De La Salle went 2:23 into the fourth quarter without scoring, and that was the difference as hosts Modesto Christian came from behind to beat the Spartans 57-56 in a CIF NorCal Open Division semifinal game on Saturday. at night.
The Crusaders (27-6) will host the St. Joseph-Santa Maria on Tuesday for the Open Division title. St. Joseph, seeded third, knocked the No.
Modesto is the #1 seed.
Fifth seed De La Salle (22-9) gave the Crusaders all they could. The Spartans took a double digit lead in the first half and led 56-55 with 2:23 to an Alec Blair dunk. But DLS couldn’t do more against Modesto Christian.
Blair led the Spartans with 22 points and Billy Haggerty with 19.
“This was a high-level basketball game,” said second-year DLS head coach Marcus Schroeder. “Both teams were making a lot of shots and there weren’t a lot of turnovers.”
With Modesto Christian leading 55-53 with 3:05 left, Blair hit one of two free throws, and 42 seconds later, hit the ball to give the DLS a one-point lead. But Crusaders team captain BJ Davis regained the lead for his team when he drove down the foul lane and put the ball in from the right of the rim to make it 57-56 with 1:34 to go.
There were no more scores.
De La Salle had one chance, putting the ball into Arshawn Salhki’s hands with seconds to go. He took a shot from the left side of the key close to the foul line but probably didn’t get a good look at the basket with Modesto Christian’s Jalen Brown guarding him from close range. The clock was down 0.8 seconds when the shot missed and De La Salle was unable to land another.
“We fought, we were defeated,” Schroeder said. “Modesto Christian is a very good team.”
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