O’Dowd edges Fairfax in NorCal Tip-Off thriller

NEWARK, Ca. – Some of the better teams from Northern and Southern California hooked up in the final two clashes of the seven-game 11th Nor Cal Tip-Off Classic Saturday at Newark Memorial High.

The SoCal rep (Temecula Rancho Christian) turned in a superb second half to prevail over Sacramento Capital Christian, 84-61, in Game 6 in the Gerry Freitas-fronted event.

And then it was the team that could prove to be NorCal’s best, Oakland Bishop O’Dowd, coming away with the W when it edged L.A. Fairfax, 58-56, in a down-to-the-wire affair.

In Game 7, the Dragons – behind Pac 12 Conference-bound guards Elijah Hardy (Washington) and Naseem Gaskin (Utah) burst out to a 10-point advantage after the first quarter.

The Lions were playing without their head coach, Steve Baik, who remained in Southern California for his sister’s wedding.

But, with Jamal Hartwell Sr. calling the shots from the sideline in Baik’s absence, Fairfax’s own tenacious backcourt play and the rebounding of Kirk Smith held the Lions move in front by four points at intermission.

But the Dragons of Coach Lou Richie – who stunned eventual State Open Division champion Torrance Bishop Montgomery in the same event a year ago – were in front for pretty much the entirety of the second half before barely holding on to prevail as Jamal Hartwell Jr. missed what would have being a score-tying 15-footer in the closing seconds.

Hartwell scored a game-high 22 points (including buzzer-beating 3s in the second and third quarters) while fellow senior Smith grabbed 13 rebounds to go with nine points and juniors Robert McRae (11) and Ethan Anderson (10) combined for 21 points.

Gaskin led Bishop O’Dowd with 20 points and five rebounds while Hardy chipped in with 12 points and team-highs with seven rebounds and four assists.

In Game 6, the Eagles trailed by four points at intermission as Capital Christian guards Zachary Chappell and Trey Jones combined for 26 of their team’s 36 points.

Chappell still sizzled in the third quarter – hitting all four shots, two of those 3s – but junior Isaiah Mobley seized control of action at both ends of the floor the rest of the way.

Isaiah scored 15 of his game-high 28 points after intermission and grabbed nine of his event-high 18 rebounds over the final two quarters. He also blocked five shots and was credited with three assists.

His sophomore brother, Evan Mobley, added 23 points and nine rebounds with four assists and two blocked shots.

Coach Ray Barefield’s team also got strong efforts from guards K.J. Redfield, Jordan Montgomery, Isaiah Knox and Stephen Park.

Chappell, one of the better unsigned seniors in the state, scored 24 points but cooled off in the fourth quarter, missing all four of his shots from the field.

During the first five games Saturday:

*Folsom 75, Alameda St. Joseph-Notre Dame 49: This result was much more lopsided than anticipated since SJND (with Don Lippi at the helm) is one of the best-coached programs in Northern California.

But Harvard-bound Mason Forbes, looking something close to 6-9 (with about three of those inches courtesy a sweet afro), dominated proceedings from the get-go while finishing with 10 points, 11 rebounds, six blocked shots and four assists.

Each of the other four starters also scored in double figures.

*Fresno San Joaquin Memorial 78, Hayward Moreau Catholic 67: The Panthers have one of the most potent of 1-2 punches in California basketball – and all of the evidence to support that statement was on display in this contest

Loyola Marymount-bound and Hanford West-transfer Dameane Douglas (36) and sensational sophomore Jalen Green (26) combined for 62 points with a heaping helping of dazzling dunks mixed in for spectacular effect.

  *Stockton Lincoln 77, Newark Memorial 57: It was just another after at the hard-court “office” for UC Berkeley-bound Andre Kelly.

The 6-7 Kelly toyed with the hosts to the tune of 17 points (seven of 11 from the field in 25 minutes), 16 rebounds and three blocked shots

Two other Trojans, Ezekiel Holman (13) and Josh Bratcher (12 points via four 3s) also scored in double figures.

Senior guard Jamal Frenchwood scored 20 points for Newark Memorial, which trailed by 17 points at intermission.

  *Berkeley 71, Dublin 68 (ot): Junior Jordan Ashworth hit four free throws in the final 16 seconds to give the Yellowjackets the victory by way of an extra four minutes.

Six-three senior Ben Baker, a three-year starter, led Berkeley with 23 points.

Robby Beasley (23) and Grant Manning combined for 40 points for Dublin but hit just a collective eight of 31 attempts from the field.

  *Walnut Las Lomas 60, San Francisco St. Ignatius 43: Nathan Robinson missed all seven shots from the field he took after intermission in the first game of the event.

Not to worry, though, as his sizzling first half was more than enough to put his team on its way to a season-opening victory.

The 6-4 Robinson, a transfer from Sacred Heart in San Francisco, scored 20 points (including four 3s), three rebounds and four assists in the first half in which bolted to a 19-point advantage before finishing with 23, seven and six, respectively.

Five-ten senior Jason Holman added 20 points for the Knights (18 of those on 3s) while senior point guard Darrion Trammell was the only St. Ignatius player to score in double figures (with 17 points).

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