PACIFIC GROVE — On Tuesday, February 7, The Pacific Grove Breakers and their rival foe, the Carmel Padres, clashed on the hardwood in a day-long bout for basketball bragging rights and league supremacy.
The Freshmen Boys played the first meeting of the day, during the annual sixth/seventh period game. The stands were packed, as fellow classmates and teachers alike filed into the gymnasium in their united effort to form a splash zone of absolute mayhem, distraction, and cheer. Despite the team’s valiant attempts, the boys suffered a close and crushing defeat. The crowd’s intensity carried over into the following games, as spectators from both sides of the hill gathered to watch the highly contested matchups. Both the Junior Varsity Boys and Junior Varsity Girls fought hard and tirelessly throughout the duration of their respective games, but fell short of victory as the final whistle was blown and the buzzer sounded.
Later in the evening the respective varsity teams battled it out in a contest displaying both teams’ grit, efforts, and determination. The Varsity Girls were the first of the varsity teams to showcase their talents. The Breakers began the game like they shot out of a hot cannon of vengeance, as they sought to avenge their last painful loss to the Padres. Within the opening minutes of the first half of play, the girls surged ahead, building a double digit lead and silencing all nay-sayers in the process.
As the second half of play ensued, the Breakers’ lead soon vanished, as the Padres went on an impressive run of their own, holding the Breakers to only two baskets in the third quarter. The Padres eventually build a ten point cushion of a lead, and were able to withstand the Breakers impressive comeback attempt. The three-headed monster of Patton, Tulua, and Courtney, finished with yet another dominating statline. Alexandra Patton hustled her way to one of her season’s countless triple doubles, totalling 11 points and 13 rebounds. Kulaea Tulua added a team high 13 points, and Vada Courtney followed up with 12 points.
The Boys Varsity which followed directly after, mirrored that of the the girls game. Like the game prior, the Breakers began the matchup red hot, shooting their way into a double digit lead within a matter of what seemed like seconds. This momentum was short lived, as the Padres gathered their thoughts and redrew their game-plan during a quick series of closely called timeouts. The Breakers entered halftime with a one point lead, after Gaurav Gurung nailed a deep three-pointer with only seconds left on the clock.
The second half began with the Breakers scoring the opening basket courtesy of the junior sensation, Ian Sinclair Fox. The Padres responded swiftly, as their backcourt drained multiple three-pointers in a row. The Carmel student section began to awaken, and the idea of a Padre victory began to seem all too possible for comfort.
Homecourt advantage began to take its toll and pay dividends, for the Splash Zone, led by the loud and deep baritones of the senior and junior class boys, became an overwhelming and dominant presence in the game. A myriad of chants and screams began to flood from the bleachers down upon the court, as the physically exhausted Padres quickly grew emotionally and mentally weary. In the end, the utter skill and shooting prowess of two-time league MVP, Brad Sendell propelled Pacific Grove to victory. The game ended with school beloved, Charlie Bursch, shooting a pair of foul shots from behind the stripe as the entire gymnasium shouted his name. Fittingly, Zack Miller, the man whose name reduces Padres to a nervous whimper, dunked the ball once again off a gorgeous alley-oop pass from Jalen Killian, as he hung on the rim and dangled his legs and lower torso/extremities on the shoulders of the unlucky chap whom decided to defend him, sending the Splash Zone into a mad frenzy, which Omdev Elzafon was unfortunately trampled and buried under.
Sendell converted on all 12 of his free throws, and ended the outing with 32 points, while Fox added a double-double with 10 points and twelve boards. Zack Miller contributed 9 points and 8 rebounds, in addition to Killian’s 8 points.
With Pacific Grove prevailing 67-55, the Breakers swept the Padres in the season series, and in doing so, secured yet another victory that propelled them to yesterday’s MTAL championship.