Bellarmine got hot in the fourth quarter and came from behind Saturday to beat Palo Alto, 62-59, in the championship game of the DJ Frandsen Memorial Tournament at Bellarmine.
Bellarmine guards Angelo Athens and Jake Wojcik combined for 20 of Bellarmine’s 22 fourth-quarter points. Palo Alto’s defense, which had been stellar through the team’s first four games, sprung a leak as the Bells made 9 of 11 shots in the quarter.
Kenzo Morabati. Photo by Jim Shorin.
Both teams came into the game having had their way with early-season competition. Bellarmine (6-0) had won each of its first five games by 20 points or more. Palo Alto (4-1) had a 40-point win over Burlingame and a 36-point win over Amador Valley on Friday.
“For both of us this game prepares us for the kind of game we’ll see in league,’’ Bellarmine coach Patrick Schneider said.
Palo Alto led 33-28 at halftime, but got off to a sluggish start in the third quarter, turning the ball over on its first three possessions.
Bellarmine took a 40-36 lead before the Vikings scored the final five points of the quarter on three free throws by Spencer Rojahn and an offensive-rebound basket by Bryant Jefferson to go up 41-40.
A three-point play by Jack Simison gave Paly a four-point lead at 44-40 before the shooting of Athens and Wojcik turned the game Bellarmine’s way. The guard tandem combined for all the points in a 10-0 run as the Bells took a 55-48 lead.
Paly trailed 60-53, but had a rally left, going on a 6-0 run on a free throw and basket by Will Schlemmer and a 3-pointer by Rojahn to make it 60-59 with 42 seconds left.
Bellarmine’s Kendall Stubblefield, the son of former 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield, scored inside with eight seconds left. Palo Alto was unable to get a shot up in the final seconds.
Wojcik, who has committed to play in college at Siena, led all scorers with 19 points. Athens scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter.
“They made plays,’’ Palo Alto coach Peter Diepenbrock said. “Those 3s were deep. This was definitely a different game than the first four. It should be really good for our team. It wakes you up and tells you where you’re at."
Max Dorward scored 12 for Paly. Schlemmer scored nine points and had a team-high eight rebounds.
In a nonleague game, Menlo-Atherton (3-3) fell to host Mt. Eden (7-1), 61-53.
Guiann Lachayan hit a jumper to pull the Bears within 55-53 before the Monarchs pulled away.
M-A plays at Sacred Heart Prep at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Joe Foley had 14 points and 10 rebounds but Menlo School (0-2) dropped a 46-41 decision to host Half Moon Bay.
Julia Laws recorded pins in all three of her bouts to win the 137 division, highlighting the Gunn girls' wrestling team's performance at Saturday's Lynbrook Girls Wrestling Tournament.
All four of the Titans' wrestlers placed in the tournament, with Kayla Lin (131) reaching the title match, and Maia Foelsch (126) falling, 11-10, in the fifth-place match. Senior Natalie Jue (131) emerged as the consolation champion.
The Titans resume competition after winter break with their first league dual of the season at Monta Vista on Thursday, Jan. 4 at 5:30 p.m. The Cupertino tournament follows that weekend.
Sam Erisman scored 29 points, a day after netting 28 in a loss to Menlo-Atherton, and Menlo School beat host Half Moon Bay, 67-53, in a nonleague game Saturday.
The Knights (3-1) meet Soquel on Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the first round of the Steve Geramoni tournament at Notre Dame-Belmont. Menlo is the defending tournament champion.
Carly Leong scored 14 points, Lauren Koyama added 12 and Palo Alto beat host Cupertino, 41-36, in overtime of a nonleague game.
Skylar Burris added 10 points for the Vikings (2-1), who play at Foothill-Pleasanton at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Mia Shenk scored midway through the second half, with an assist from Audrey Shenk and Sacred Heart Prep beat Woodside, 1-0, Saturday at the Firebird Classic at Fremont High.
The Gators (4-2) play at Gunn on Jan. 4 at 6 p.m.
Menlo School scored three unanswered goals to top Santa Teresa (2-3), 3-1, on Saturday.
Knights senior Cleo King scored twice, and junior Electa Narasin added another.
Menlo (3-1) got assists from sophomore Emily Tse, and freshman Sidney Pena.
The Knights play at Sequoia on Jan. 4 at 4 p.m.
Menlo-Atherton (0-3-1) dropped a 2-1 decision to host Presentation.
Katie Guenin scored the loine goal for the Bears, who play at Menlo at 3:30 p.m. Jan. 6.
Seniors Ali Sivilotti and Allison Galbraith, junior Grace Brieger, sophomore Maggie Hall, and freshman Grace Andrews worked well together in the backfield to limit Presentation scoring chances.
Kenzo Morbati scored twice, Michel-Ange Siaba recorded three assists and Palo Alto beat Cupertino, 5-1, in the consolation final of the Homestead Cup on Saturday.
Jack Stoksik, Derek Schoenberger and Yahli Malchin also scored for the Vikings (6-1), who received superb defense from seniors Neil Verwillow and Thomas Crouch, and junior Matt Knowles.
Palo Alto opens its league season on Jan. 5 at 3:30 p.m. at Los Altos.