San Francisco depth enough to turn back San Bernardino Valley in men's quarterfinals

Photo by Jon Marley, CCCAA
Photo by Jon Marley, CCCAA

Courtesy Robert Schmidt, CCCMBCA

 - San Francisco City, the defending state champions, knew they would have its hands full with San Bernardino Valley on several fronts. While the Rams offered the state's top offense; San Bernardino Valley presented the state's best defense and the state's best offensive player in Dominique Daniels, the state's leading scorer.

In the end, San Francisco's depth was too much for San Bernardino as the Rams posted a 91-76 victory over the Wolverines. The victory moves San Francisco City into a semifinal game on Saturday against the winner of the Citrus vs. College Sequoias winner.

The loss marked the second consecutive year that San Bernardino Valley was eliminated from the state tournament by San Francisco City.

Although, San Bernardino Valley didn't win; Daniels didn't disappoint. 

Daniels, the Southern California Player of the Year, scored 15 first-half points, finishing with 27 to lead all scorers. He picked up his third foul with 1:47 remaining in the first half. He finished the game 6 of 15, 2 of 8 from the three-point line and 13 of 15 on free throws. 

With 6:02 remaining in the first half, San Francisco City opened a 15-point lead, 36-21, on a three-point basket by Jamir Thomas. But the Wolverines rallied, outscoring the Rams 21-11 over the final six minutes to claw within five points at halftime, 47-42. The first half featured five lead changes.

Just minutes into the second half (17:39), Daniels picked up his fourth foul on an offensive charge. San Francisco City extended its lead to 17 points, 70-53, with 8:57 remaining, but San Bernardino Valley quickly cut the lead to nine, 72-63, with 7:15 remaining on a Daniels basket. 

Although, Daniels managed to complete the game, foul outs by San Bernardino Valley starters Chine Nwanevu and Sebastian Mendoza, who finished with 16 points, forced the Wolverines to its bench, which managed six points in 40 minutes of play. Meanwhile, San Francisco City's bench produced 44 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists.

"That is not typical for the bench to score 44 points," Justin Labagh, San Francisco City head coach, said. "I told the guys we're going to win this whole thing (with a bench that we have."

San Francisco city was led by two reserves, Thomas had 15 points and Dante Swayer had 13. Starters CJ Hardy and Te'Jon Sawyer each had 12 points.