SoCalHoops High School News
CIF State Finals Division III:
Beats El Cerrito, 77-71--(March 20, 1999)
Once again, our man in Sacramento, Patrick McKinney has come through. We don't have the final stats or box score, but we do have his narrative report of the game. Hopefully, we'll get the detailed stats shortly and the rest of the reports from all of the action in the other divisions today. For now here's the Washington Union story:
Washington Union Wins
1999 Boys State Championship
By Patrick McKinney
Exclusive to SoCalHoops
If you were looking for high flying high school basketball action, Arco Arena was the place to be this Saturday afternoon. On the South side, Fresno Washington Union brings strength, speed, and outstanding basketball skills. On the other hand, El Cerrito offers size, speed, and outstanding basketball skills. So which would it be? In the end, Union wore out El Cerrito and took the wind to their sails, winning 77-71, a score that didnt really reflect the nature of this contest.
Andrew Gooden won the tip and El Cerrito went to work, missing an alley oop on their first possession. DeShaun Stevenson got the ball and took over the first quarter, scoring Unions first eight points. He started with a scoring drive and converted a three point play after Jernigan fouled him. Jovan Harris hit from three point land on El Cerritos next possession to tie it. For some reason, El Cerrito went to a zone (perhaps they perceived matchup problems), and Union took full advantage. Anderson missed one and Stevenson put it back after getting lost in the zone. Stevenson scored on a three on Unions next possession. El Cerrito stayed in after Harris hit a couple of foul shots of a Stevenson foul. Jernigan drilled three pointers on El Cerritos next two trips, but a put back by Wafer and nice dish from Taylor to Wafer kept Union up 12-11. Harris went coast to coast, and the teams were trading. Wafer got a steal and laid it up, Gooden put one back, and Stallworth converted a three point play, 17-15 Union. On Unions next possession, Stevenson hung up in the air, was fouled by Harris, and converted another three point play. El Cerrito turned it over, and Wafer returned to the line and converted a couple of foul shots. On the other end, Gooden ended the period with a couple of high flying dunks: the first on a feed from James Brown, the second on a dish from Jamal Hill where he converted the three point play. Stevenson scored 11 in the first and Union was out to a 24-20 lead.
Union started with the ball in the second and, like El Cerrito, could not convert an alley oop on their first play. The ball bounced out to Maurice Moore, however, and he fed Anderson for a nice bucket. Gooden missed a shot and Wafer got a three on the other end. Taylor stole the ball from Jernigan on the next possession, but turned it back over and fouled Harris, who hit one free throw. At this point, El Cerrito switched back to a man defense, realizing the zone wasnt working. El Cerrito got the ball back, and Jernigan hit a three. After a couple of misses, Stevenson went out to NBA range for another three pointer, giving Union the 34-24 advantage. After that, it was a El Cerrito. Gooden threw down the behind the head dunk, and dunked again to put back a miss by Hill. Hill got a bucket himself as Harris got him the ball on the fast break. Stevenson turned it over, and Anderson fouled Hill, who hit one free throw. After the teams traded turnovers, Gooden got loose on the break and dunked it again, giving El Cerrito a 35-34 lead with 2:10 to go in the half. El Cerrito increased their lead to three with a bucket by Harris, and El Cerrito went back to the zone. Union punished them to end the half when Stallworth found his range from three and the teams entered the half tied at 37.
Stevenson led all scorers with 14 points and Wafer added 13. For El Cerrito, Jovan Harris and Andrew Gooden each scored 10 and Jernigan added 9. Things were looking pretty good at the end of the half, but El Cerrito didnt come out of the locker room with the same fire they had in the first half.
Andrew Gooden definitely had his troubles in the second half, but neither team looked particularly sharp in the beginning. Gooden started with a miss, Wafer missed a three, and Stallworth missed from point blank range. Gooden blew a dunk, but Hill put it back to put El Cerrito up. Anderson came back with a three, and Wafer got a free throw on Unions next possession. Union got it going, as Stevenson found Anderson for a big dunk. El Cerrito stayed in the zone, but Union broke it with three pointers by Anderson and Stallworth. Before their big run, Union led 43-42; when it was all over, the score was 63-48: a six minute, 20-6 run. Stevenson got another house rocking dunk and Stallworth found the range from three. The quarter ended with Union up 15 and the game was all but over.
In the fourth, Gooden couldnt buy a basket and it appeared someone might have slipped a cover over it while no one was looking. He started the quarter with a miss and another blown dunk. Union kept the lead between 10 and 11 for the period until the very end. Within the last 20 seconds, Harris scored, followed by Jeremiah King. El Cerrito got a Union turnover and Gooden dunked it home. Finally, Hill stole the inbounds pass and scored again, leaving a closer than appear six point deficit at 77-71. Union really controlled the second half and El Cerrito was unable to make it a game. After such an outstanding first half, it was unfortunate that the second could not equal the first. Stevenson, Stallworth, Taylor, Anderson, and Wafer provided a knock out combo that was simply too strong. I remember this very lineup a year ago and thinking how much better they would be with another year of experience under their belt. El Cerrito just did not have the horses on defense and Union pulled out a great win. Their time has come, and they definitely looked the part of state champions.
Stevenson led all scorers with 26 points, to go with 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Wafer added 20, Stallworth 16, and Anderson 14. Coupe Taylor added 7 assists in the victory. El Cerrito was led by Jamal Hill, who scored 23. Andrew Gooden scored 18 and pulled down 19 boards. Harris added 13 and Jernigan 12 for the runners-up.
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