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Boys basketball: Cents ousted by Summit

Saugus boys hoops’ season ends in CIF-SS Div. IIAA quarterfinals

Posted: February 23, 2010 11:04 p.m.
Updated: February 24, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Saugus' Jon Grisanti, right, looks to shoot against Summit defenders Darrick Arnold, left, and Kalinn Jackson, back, on Tuesday at Saugus High in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs. The Centurions lost the game 76-49.

It’s hard to knock off the No. 1 seed, especially when it’s banking in 3-point shots and forcing turnovers.

Saugus played with Summit of Fontana for a quarter, but fell behind and never caught up in a 76-49 loss to the Skyhawks in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs on Tuesday at Saugus High.

By the fourth quarter with Saugus trailing 75-35, the game moved to a running clock to quicken the pace.

“We didn’t think they were going to shoot very well, so our plan was to take away the inside,” said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard. “And they just shot the lights out.”

Summit raced out to a 7-0 lead, but the Centurions fought back to tie it up.

Brad Buchignani and Jawhar Purdy led Saugus with eight points apiece in the first half, but a few sloppy turnovers early left the Centurions trailing 19-15 heading into the second quarter.

Saugus (18-11) had a slow start to the second, and before long, it was trailing 25-15.

“We were able to do what we needed to do early,” said Centurions guard Brad Buchignani, “But once they caught fire, we just got flustered.”

The resulting mistakes proved too costly to overcome.

The Skyhawks (28-2) built a 14-point lead midway through the second, and for the rest of the night, the Centurions were forced to play catch-up.

Both teams kept firing away from the beyond arc, shooting 5-of-14 combined in the first half. Neither team had a significant advantage on the glass either, with Summit edging Saugus 19-14 on the boards.

The turnover battle was another story.

Centurions led that department 11-2 before the break, the last of which led to Summit’s Devon Alexander banking in a 3-pointer as the first half expired, which gave his team a 40-25 advantage.

In the second half, it didn’t seem to matter what Saugus did, Summit was in control.

Skyhawk Montigo Alford slashed through the Centurions’ defense and left defenders chasing and fouling.

He helped the Skyhawks build a 53-29 lead with 4:47 left in the third quarter as Saugus stayed cold.

The Centurions could only watch as Summit hit free throws, 3-pointers and made slicing drives, most of which were generated by Alford. He led his team with 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting, with four steals and four assists.

Summit went off for 28 points in the third quarter, while the Centurions scored just six. This time it was Skyhawks forward Alex Reynolds who banked in a 3-pointer to end the period.

Summit didn’t miss a 3-pointer in the second half and was ahead 68-32 and the end of the third, as the game’s deficit became too much for Saugus.

“I don’t know where that came from,” said Summit head coach Steve Hickey, of his team’s impressive shooting effort. “I told our guys, we just had to get in the flow of the game on defense, and we were able to take advantage of that on offense in transition.”

As Sunkist League champions, the top-seeded Skyhawks came into the game riding a 22-game winning streak.



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