There was foul trouble on both sides of the court, but in the end, Pleasant Hill came out on top 70-64 for third place against Summit Christian Academy in the Pleasant Hill Invitational Jan. 12.
The Roosters, 8-5, started out the game with a 16-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter and were ahead 32-28 at halftime, helped by inside man senior Brad Smith, who scored 12 points in the first half.
“I’m pretty happy with how I played,” Smith said. “My team did a really good job of getting it in to me. I wouldn’t have made anything if they wouldn’t have gotten the ball in to me.”
In the third quarter, the Eagles fought to close the gap to 37-36, before Pleasant Hill went on a 6-0 run with a basket from senior Dillan Findley and a shot and two free throws from senior Brad Smith to give the Roosters a 43-36 lead. After two free throws from Summit Christian Academy junior guard Donovan Kim, Smith sunk another basket. But the Eagles were fouled again and senior guard Garrett Gibson hit two more free throws to make the score 45-40.
“Obviously we were in foul trouble from the beginning of the game,” Pleasant Hill junior Josh Shewmaker said. “But our bench stepped up and played when they needed to.”
After a shot from senior Nick Shore for the Roosters, Kim sunk a three-pointer for the Eagles and a technical called on Pleasant Hill head coach Ryan Messinger gave junior guard Taurin Hughes two more free throws and Summit Christian Academy cut the lead to 47-45. Pleasant Hill retaliated at the end of the quarter though to lead 54-59.
In the fourth quarter, with the Roosters ahead at 59-51, foul after foul was called on Pleasant Hill, with Summit Christian Academy sinking eight free throws, enough to knot the score. Pleasant Hill’s Shewmaker was fouled next, hitting both free throws, but Hughes responded with a basket for the Eagles to tie the score at 61-61.
Findley fouled out for the Roosters as Gibson hit a free throw for Summit Christian Academy, but Kim fouled out on a technical as Shewmaker sunk a free throw for Pleasant Hill to make the score 62-62. Pleasant Hill senior Matt Townsend fouled out next and Summit Christen Academy junior forward Greg Nicoll sunk a free throw to put the Eagles ahead at 63-62.
“We really buckled down at the end and worked when we needed to,” Smith said.
With the score tied at 64-64, Shewmaker hit a shot for the Roosters with just over a minute left in the game and then was fouled, sinking one free throw to put Pleasant Hill ahead at 67-64. Summit Christian Academy called a timeout with less than 30 seconds left. The Eagles tried to make a shot, but missed and a jump ball was called on the rebound, with possession going to Pleasant Hill with just over 10 seconds left. Shewmaker was fouled immediately, hitting the first free throw. Summit Christian Academy rebounded the next one, but Shewmaker stole the ball away and was fouled, sinking both shots to seal the victory.
“I was mad for sitting out the first half because I got two fouls quick and got my fourth in the third,” Shewmaker said. “My teammates helped me step up and gave me the ball whenever I needed it. It was a big part.”
Pleasant Hill was led in scoring by Smith with 31 points, followed by Shewmaker and Townsend with 11 points each. Shore had eight, Findley six and Martin had four points. Derrick Spears, Justin Orpin and Brandon Uebele added two points apiece.
Smith and Shewmaker were both named to the all-tournament team.