MODESTO — John Fenech was the hero for Modesto City Classic co-host Beyer High on Thursday.
The 3-point specialist struck again in a consolation-bracket semifinal Friday, this time victimizing East Union in a 56-48 overtime win for the Patriots.
East Union (1-2) plays for 11th place at 4 p.m., while Beyer (2-1) vies for the consolation title at 5:30.
East Union went on a 7-1 run in the second quarter to push an early lead to 25-11, its largest of the game. Fenech sparked Beyer’s comeback rally with the first of his three 3-pointers. The Patriots (2-1) finished with 10 made shots from beyond the arc.
Fenech ended up with 11 points, and Zach Porterfield led Beyer with 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists. In a consolation contest against crosstown rival Enochs Thursday, Fenech buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Beyer to a 48-45 win.
“We knew double zero (Fenech) could shoot and we still left him open,” East Union coach Brett Lewis said.
East Union, meanwhile, struggled from beyond the arc and the free-throw line. Its top perimeter shooter, Brandon Cline, made just one 3-pointer and was held to five points, and as a team the Lancers shot 9-for-20 on free throws. Beyer wasn’t much better from the stripe, hitting just 12 of 25.
“If we make half our free throws we don’t go into overtime,” Lewis said.
East Union did most of its damage in the post, where 6-foot-4 Alex Del Real had his way for the most part. He finished with 14 points. Point guard Justin Nieto added 10 points and seven rebounds, and Brock Swift rattled in two of EU’s three 3-pointers and totaled eight points.
Fenech started Beyer’s second-half surge with back-to-back 3s in a 50-second span midway through the third quarter, and Austin Winkle made it three straight to close the Patriots in 29-27 with 4:39 remaining.
Porterfield hit a 3 with 3:51 to go to shrink the deficit to one. Beyer stayed hot to start the fourth, nailing two more 3s within the first minute. The latter, from Anthony Vargas, vaulted Beyer to its first lead of the game, 40-38.
Both squads cooled off down the stretch. The last field goal — a nifty layup from Cecil Jenkins, who drove from the right baseline — in regulation came with 3:24 left.
East Union turned it over twice in the final minute but was fortunate to have the score still tied at 46 in the end. With about 40 seconds to go, Winkle intercepted a lazy pass but could not convert the breakaway layup for Beyer. And as time expired, Winkle settled on a desperation 3-point heave from about 7 feet beyond the top of the arc and missed well right of the hoop.
Winkle made up for it in overtime. He broke the ice with a 3-pointer with 2:48 left, and Beyer never looked back.
East Union was still in it down 53-48 late thanks to four straight missed free throws from the Patriots, but Jenkins and Porterfield kept those possessions alive with big offensive rebounds.
Not boxing out on free throws hurt the Lancers all night. All told, they were outrebounded, 33-25 and gave up 12 off the offensive glass.
“Free throws killed us, so did (not) boxing out and (giving up key) rebounds (in regulation),” Lewis said. “We gave up three offensive rebounds right off free throws — two in the first half and one in the second, and they scored six points off of those.”
Manteca 75, Escalon 69
The Buffaloes (2-2) snapped a two-game losing streak with their best offensive effort of the early season.
Taylor Hasal erupted for 33 points, including 12 in the final period. Sophomore Austin Haro sank four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, and Ben Odell poured in all 10 of his in the first half.
Manteca caps tournament play at Beyer High today. Tipoff against Enochs is scheduled for 2:30.