| Boys Basketball: Vanden runs Christian Brothers off the court in 71-44 rout
If there was a single play that sums up Vanden High School’s boys basketball team, it was on a second half fast-break in which the ball went coast-to-coast, touching the floor once in Wednesday night’s game against Christian Brothers.
Sophomore Teiano Hardee blocked a Christian Brothers layup under the basket, grabbed the loose ball along the baseline and threw a two-handed missile to Jonathan Cobbs along the sideline near halfcourt.
Cobbs speared it out of the air with his fully outstretched right hand and delivered a perfect bounce pass to a streaking Aaron Porcil.
Porcil collected the pass in stride, took two quick steps, elevated and dropped it in the basket for a highly entertaining two points.
The play was an example of what kind of show the Vikings can give when they get in the open court and start running.
In front of its home crowd at Jim Boyd Gymnasium, Vanden put on a dazzling display of speed and athleticism in a convincing 71-44 victory over Christian Brothers in the final non-league game of the season.
The Vikings, who have been playing tough teams all over the place in the first few months, improved to 8-7 on the season and visit Vallejo tonight in the Solano County Athletic Conference opener.
“Our guys are young and they want to get after it,” Vanden head coach Mike Holloway said post-game. “We don’t want to play slow. We want to allow the kids to do what they’re best at. I think we got back to playing our brand of basketball. We were putting a lot of pressure on them (Christian Brothers).”
It became apparent early on that Vanden was going to run Christian Brothers (6-8) off the court.
The Vikings deployed a stingy full-court press from the start and raced out to an 11-2 lead. Six of those early points came from Marquis Davison-Holloway, who knifed through the Falcons’ defense and made two tough layups in transition. He was fouled on both plays and made the bonus free throw each time.
Porcil also was heavily involved in the first quarter scoring. Seven of his game-high 15 points came in the opening frame as Vanden continued to pile on, at one point leading 23-9 after back-to-back offensive putbacks from Aaron Kelly.
The final play of the quarter saw Davison-Holloway cut through the lane and squeeze a no-look pass to Kelly, who dropped it in for an easy bucket.
That play gave Vanden a 27-12 lead after one fast-paced quarter.
“We have three sophomores and a couple juniors that play a lot of minutes for us,” Holloway said. “In order for those guys to kind of avoid thinking too much, we try to play fast and have them react to what they’re seeing instead of think. That said, we know we have to find a balance there moving forward.”
The Vikings continued to roll in the second quarter, with 6-foot-10 power forward Jhaylon Martinez bullying his way to two straight putbacks to open the scoring.
Davison-Holloway and Kelly connected again for an easy score to put Vanden up 35-21.
Christian Brothers began to climb back into it, and cut the deficit to 12 following a jumper from Matt Schneider. But Vanden quickly snuffed any thought of a comeback with a 9-2 run to end the half as Cobbs buried a 3-pointer, Porcil feathered in a layup and Nathan Swift dropped in a layin with help from another nifty assist from Davison-Holloway.
When the half was said and done, Vanden led 46-27. Porcil scored 11 points in the first half with Davison-Holloway adding eight to lead the senior class.
“The best part about their night (Porcil, Davison-Holloway) was that it wasn’t all about scoring.” Holloway said. “Marquis shared the ball really well in the first half. Both of them were up in the passing lanes and getting steals, which helped us get out in transition.”
Both seniors accounted for 10 of Vanden’s 14 points in the third quarter.
Davison-Holloway converted on two tough layups to begin the quarter. Porcil added back-to-back layins, including the coast-to-coast fast break.
A Hardee putback gave Vanden a 56-36 lead with a few minutes left in the third. The Vikings held a 60-36 advantage entering the fourth quarter, which most of the starters sat out.
With the pre-conference season now over, Vanden will turn its attention to the SCAC campaign, which starts tonight. The Vikings are looking for their fifth straight SCAC title in the final season of the league’s existence.
Next year, the Monticello Empire League and SCAC will merge into a super conference.
“I’m really happy with where we’re at right now,” Holloway said. “If we can just carry this momentum game-to-game, practice-to-practice, I think we’ll be all right. It’s good to have everyone healthy and we were able to give a lot of the guys who may not play as much some good run tonight, so that was important.”
Porcil led all scorers with 15 points, while Davison-Holloway finished with 14. Christian Brothers was led by Aidan Simpson and Mason Santiago, who each scored 12.
For video highlights of Vanden’s win, head to TheReporter.com.
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