What appeared to be a smooth victory for Mission High’s basketball team almost ended in a shocking defeat as the Bears barely hung on for a 71-67 win in Burton High School’s gymnasium.
“We had to fight hard. The fourth quarter was rough but we pulled it together and cleaned up in transition,” said Mission senior Miles Prescott shortly after the final buzzer rang.
Throughout most of the contest, Mission enjoyed a comfortable double-digit lead as solid defensive and rebounding efforts gave the Bears the upper hand against their opponents in white. After three quarters, Mission High had a 13-point lead, 59-46.
But an enormous string of turnovers — 15 in the second half — and missed shots for the Bears allowed the Pumas to go on a 14-2 run in four minutes of the fourth quarter (from the 7:35 mark to the 3:28 mark). That run cut their double-digit deficit to a mere two points, allowing them to climb back into the game with the scoreboard reading 64-62.
That was as close as Burton got, however. Terrance Ching, who was carrying the hot hand for the Pumas, picked up his fifth foul, knocking him out of the game.
A pull-up jump-shot from Mission junior Kevin Murray and a transition play from junior Antoine Porter, who picked off a Burton lob pass and tossed the ball down-court to senior Gione Edwards for a lay-up, all but sealed the deal for the Bears. The margin grew just large enough to hold off the rallying Pumas.
Seniors Miles Prescott and Gione Edwards both came up huge, contributing numbers that were nearly identical.
Edwards hit the big shots down the stretch, finishing with a team-high 17 points and 9 rebounds. Prescott had a solid double-double performance, recording 16 points and 10 boards, although he was fouled out at a crucial time, at the 1:42 mark in the fourth quarter.
“I was just running the floor and playing hard defense,” said Prescott.
“I rely on my teammates to get me the ball and I was also able to do the dirty work.”
This win improves the Bear’s record to 14-8. Their league record is now 7-1.
Next on the Bears’ agenda will be Wallenberg, which visits Mission High on Thursday, Jan. 26. The last time these two squads faced off was in Kezar, for the AAA semifinals in March of last year. Mission came out on top that day in a heart-pounding game with a final score of 69-66.