Wolfson. “We want to say we’ve seen that before but that was a tough one. They’re good.”
The Eagles fell behind early before coming back with a third-quarter run early in the frame. Down just 39-33 at the half, Chaminade went on a quick run to cut the lead to just two. A Williams rebound and putback capped it, making the score 39-37.
But the Eagles would get no closer. With 5:12 left in the third, Brian Nebo missed a free throw and Daniel Hamilton grabbed the rebound and kicked it out to Dorsey who buried a corner three.
“That was a huge play,” Wolfson said. “We’ve been coming back from a lot of leads all year and usually we’re good when we come back.”
“We didn’t try and stop their momentum and that really hurt us in the third quarter,” Martin said.
From there, Bosco went on a 14-0 run that effectively put the game away.
With the win, Bosco clinched a spot in the Division III state playoffs but can petition for a place in the Open Division.
Chaminade also earned a spot in the playoffs as well.
“This is not over,” Williams said. “I still think we can make some noise and make it to the state final.”