The Bishop Broncos advanced to the second round of the CIF Central Section Division 5 Playoffs last night. Robert Chavez’s team beat the Mojave Mustangs 65-56 in a game that got a little too close for comfort for Bishop.
Mojave jumped out to an early lead, doing a nice job of stuffing the ball inside and scoring off of fast breaks. One player who really stood out for Mojave during the first eight minutes was Senior, Rae’Kwon Alvez, who seemed like he couldn’t be stopped when he had the ball in the paint.
The Mustangs played well for most of the first half, but Bishop assumed control of the game at the midway point in the second quarter. One standout player Tuesday night was Luke McClean, who played lock down defense. The senior had five steals on the night to go along with a couple of blocks.
McClean set up quite a few of his teammates with his excellent vision as well. One such play came off of an inbound pass where McClean dished it to a wide open Tristan Valle, who scored the easy bucket.
When the third quarter came, Bishop began to pile it on, extending their lead to as much as fourteen points.
After a good third period, Bishop began to step off the gas a little bit. That large lead got cut down all the way to just two points. Luckily for the Broncos, Mojave could not take the lead due to a plethora of mistakes. One example of a miscue was when Mustang guard, Tyree Bullard took the ball to the right side of mid-court and inexplicably tried to thread a pass in between two Bronco defenders inside the paint. If Bullard had been able to pull off the pass, Steve Nash would have been envious.
Mojave would turn the ball over a few more times with the game on the line. They also had a poor shot selection down the stretch. Instead of getting the ball inside and taking advantage of their height, the Mustangs settled for low percentage looks.
Credit must be given to Bishop though. The team’s stifling defense and breakneck tempo proved to be the Mustang’s downfall.
Two other players who performed particularly well include Kenyan Piper and Jaydan Brathwaite.
Piper was the best shooter on the floor, and he was able to finish at the cup when opportunities came about.
As for Braithwaite, he probably would have won a game of HORSE against anyone Tuesday evening. One crazy shot happened in the second half, when Braithwaite got the ball from the elbow, and without even looking at the basket beforehand, let off a turnaround jumper that swished through the net.
Bishop will match up against the #2 overall seed, Fresno Christian in the playoffs tomorrow night at 7 pm away from home.