The Alemany boys' basketball team has quite a luxury in Max Guercy. He’s a pass-first point guard in a world full of look-at-me-first basketball players.
He wants to involve his teammates in games, be it on an alley-oop pass to a dunking Marqueze Coleman or finding a wide-open Jerico Richardson for a 3-pointer.
That approach was evident in Alemany’s CIF Southern California Regional Division III semifinal against Cathedral Catholic from San Diego on Tuesday night.
Guercy scored only two points in the first half against Cathedral, opting to guide Coleman to 19 first-half points and involving his teammates in the offensive flow.
Despite the unselfish play, Alemany had only a one-point lead at halftime. Guercy took more of a scoring role in the second half.
He scored 14 points in the final two periods as Alemany built a 16-point lead in the third quarter. Behind Guercy’s offensive leadership and 11 assists, Alemany went on to win by 20 points, 84-64.
“We called some stuff for him to get going,” Alemany coach Tray Meeks said. “He made the rest happen.”
Coleman scored a game-high 31 points, but he readily gave the credit for the blowout to Guercy.
“He’s a force,” Coleman said. “He’s going to take us as far as he wants to go. He’s our point guard. He’s the captain of our team. It’s up to him.”
Guercy has already led Alemany to its first CIF Southern Section championship since the school opened in 1956. He has developed into a dangerous passer who can also score at will.
“Coach Meeks told me to manage the game,” Guercy said. “As a point guard, that’s what I learned this year. Our record proves it, 31-4. Manage the game, get my teammates involved and when I have to attack. I have the ability to score.”
Does he ever. He averaged 18.3 points and five assists before playoffs started. His scoring average has dropped to 16 points per game in playoffs, but his assists are up to seven a game.
“He knows when he’s a scorer,” Meeks said. “That’s one thing that makes him a good point guard. He knows how to manage a game.”
The rise in assists shows how much he enjoys seeing his teammates score.
“Marqueze is a great guy,” Guercy said. “I’ve been playing with him since I was 9 years old. We have a chemistry that no one can match. When he gets hot, he has the ability to do that. He’s a great player.”
Guercy, a 5-foot-9 senior, has scholarship offers from Hartford, Hawaii and Northeastern. Meeks says he is getting looks from Utah and Georgia Tech too.
Alemany plays St. John Bosco on Saturday in the CIF Southern California Regional final at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario. The winner moves on to the CIF State championship game next weekend in Sacramento.
“This year is our first year making it this far,” Guercy said.”Winning regionals and going on to the state final, that’s our goal this year.”