It could have gone either way, but at first, it looked like Mount Si’s game. Visiting Cedarcrest on Saturday, Dec. 21, the Wildcat boys varsity squad jumped out to a 17-2 lead, only to watch as Cedarcrest’s shooters fought back with some stellar shots.
Senior guard Austin Paxman was good for 20 points, including six three-pointers, and Robert Cha added 11 points, including one field goal of his own. Senior guard Jordan Corpus and center Chad Klingenberg both added four baskets apiece.
“Our comeback in the first half really helped us in the second,” said Klingenberg.
The score seesawed, with both teams grabbing tenuous leads. Cedarcrest held the lead, 49-44, at the end of the third. Mount Si, however, mounted a rally in the fourth quarter, tying it 57-57 with two and a half minutes to go, then solidifying and winning it, 64-59, in a Cedarcrest home stadium filled with student fans decked in holiday attire.
“We just needed to close up, with the hands up, and we weren’t really doing that in the first half,” said Mount Si senior center Tyler McCreadie, describing the Wildcat response to the Red Wolves’ air game. “We’d rotate down and try and help off the guy driving, and kick it right back and throw his shot. In the second, we switched that up.”
McCreadie and Nelson credited plays to get the ball inside and under the basket.
Where Nelson would have taken a shot in less tight games, against the Red Wolves, “he dumped it down low for an easy bucket, and then we’d be right back on defense. That’s how we got back in the game,” said McCreadie.
“A lot of it was getting the ball to Tyler, making sure everybody was in the right spots, not turning the ball over, trying to control the pressure,” said Nelson.
“It’s all credit to Jack for dealing with that pressure and setting everyone up,” added McCreadie.
“There was no way we were going to come here and get a loss,” Nelson said. “We were only leaving with a win.”
McCreadie led scoring with 22 points, followed by Nelson with 20, including two three-pointers. Parker Dumas and Jonathan Hillel each added six points, with sophomore Isaac Benedict sinking one basket and one long bomb. Senior Beau Shain had three points.
Players on all sides racked up the fouls, with Nelson and McCreadie getting four apiece.
Consider it a lesson learned—calls “shouldn’t dictate the game,” Nelson said. “We let them play too much of a role in this game.”
• Mount Si boys varsity boys basketball team next hosts De La Salle in a non-conference game, 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2.
• Cedarcrest hosts Archbishop Murphy, 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Cedarcrest captain/guard Robert Cha jumps for a basket as Mount Si's Jack Nelson swipes.
Tyler McCreadie slams.
Jack Nelson, left, about to put the ball in.
Red Wolf Jordan Corpus aims a free throw.
McCreadie, left, and Dumas battle for a rebound.
Mount Si's Isaac Benedict charges past Corpus for the basket.
Nelson rushes in for an attempt in the fourth quarter.
Nelson takes a free throw shot.
Kyle Walsh battles for a lay-up against Tyler McCreadie and Parker Dumas.
Cedarcrest's Austin Paxman works on getting around Parker Dumas.
JoJo Hillel leaps for a basket attempt, late in the game.
Jordan Corpus leaps for a shot, with Shain in his path.
Beau Shain charges down-court.
Parker Dumas looks for an opening.