Junior guard Antoine Porter tries to dribble past teammate Gione Edwards at practice Tuesday. Photo by Jamie Goldberg

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Unlike the start of the 2010-2011 season, when the Mission Bears’ first win came in their sixth preseason game, this year the Bears came blasting out of the gates in their opening game in the Crusader Classic Tournament and rousted St. Mary’s Panthers with a 72-67 victory.

This Wednesday meet had its fair share of ups and downs on each side, as both teams had a little early-season rust. For St. Mary’s, it was coughing up the ball for a total of 31 turnovers (15 of which were from Mission steals). For Mission it was foul trouble: The whistle was blown against the Bears 19 times (including one technical). A majority of Mission’s key players had fouls, and five players finished the game off with three fouls or more. Mission’s head coach, Arnold Zelaya, is not too concerned, though.

“They kept at it,” Zelaya said of his team’s foul struggles. “We were tired and there’s a lot of silly fouls when you’re tired, and we’re just trying to get that football rust off. It was a sloppy game but we got the W.”

The match in itself consisted of very aggressive and up-tempo basketball, which is expected from the Mission Bears. The two squads were pretty much even in the first half, as St. Mary’s, despite 19 first-half turnovers, was able to poke holes in Mission’s full-court defense and open up numerous easy scoring opportunities.

It wasn’t until late in the third period that Mission was lifted up from a combination of a stiffened defense and a trio of three-pointers from sophomore guard Kevin Murray. The Bears would enjoy their largest lead, 15 points, during this time. The deficit would eventually prove to be too great for the Panthers to catch up; even though they were able to close the gap to just five points, they ultimately ran out of time.

There were many impressive numbers in the box score on Mission’s side. Guard Kevin Murray had three assists to go along with his efficient 17 points that came on 46 percent shooting (six for 13). Forward Gione Edwards scored 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Forward Miles Prescott also made an impact, scoring eight points and pulling down 13 rebounds.

Guard Antoine Porter and forward Shaq Fisher both had double-doubles as each grabbed 10 boards apiece. Porter went for 14 points in addition to four assists and four steals, and Fisher had the team high with 20 points. Fisher really had to rough out those 20 points, though. He started out the half shooting just two for 11 from the field before catching fire in the second and finishing off the game nine for 25. The 6’4″ senior gave the recognition to his teammates for his late success.

“It was my team, they got me through it,” he said. “Go hard to the basket, no fadeaways. Just be confident with my shot.”

Mission High will have a day off Thursday before suiting up again on Friday as they go head-to-head against Burlingame High School for day two of Riordan High’s Crusader Classic Tournament.

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Richard Lee is a just another ordinary child. He chose to start off reporting mainly to write about Mission High School sports. The primary intent to why he started journalism was to cover basketball games to inform parents and fans of the games when they were not able to attend scheduled contests. His most vital goal is to have more individuals read his works to show that various insights and intellectual thinking can be emitted and purveyed by not only educated adults, but by the budding youth as well.

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