By Victor Carno
Slow and steady won the race during the Capistrano Valley Christian boys basketball 54-52 CIF-SS Division 5A quarterfinal victory over No. 2 seed Bellarmine-Jefferson on Feb. 25.
The No. 10 seeded Eagles (16-11) first eight points came from free-throws alone, and after building an early lead, the team slowly built towards a winning effort.
The Bellarmine-Jefferson (18-11) guards played an aggressive and physical game by pushing a full-court-press the entire game. This tripped up the Eagles offense early, but with a few minor adjustments the Eagles were able to push the momentum in their favor, taking a 23-15 lead into the second quarter.
“We switched a few of our guards around in order to overcome the full-court-press, but really, our guys just manned up,” Capistrano Valley Christian head coach Zach Brogdon said.
Sophomore point guard Peter Abramsky scored a team-high 16 points and led the dismantling of Bellarmine-Jefferson’s full-court-press by bringing the ball up the court. Abramsky was also involved in the game’s deciding play.
At the end of the fourth quarter, with close to 10 seconds left on the game clock and both teams tied at 52, Abramsky took a 3-point shot attempt and narrowly missed. With the ball floating near the rim, Eagle’s center Simon Okolue leapt and tipped in the deciding bucket with four seconds left.
“We really worked on our confidence since the last two games and all of us believed we could win this game,” Brogdon said.
The Eagles now advance to the semi-finals to play No. 3 seeded Santa Clarita Christian High School (19-5) on Feb. 28. It will be the deepest the Eagles have gone in the postseason tournament since the 2009 season.