Los Angeles Preps: Darrell Barbour

Alemany rallies to win state crown

March, 24, 2012

SACRAMENTO -- For a time, it looked as if Alemany might run out of players before the final seconds ticked off in the CIF State Division III boys' basketball final on Saturday.

Two players fouled out, but Alemany coach Tray Meeks said he wasn’t concerned about how many players had to sit out the final minutes.

The first to go was Jerico Richardson. Next was Bear Henderson. But Alemany persevered, as Meeks said, and won its first CIF state championship, 71-67, over Sacred Heart Cathedral at Power Balance Pavilion.

“We hate to lose them, don’t get me wrong,” Meeks said. “We have enough talent on this team to persevere. It shows the heart of this team.”

Down eight points at halftime, Alemany (33-4) rallied in the second half to take a four-point lead in the third quarter. The Warriors outscored Sacred Heart Cathedral, 22-11, and went on a 12-2 run in the third quarter.

“We lost to a very good team, a team that didn’t quit,” Sacred Heart Cathedral coach Darrell Barbour said. “The third quarter was critical. The first half, I thought we were the better team. That’s basketball. You have two halves to play."

Alemany took the lead on a dunk by Marqueze Coleman with 2:30 in the third quarter. It gave Alemany a 50-49 lead, erasing the eight-point, halftime deficit, and came in the middle of the 12-2 run to end the third quarter.

Coleman scored a game-high 27 points and had nine rebounds. He was 9-for-17 from the field and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line.

Alemany point guard Max Guercy hit a 3-pointer during the third-quarter rally. He finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Meeks said. “These guys just played their hearts out the rest of the way. We played how we wanted to play.”

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