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Except for one small burst, the Crusaders offense struggles against Naples Community.
By Bryan Burns, Times Staff Writer
Published February 24, 2008
NAPLES - There was a moment in Calvary Christian's 61-43 region final loss to Naples Community School where, midway through the third quarter, it appeared Calvary had finally solved the riddle of the Seahawks' zone defense and would break out of its offensive slump.
Marcos Quinones, who finished with a team-high 15 points for Calvary, buried a 3-pointer to bring the Warriors to within two after trailing 27-20 at the break, and the Seahawks had to burn a timeout.
Then, Community School's Kyle Petersen drained a 3-pointer of his own, Mitch Woods followed with a jumper in the lane and just like that, the Seahawks' lead was back to seven.
It was that kind of night for Calvary (20-10). Whenever the Warriors would inch closer to the lead, Community School would answer - whether it be a mid-range jumper with a hand in the face, a contested 3-pointer or a reverse layup.
The Seahawks (23-6) shot 56 percent (22-for-39) from the floor, including 5-of-12 from behind the arc to deny the Warriors a second-straight state semifinals appearance.
"We knew coming in that they'd shoot well," Calvary coach Dave Bintz said. "You get to a region final, and usually good teams rise to the occasion."
Community's hot shooting night was exacerbated by the Warriors' inability to get good looks offensively. The Seahawks pressed Calvary all night, forcing the Warriors to methodically pass the ball up the court.
When Calvary finally got into its halfcourt offense, the Seahawks packed into a 2-3 zone, daring Calvary to shoot outside - the Warriors were just 2-of-10 from 3-point range.
"We tried to get a lot of ball movement against their defense," Bintz said. "It worked early on, and we played pretty well. In the second quarter, it seemed like we wanted to go one-on-one."
The Seahawks triple-teamed Calvary leading scorer Christian Bibi Ndongo (12 points, seven rebounds, four blocks), forcing the senior to give up the ball on most possessions.
"Their defense was a big difference in the game," Quinones said. "We were expecting more offense from Christian under the basket."
Community School opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run to push its lead to 47-34. The Warriors never got within 10 points the rest of the game.