Knocking down 11 three-point baskets, the Pacific Indians rolled to a 66-33 consolation semifinal win over the Washington Blue Jays Friday at the 64th Annual St. Francis Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament.
Pacific (1-1) moved into Saturday’s consolation championship against North Tech (1-1) while the Blue Jays (0-2) moved into the seventh-place game against Normandy (0-2).
“We came out playing real well,” said Pacific Head Coach John VanLeer. “We shot the ball well and we defended well. We did a lot of good things.”
Washington Head Coach Grant Young said it was a difficult experience.
“It was tough for us to swallow,” Young said. “Pacific came out and hit 11 three against us. They shot really well. Their defense and physicality really got on our kids. Five of our 10 kids haven’t had varsity experience and they’re learning what we have to do to play at this level. We gave too many gaps to Pacific and too many open looks.”
Pacific jumped out quickly, leading 19-9. The Indians were up 41-18 at the intermission and 62-29 going into the fourth quarter.
“We pretty much took their main players out of the offense,” VanLeer said.
The Indians had four different players hit three-point baskets in the game and went 11-18 from beyond the stripe for the contest.
Juniors Matt Strong and Cameron VanLeer each knocked down four of those shots. Strong ended with 16 points while VanLeer scored 14.
“We had a lot of guys making shots,” VanLeer said. “Matt Strong and Cam were a combined 8-9 from beyond the three-point line. We guarded super well.”
Young said Strong provided a big spark off the bench.
“Strong came off the bench and hit four threes to give them a big lift,” Young said.
Senior Jacob Klenke had two three-point baskets while scoring 10 points. Junior Tom Hennessy also had one three-point basket and closed with seven points in the game.
Pacific’s other scorers were junior Trey Boyer with nine points, senior Lucas Vandaveer with six and junior Ryan Sauvage with four points.
“Trey Boyer had a good game and Jacob got hot later in the game,” VanLeer said. “It was a great team effort.”
The Indians went 13-15 from the free-throw line as well.
In the rebounding department, Sauvage and Vandaveer tied for the team lead with four apiece.
“Lucas and Ryan did a good job defensively,” said VanLeer.
VanLeer, Strong and Hennessy each had two. Seniors Robert Hamilton and Dalton Parks, Boyer and junior Joey Casey each had two boards.
Hamilton and Boyer each had two steals. VanLeer, Strong, Casey and Vandaveer contributed one apiece.
VanLeer blocked two shots while senior Dawson Hammett had one.
The Blue Jays were paced offensively by junior Conlan Jarvis and sophomore Alec Brinkmann. Each scored seven points.
Junior Zach Harms knocked down a pair of three-point baskets for his six points.
Senior Austin Lewis, junior Andrew Nolan and freshman Dayton Turner scored four points apiece. Senior Noah Schroepfer added one point.
“We just couldn’t get our offense going, but credit their defense,” Young said. “That was a big key.”
Young said the Indians limited Washington to one shot per possession much of the time.
“Even on misses, we didn’t get extra opportunities,” Young said. “We’ve got to do a better job crashing the offensive boards.”
VanLeer felt his team got a lot out of the tournament.
“We had a chance to win two games in this tournament,” VanLeer said after Saturday. “We didn’t accomplish that. We battled hard tonight, too. We’ll keep getting better. We’ll work on getting better in practice.”
Young said his team had to do a better job offensively against Normandy in the seventh-place game.
“We’ve got to take care of the basketball, limit their opportunities on the glass and score,” Young said. “It’s got to be multiple guys putting the ball into the basket both inside and outside the three-point line.”