By Bill Paterson
The St. Hope Elite Classic boys basketball tournament championship match-up between state No. 5 Centennial of Corona and No. 13 Capital Christian developed as advertised Saturday night at Sacramento High School.
The action was fast, furious (three technicals) and physical between two well-coached teams with talented athletes. There were seven lead changes, six ties and no team led by more than six points until Centennial took a brief seven-point lead with 16.9 seconds.
But in the end, Centennial was able to pull away for a 69-66 win in the Gold Division final. The Huskies (8-1) outscored Capital Christian 12-6 in the final 3:43 to hand The Bee No. 1 Cougars (10-1) their first loss of the season.
Long Beach State-bound Deontae North scored a game-high 21 points and was named the tourney MVP. UC Iroegbu had 18, Justice Mosely 12, D.J. Wilson 11 and Marcelas Perry 10 for Capital Christian.
Wilson and Iroegbu made all-tourney for the Cougars, who took their last lead, 58-57, on a Mosely layup with 4:38 to play.Iroegbu extended the lead to 60-57 with a follow-up layup after a Centennial missed shot.
Centennial sophomore Jordan Griffin tied it with a 3-pointer with 3:43 to play and junior Sedrick Barefield put the Huskies ahead to stay with a layup 40 seconds later.
In other games:
Sacramento 84, West Ranch-Valencia 64 - Solomon Young had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Tre Finch 14 points and Christian Terrell 12 as the Dragons (5-2) won the Gold Division consolation final over the Huskies (4-6). Shane Diamond had 16 points and Christian Ware-Berry 11 for West Ranch. Young and Ware-Berry made all-tournament.
Kennedy-Sacramento 69, Foothill-Palo Cedro 59 - Matt Nakatomi had 25 points and Colin Uda added 16 as the Cougars (7-3) downed the Northern Section Cougars (7-3) for the Silver Division championship. Nakatomi also had 30 points in Friday's win over Eisenhower of Rialto.
Pleasant Grove 72, Eisenhower 56 - Marquess Chriss had 26 points and Johann Tate had 17 as the Eagles (4-4) defeated the Southern Section Eagles (4-6) in the Silver consolation title game. Tate, a junior guard, had 98 points in the tournament.
Foothill-Sacramento 41, Ponderosa 33 - The Mustangs (5-7) held the Bruins to seven first-half points en route to the win over the Bruins (6-5) in the bronze division title match. Tyrone Potts had 13 points for Foothill. Josh Bist led Ponderosa with 16.
Christian Brothers 84, Hiram Johnson 55 - Prestin Barnett had 16 points and Brandon Thompson added 13 as the Falcons (5-4) topped the Warriors (1-9) for the Bronze consolation title.
GOLD DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
CENTENNIAL-CORONA 69, CAPITAL CHRISTIAN 66
Capital Christian 19 15 20 12 -- 66
Centennial 20 17 17 15 -- 69
CC - Barefield 3, North 21, Ahmad 6, Ford 8, Smith 4, Famous 2, Griffin 10, Hamilton 9.
C - Iroegbu 18, Wilson 11, Perry 10, Mosely 12, Jennings 7, Lealao 8.