St. Francis finished the game on a 13-3 run Thursday to pull out a 65-55 win over Santa Cruz in the boys basketball championship game of the Joe Schram Holiday Classic.
A night after the Lancers beat Palo Alto by 42 points Santa Cruz gave them all they could ask for. Santa Cruz (9-3) led 43-39 at the end of the third quarter.
"That was a good high school basketball game,'' St. Francis coach Mike Motil said. "When teams make runs like that, back and forth, that's what makes basketball so fun.''
The game was tied seven times, four times in the fourth quarter. The Lancers drew even at 46-46 on a pair of free throws by Harlan Banks, who finished with a team-high 16 points. It was deadlocked at 48, 50 and 52 before St. Francis pulled away.
Santa Cruz was led by Aden Cury, who scored 25 points. But he was whistled for an offensive foul, his fifth, after scoring eight of his team's first 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Tim Netane and tournament MVP Vince Barringer scored 13 points apiece for St. Francis (8-2). Thomas Motil scored 10.
Palo Alto 43, Cupertino 35
Palo Alto bounced back from the drubbing it withstood the previous night to win the third-place game against a team it will open SCVAL De Anza Division play against on Tuesday.
"That was a gut-check game,'' Palo Alto coach Jeff LaMere said. "The guys responded well. They lost by 42 the night before and it could have been a defining moment in the season. They came together after being punched in the mouth.''
Lucas Black, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound tight end on the football team, led Palo Alto (7-4) with 11 points.
"Most teams beat Cupertino by hitting a bunch of 3s,'' LaMere said. "We did it by going inside.''
Cupertino cut Paly's lead to three late in the game before Sebastian Chancellor's 3-pointer provided breathing room.
Nikhil Majeti scored 8, Chancellor and Matt Corrigan 7 each for Paly.
Cleveland Heights 83, Sacred Heart Prep 81
Sacred Heart Prep’s fourth-quarter rally fell just short Thursday in the championship game of the Cactus Jam boys basketball tournament.
Aidan Braccia, named to the all-tournament team, scored 26 points and SHP fell to Cleveland Heights of Ohio 83-81 in a rollercoaster of a game at Sunnyslope High in Phoenix.
The Gators (6-2) held the advantage through the first half and Cleveland Heights (5-3) owned the second half. SHP nearly stole the game as Kevin Carney hit a 3-pointer to bring the Gators within two points before time ran out.
Sam Norris added 13 points and Sachit Sinha had eight. Carney made four 3-pointers and SHP had 11 as a team.
The Gators open West Bay Athletic League play Tuesday, hosting Harker at 6:30 p.m.
Harker (6-4) enters the game on a three-game winning streak.
Menlo 66, St. Joseph's Academy 48
Menlo rebounded from a pair of losses in the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic with a 66-48 victory over St. Joseph's Academy (San Marcos) on Thursday.
Lucas Vogel scored 19 points, one of 11 players who found the basket. Vogel added four rebounds and four steals.
Will Eggemeier scored 11 points. Robby Enright pulled down four rebounds and had four points. Senior Daniel Solomon posted six assists.
Menlo (6-3) opens WBAL play Tuesday at Priory, with a scheduled 6:30 p.m. tip-off.