Jaden Alexander’s streak of 42 performances ended Thursday night. However, his team’s winning streak continued.
The St. Patrick-St. Vincent High, senior for the Bruins, changed the numbers and scored 24 points – nine of them in a solid second quarter – to propel his side to a 57-52 home win over Miramonte. The victory was the third in a row in three games this season in the Diablo Athletic League.
Alexander, the reigning Times-Herald male athlete of the year, had previously scored 42 points apiece in wins over College Park and Northgate.
“I chose my seats well,” said Alexander. “I obviously knew scoring 40 straight points there was going to be about what I can and can’t do. I had to choose my seats and not force the problem. That’s why in the second half, I relaxed a bit and let my team get involved because it’s all about victory, not statistics.
Miramonte was ranked No.3 in the Bay Area News Group rankings and St. Pat’s entered the week at No.9.
Alexander came out of the gate shooting all cylinders as he led the Bruins with nine points in the first quarter. He converted on 4 of 4 free throws and his top 3 pointer with about a minute to go gave St. Pat’s a 17-11 lead before Miramonte closed the gap to 17-14 at the end of the period. .
“He’s playing really well,” St. Pat’s head coach Derek Walker said of Alexander. “You can tell he’s been working on his game. He’s not just a pilot and now they have to respect his shot. He’s no longer a complete basketball player now.
Back-to-back layups from Miramonte rookie James Frye scored 20-18 in favor of St. Pat, but soon after, the Bruins had a great run. Jevon Blackmore had a steal and a layup to put St. Pat’s in a foursome, then Alexander got back to work. He made four more free throws in the period, his fourth putting the Bruins 33-23. A free throw from Noah McNeal-Franklin extended the lead to 34-23.
The Bruins held the lead at around eight for the first part of the third quarter, but then Miramonte’s Tyler Dutto started to find his shooting rhythm from the outside. He scored seven points in the period – 18 in the second half – and finished with a high of 25 points. His buzzed layup to end the quarter reduced the lead to 41-35. St. Pat’s offense was limited to just seven points in the quarter.
However, the Bruins regained their shooting touch in the fourth quarter as Tariq Johnson had a nice throw-in and Alyas Vigil made a nice cut to the basket and was able to score a left-handed layup on a nice pick-and-roll shot. . that’s 46-37 Bruins.
Two McNeal-Franklin free throws gave the Bruins a 49-39 lead with less than four minutes to go. McNeal-Franklin finished with 12 points.
Moments later, St. Pat’s seemed to regain momentum when Blackmore found an Alexander streak down the left side of the court in a move that would end in a breakaway dunk. Besides providing the big help, Blackmore scored eight points.
“Jevon, he knows how to throw that over there,” Alexander said with a big smile. “I would have caught that even if the defender was close to me I would have caught him and got the layup. So I’m glad he threw it out. Other times he might have pulled out, but I’m glad he threw it out.
Miramonte (4-2) did not want to leave and slipped into the match thanks to Dutto. His runner with 2:08 reduced the lead to 51-43, then the Matadors accepted the charges over long distances as he converted a 3-point pointer near the center court line which took him to 53- 46 with a little over a minute to go. Another 3 points by Dutto with about 20 seconds left reduced the lead even further to 55-51. A free kick from Dutto made it 55-52 with 13 seconds left.
However, it’s as close as the Matadors would get when St. Pat’s Nick Medeiros converted two free throws to take him to 57-52, the final final.
After the game Walker was happy with the victory, but also just to be on the pitch again.
“I’m extremely grateful to play after a year and a half away, especially how our last season ended here at home. We had no summer leagues, no fall leagues, so we had to sit on that loss for a loooooong time, ”Walker said with a smile. “It’s really, really good to be in the gym and I’m extremely happy that the seniors are playing again.”
Going forward, what does the team need to be working on to continue the winning streak?
“Everything! Everything,” Walker said with a big laugh. “But again you know it’s a short season and we had a practice and then a 10 day layoff. practice time, not a lot of conditioning time It’s weird It’s weird to play a game, to finish and the sun is always there.