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Lincoln dominates Manteca to snag Gallo Invitational crown
MHS gallo pix
Manteca's J.T. Holmes (3) goes up for a shot in front of Lincoln's Miles Byrd in the Mark Gallo Invitational title contest.

MODESTO – There is a reason Lincoln High’s Miles Byrd is headed to San Diego State on a scholarship.

The 6-foot-7 senior led all scorers Saturday night with 20 points behind three 3-pointers while dominating the boards and being named the Most Valuable Player of the 3rd Annual Mark Gallo Invitational as the Trojans from Stockton downed Manteca 64-36 in the Gallo Health and Fitness Center at Central Catholic High School.

“He (Byrd) is definitely a special player,” Lincoln coach Anthony Matthews said. “What makes it fun is he loves basketball. He walks into practice with a good attitude and goes hard all the time. He is young – he is a senior but he should be a junior. He watches a lot of basketball, he wants to be a great basketball player and he puts in the time. When you love something that much it just comes easy to you.

“We hadn’t played a lot of games coming into the tournament so I feel we got a little bit better each game. We have mixture of youth and experience so it is all about getting them to gel. That has been the hardest part this year. From where we were three weeks ago to where we are now, I feel like we are moving in the right direction.” 

The Trojans (5-1) closed the first quarter on an 11-0 run and added a 9-3 run in the second quarter to take a 35-21 halftime lead. Lincoln forced 26 turnovers.

“In my opinion, Lincoln is the best team in the area,” Buffaloes coach Jason Hitt said. “The kids played hard the first three nights but they were outmatched tonight. They have a D-I basketball player, and that’s what happens when you have a major D-I basketball player. The first half he showed us why he is a D-I basketball player so kudos to him.

“So other than them and Modesto Christian, everybody else is a big tier down from those two. I am glad we got to play Lincoln because it will help our power ratings. We played Sonora really well, as well as Downey and Atwater – and they were all great quality wins. I know the guys are a little disappointed, but you can’t come out here and let Lincoln do whatever they want and have as many turnovers as we did. We have to work on that.”

J.T. Chase led Manteca (5-4) with 14 points, seven rebounds and a steal. Mehtaj Mehrok (seven rebounds, steal, assist and block) added eight points and All-Tournament selection Ryan Inderbitzin (eight rebounds) chipped in six points.

“It was a real competitive tournament,” Inderbitzin said. “It didn’t end how we wanted it to but we worked hard as a team and we made it further than anyone expected.

“We are going to try and learn from this loss and come back stronger.”

The Buffaloes travel to Elk Grove tonight to face Laguna Creek at 7.

Downey 65, Lathrop 56

Going for its second win of the tournament, the Spartans (3-5) trailed by a point going into the fourth period before being outscored by the Knights (7-5) 19-11.

Kameron Jones led Lathrop with 13 points and Quentin Bohoman added 10 points.

The Spartans host Liberty Ranch of Galt on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.

Bradshaw Christian 57, Ripon Christian 43

The Pride (2-4) took a 20-7 first quarter lead on the way to its lone victory of the tournament.

Eli Terpsman of the Knights (5-5) shared high point honors with Bradshaw Christian’s Micah Nichelson with 15 points apiece. Ripon Christian’s Thys Van Der Hoek added 11 points.

The Knights host Modesto on Wednesday at 7 p.m.