LONG BEACH.—The NAU State Championship basketball games were played Sunday, April 29. Foster City Flyers snatched the Aye Plus title while East Bay Court Jesters grabbed the Aye Major trophy and Blazers took Aye Minor Honors.
AYE PLUS Splitting their offense between twos and threes, Foster City Flyers smothered FOR Magic, 104-94.
Foster City’s Tyler Petroni, Derek King, Travis Hom and Ryan Sera worked the paint for 26, 24, 17 and 15 points, respectively. Brandon Yamaguchi scored 24, all from the three-point sniper’s nest. Flyers dropped in 16 of 38 from beyond the arc and made 50% of their two-point attempts, 22 of 44.
Petroni was named MVP behind his scoring, defense and 14 rebounds. Teammate Hom grabbed 11 caroms.
Magic’s offense was centered around Justin Hays and Jordan Hiroshima. Hays tallied 23 and Hiroshima made 20. FOR hit 34 of 79 from the floor, but just 8 of 28 three-pointers.
Flyers started off quickly as Yamaguchi dropped in a pair of triples. All nine Magic players managed to score but Foster City hit from all corners, opening a 37-25 lead en route to a 56-43 halftime advantage.
It took 2.5 minutes for Yamaguchi and Petroni to increase the Flyer margin to 70-46. FOR tried to take up the challenge but FC matched baskets. A 6-point run by Magic cut the gap down to 12 points, 91-79, with 6:33 on the clock. After a time out, Flyers spread out the court, worked the clock and snuck in for lay-ups to put the game away.
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AYE MAJOR Trailing by 17 points, Sacramento Sabres slashed their way through and past Westside Bears. Dilan Nakatomi’s 25-footer nestled through the net with 2s. on the clock to give them an 86-83 victory.
Bears seemingly took control when they closed out the first half on a 14-zip run and a 40-30 lead. They converted four lay-ups, a triple and a 10-foot jumper in that burst.
Ryan Iwamoto, who led Westsiders with 30 points, and Jason Smith, who made 20, matched every shot made by Sabres. Lay-ups by Kent Sun, Smith and two fts by Tom Hseih gave Bears a 76-59 lead with 7:42 left on the clock.
Darrin Yamauchi scored seven straight points and accomplished two things. It closed the deficit to 76-66 and left Bears with only four players on the court.
Sacramento pressured all over the court, giving up fts in exchange for baskets. They found open spots in the Westsider 4-man zone. Dilan Nakatomi and Brandon Yamauchi sandwiched triples around Matt Nakatomi’s drive and the score with 79-76 with 3:45 remaining.
Hsieh sank a ft but Sabres closed it to a point, 80-79 on Ryan Sekikawa 3-point bomb. After a steal, D. Nakatomi pulled up for a fast break trey and the lead 82-80. With 2:50 on the clock, D. Yamauchi’s ft opened a three-point lead.
On the next few possessions, both teams were unable to score but Sabres worked the clock down. With 31s. remaining, Hsieh converted a Smith pass from the top of the key and tied the game, 83-all.
With the shot clock off, Sacramento held it until the end. Catching a pass deep on the left wing, Nakatomi took it right up for the game-winner.
For his hustle, key steals and 19 points, Matt Nakatomi was selected MVP. B. Yamauchi and D. Nakatomi both scored, and R. Sekikawa and D. Yamauchi each tallied 12.
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After East Bay Court Jesters rallied from a 15-point deficit, Blazers set the nets on fire en route to a 79-68 win.
Aaron Saldana started the game hot for Blazers. He dropped in 14 of his total and Blazers led early, 27-13. Bruce Momono and Mark Arakaki scored for Jesters but all they could do was stay even until the half. Blazers led 79-68.
Five Jesters all hit shots and East Bay caught up at 44-all. The teams traded tallies until 50-50. Saldana hit a triple, two charities and a deuce to start an 18-2 fireball. He capped this run with full court assists to Brandon Wong and Sean Watanabe. Blazers were on top, 68-52.
With 3m. left, Arakaki started launching for Jesters but Blazers were in complete control.
Saldana with 31 points and 13 rebounds (6 offensive) was picked the game’s MVP. Teammates Wong, Watanabe and Justin Tsai added 12, 11 and 10. Watanabe also picked off 11 caroms as Blazers held a 50-36 rebound edge and 13-3 on the offensive glass.
Arakaki fired in 25 points, Momono made 18 and Michael Sakoda tallied 14. Momono grabbed an impressive 20 rebounds.
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