Photo By: Elliott Burr/Town Crier
With 19 points, Drew Dickey, right, led St. Francis Saturday.
A fourth-quarter collapse didn’t deter the St. Francis High boys basketball team in the Central Coast Section Division II quarterfinals against Palo Alto.
Instead, it propelled the Lancers to a 70-64 overtime win Saturday at Foothill College.
St. Francis coach Mike Motil said letting a six-point lead slip away in the final two minutes of regulation – the Vikings converted three of the Lancers’ four turnovers into points to tie the game at 58 – proved to be a wake-up call for his team.
Third-seeded St. Francis outscored No. 6 Paly 12-6 in overtime to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals, played after the Town Crier’s press deadline.
Motil said good decisions – particularly shot selection – played a key role for the Lancers (14-12 overall) in the five-minute overtime. St. Francis hit 5 of 8 shots from the field after shooting 24 of 42 in regulation.
“We go as our shooting goes,” Motil said. “We got open shots, it was just a question of if we were going to make them or not.”
It didn’t hurt that Palo Alto (20-5) stopped pressing on defense to open the overtime period, he added.
“Our kids were able to make a few more plays there in overtime than (Palo Alto),” Motil said. “That’s what it comes down to … a couple of bounces here or there and it goes the other way.”
The Vikings employed a full-court press in the closing minutes of regulation that St. Francis wasn’t prepared to handle, according to Motil. With the press off to start overtime, the Lancers got off to a fast start. They scored eight of the first 10 points.
The scoring stretch featured a four-point effort from Abu Tratter, who knocked down a hook shot with 2:40 to go, followed by a tip-in on a missed Khalid Johnson layup to go up 66-60 at 1:21. Tratter finished with 16 points and teammate Drew Dickey led all Lancers with 19 points.
The run allowed St. Francis to withstand a late charge by the Vikings, who cut the lead to 68-64 with 37 seconds to go. It proved too little too late for Paly, which made just two of its eight field-goal attempts in OT.
The Lancers were scheduled to play a familiar foe in Tuesday’s semis – No. 2 Serra (22-5), which beat them twice in league play.
Pinewood boys prevail
The Pinewood School boys showed why they are the top seed in Division V, routing No. 9 Crystal Springs Upland 72-31 Saturday in the quarterfinals at St. Francis Central Coast Catholic in Watsonville.
The defending CCS champion Panthers jumped to a 21-7 first-quarter lead.
Seniors Solomone Wolfgramm and Bradley Naumann paced Pinewood with 14 points each; senior Dante Fraioli added 10.
The Panthers (23-2) are set to return to Watsonville today to take on No. 4 St. Thomas More (20-3) at 5:30 p.m. in the semis.