Archbishop Mitty likes to travel to play in basketball tournaments because it allows the San Jose, Calif., school to see different opponents and leave their comfort zone.
The Monarchs, California Division II champions in 2011 and 2012 and runner-up in the open division last year, made host Lewis and Clark uncomfortable in the first half and cruised to a 76-39 win Friday at the Dan Fitzgerald Memorial tournament.
“We always try to go play somewhere,” coach Tim Kennedy said. “You go in and play in someone else’s environment it kind of has a postseason feel. Hopefully it brings us together and then you get a game where it’s not a comfortable environment.”
Archbishop Mitty (1-0) forced 12 LC turnovers in the first quarter, converting many into easy buckets at the offensive end en route to a 19-0 lead. The Tigers (0-2) made just five field goals and trailed 49-15 at half.
“We’re very active,” Kennedy said. “We have some long guys that can put pressure on, and even though our guards, Matt (McAndrews) and Connor (Peterson) are smaller, they have long wingspans and can cover some ground and (forward) Ian (Aguilar) can do that, too.”
Archbishop Mitty alum Aaron Gordon has moved on to the University of Arizona but the Monarchs still boast an impressive roster. All five starters reached double figures, led by JP Rindfleisch’s 13 points. Peterson, who has committed to Azusa Pacific, added 12 and McAndrews, who has been offered a scholarship by Alaska-Anchorage, added 11.
LC seemed to regroup at halftime and played the Monarchs on fairly even terms in the second half. Senior Connor Hojnacki hit a 3-pointer and a driving layup and Marcus Ducham penetrated for another basket as the Tigers opened the second half with a 7-2 spurt.
Aguilar scored consecutive baskets and McAndrews’ layup in transition restored the Monarchs’ lead to 35.
“You almost kind of expect the wide eyes and back on their heels,” LC coach Jeff Norton said. “We only have three seniors and two of them have varsity experience. You get out there, they’re on (SWX) TV, Bud Nameck’s announcing and it’s a team from California and it’s, ‘Oh my gosh.’
“But they came back. I don’t think they got down on themselves and I didn’t get down on them and they responded.”
Hojnacki’s 14 points led the Tigers, who had just five second-half turnovers. Archbishop Mitty had 12 turnovers in the final two quarters.
The tournament resumes today at LC with six games.
West Valley 68, Moscow 41: Jake Love poured in 29 points and grabbed five rebounds to guide the Eagles (2-0) past the Bears (0-2).
Brandon Ray added 11 rebounds for West Valley, which turned a close game into a rout with its second-half charge. Moscow was held to just 10 points in the second half.
Lake City 61, Mountain View 55: J.J. Winger stroked six 3-pointers as part of his 24 points and the Timberwolves (2-0) edged Mountain View. Kyle Guice added 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for Lake City.
Mead 56, West Valley 48: Thomas Kautzman scored a game-high 19 points to guide the Panthers (1-0) past the Rams. Anthony Gold and Max Hess added 10 points apiece for Mead.