| Vallejo downs Vacaville in "Honk" Williams Classic overtime win
Coming into the second round of the Gene “Honk” Williams Classic at Vacaville High School, the Bulldogs sought revenge against the Vallejo Redhawks.
Three days after a 74-52 road loss to the strong and speedy Redhawks, Vacaville presented a contrasting challenge Friday night as both teams looked to ply their way through the tournament bracket.
But in a back-and-forth game that appeared as if it would come down to a final shot, Vallejo (5-2) outlasted Vacaville (3-3) in overtime en route to the 56-55 win.
The Bulldogs, who took a one-point lead in the overtime period on a pristine pass and score from Jordan Adams to Joey Murga, built a 55-52 advantage with 44.7 seconds remaining courtesy of back-to-back free throws from senior Zack Perlstein and a two-of-three effort at the line from Adams.
Just as the boisterous Bulldogs crowd began to feel comfortable, Redhawks’ junior guard Marvin McBroom had other ideas.
Following a huge offensive rebound from fellow junior Taejon Fredrickson, McBroom tickled the twine on a floater with 13.4 seconds left on the scoreboard. However, with the Redhawks needing an intentional foul to stop the clock, an inbounds gaffe cost the Bulldogs mightily as Adams stepped over the baseline before finding an open teammate.
Vallejo head coach Duke Brown called upon his play-maker on the ensuing possession and drew up a play that would give McBroom the option to drive or kick out a pass to an open teammate. Trailing 55-54 in the waning moments, McBroom found an opening to his right and heaved it up off the glass as the ball bounced around the rim and dropped in.
Although Vacaville had enough time to respond, poor clock management prevented them from getting a shot off in the final seconds.
For Bulldogs head coach Duane Kamman, the game wasn’t lost in the final moments. The self-inflicted wounds came in the first half when they missed six of 11 free throws and haphazardly gave up unnecessary turnovers.
“We screwed up in the first half,” Kamman said. “It shouldn’t have come down to that last play. It’s disappointing, of course, because we feel we’re better than that. But this team is going to have to learn that they can’t come out and cruise. They know they’re talented and can do lots of things. Until we do it consistently, we’re going to put ourselves in these situations.”
Brown tipped his cap to Kamman and fully expected a much tighter matchup at the Gene Youngblood Gym.
“When you’re at home you have the benefit of home cooking and have your fans right behind you,” Brown said. “We knew coming to Vacaville that things were going to be totally different (than our last game).”
McBroom, who scored four of Vallejo’s six point in overtime, finished the game sharing a team-high in points with 11. Fellow junior guard Damon Fowler added 11 points of his own. Vallejo senior big men Carl Barnes and Anthony Thomas played a pivotal role down low as they each corralled 10 rebounds. Thomas tallied 10 points and added a pair of dunks in the win.
Perlstein led the way for Vacaville with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds. Adams, who connected on two of three free throws to help Perlstein send the game into overtime, chipped in 10 points and six assists. After nailing a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter and overtime, sophomore guard Myron Amey finished with nine points. Trevor Burhite and Joey Murga scored seven points apiece.
“(Vacaville) got us to slow down our offense in their building,” Brown said. “I commend their coach for the strategy they put in. But our players followed our game plan by making the extra pass and staying focused. We knew it wasn’t going to be a 70-to-80 point game but we controlled what we could do.”
Vallejo defeated Foothill High School (Palo Cedro) 71-67 in the “Honk” Williams Classic Championship late Saturday.
Vacaville took on Foothill (Sacramento) for third place prior to press time Saturday.
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