Basketball Season Ends in NorCal 1st Round

Mission defeats Breakers on last-second layup


Photo credits to Karen Fenstermaker

Last years boys varsity basketball

Written by Eli Swanson, Sports Editor

Despite clawing back from a nine-point first half deficit and limiting Mission to nearly 30 points below its average total, Pacific Grove was unable to pull out the victory in its 52-50 loss Wednesday night at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco.


Zach Miller scored 20 points on 100% shooting to lead the Breakers — most of those points came from tough rebounds under the basket. Brad Sendell finished with 18 points.


From the opening whistle, it was clear that Pacific Grove had not faced an opponent like the Mission Bears. The San Francisco school played fast, ran hard, and pressed on every possession. The Breakers turned the ball over 14 times in the first half alone.


Mission jumped out to an early 13-4 lead after the first quarter, and at that point PG looked out of it.


Whatever Coach Dan Powers said in the huddle worked, because the Breakers team that emerged for the second quarter was a hardened group that fought harder in the paint and pulled the Mission lead back to only three points at the half.


The Breakers trailed 21-18 at the half.


Pacific Grove slowly worked its way back, and the Breakers took the lead back when Miller hit two free throws early in the fourth quarter. PG opened up a seven-point lead with 3:11 left in the game, but then Mission got hot from beyond the arc.


The Bears hit two long threes in the final minute to tie the game at 50 with 16 seconds left. Kezar Pavilion has the NBA three-point line on its court — the three pointer from Mission that made it 48-47 PG was from about four feet beyond that line.


Pacific Grove got the ball with about 10 seconds left when a Mission player threw it right to Zach Miller in the frontcourt. Miller handed it to Brad Sendell, who dribbled past two Mission defenders before tripping over one of the defender’s legs as he tried to split the defense.


Mission picked up the ball and scored the game-winning layup with about five seconds left in the game. Unfortunately for the Breakers, they couldn’t stop the clock because they had no timeouts remaining.


The Breakers shot 0 for 7 from the three-point line against Mission’s tight coverage, their worst percentage of the year. PG was outstanding on free throws, however, converting on 24 of 27 attempts.


Other scorers for the Breakers were Chip Wagner with six points, Uche Ebo with four, and Jake Merenda with two. Wednesday’s game was the last for all three seniors.


Brad Sendell, Zach Miller, and Uche Ebo all had seven rebounds for Pacific Grove.
PG finishes the season with a record of 23-5(13-1 MTAL), an MTAL Championship, and a CCS Division IV Championship.