VALLEJO – There are times when a 3-point buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter can rally a team. Such was not the case Saturday night.
Ripon’s Aaron Paschini drained a 3-pointer from the wing as the buzzer sounded to end the third period, but instead of a rallying point it was the end of an era. That basket proved to be the last one of Paschini’s career as host No. 3 St. Patrick-St. Vincent of Vallejo put on a clinic and downed the 11th-seeded Indians 89-54 in second-round action of the NorCal Basketball Championships.
“Those were my last points at Ripon,” Paschini said. “But it was all good.
“I played some of their best players in travel ball and we knew how they played but they were just more athletic.”
The Bruins (25-7) scored the game’s first 10 points and Ripon (25-7) would come no closer than seven points after that, trailing 46-23 at halftime.
“They are an Open Division team and they are very, very good,” Indians coach Rod Wright said. “We can’t simulate that kind of energy or speed in practice with the guys that we have.
“We had nothing to lose. We are an 11 seed and we go out and play as hard as we can. That’s all you can ask for.”
Ripon’s Noah Hernandez may have had problems from the field, but he did his best to help his teammates with four assists in the second quarter and eight on the night.
“My shot hasn’t been falling the last couple of games and that’s on me,” Hernandez said. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t distribute the ball and get my team open shots.
“So I just came out with the mindset to get my teammates the ball and get as many assists as I could.”
The normally high-octane Indians offense was led by Paschini with 11 points followed by Anthony Sisk (six rebounds) with 10 points, Rhet Herrin with nine and Kyle Sisk with eight.
St Patrick-St. Vincent outrebounded Ripon 36-22 and forced 18 turnovers while only committing five.
“We played good defense and we played to our tempo,” Bruins coach Derek Walker said. “And things worked out.”
Things worked out really well for St. Patrick-St. Vincent seniors Marquel Johnson who led all scorers with 23 points and Romeo Mays who added 17. Johnson had 17 points in the second quarter – when the Indians had only 15 – and Mays took over in the third period when he scored 14 points.
“That’s not normal,” Walker said of Johnson’s and Mays’ outstanding single-quarter efforts. “But those are two seniors. They kind of played with the sense of urgency that this may be their last game and I will take it every time.”