Shooting woes derail Bell-Jeff!

February 21, 2009 by  

BOYS’ BASKETBALL: Guards go cold against Aquinas in CIF loss, 47-31. Bellarmine-Jefferson High boys’ basketball Coach Eli Essa was concerned about his team entering Friday’s second-round playoff game against Aquinas.

“We had what I would call two subpar practices leading up to this game,” Essa said.

Those problems apparently carried over into the CIF Southern Section Division VA second-round game against the Falcons.

The Guards shot poorly and Aquinas was able to take advantage, breezing to a 47-31 win at Bell-Jeff.

“This was the worst game we’ve played all season,” said Essa, whose team ends the year 16-12. “I thought this was a winnable game or us. But the way that we shot, we couldn’t have beaten anybody.”

The Guards — an at-large team from the Santa Fe League — had trouble converting their shots in the first half. The Guards made just six of 25 attempts from the floor, as their offense struggled.

Aquinas (14-7) — the Christian League champions — on the other hand, had little trouble draining its shots.

Behind Courtland Wharton (15 points), the Falcons took a 28-12 lead at the half.

“On the tape I have on them, they didn’t shoot a lot of outside shots,” Essa said of the Eagles, who have won six straight games. “But they came out shooting, and that surprised me.”

Bell-Jeff was led by Kevin Yuemyongsakul, who had a team-high nine points. Although teammate Andre Frazier had only three points, he did have 12 rebounds.

Bell-Jeff’s Javier Gonzales did a good job defending the Falcons’ 6-foot-8 James Albert, who made just three baskets in the first three quarters. Albert ended with 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

“Our focus was to keep [Albert] from the basket, and I thought we did a good job at that,” Essa said. “But we forgot about the rest of the team.”

The teams both scored seven points in the third quarter, as the Falcons held a 35-19 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Jeff Tully – Burbank Leader

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