Maria Carrillo stuns Cardinal Newman

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Cardinal Newman’s prolonged North Bay League winning streak had to end at some point. But few figured it would be Monday night.
The Cardinals’ two-year, 26-game league winning streak came to an end with a 60-52 home loss to Maria Carrillo. Stunning? The Pumas entered with a 7-16 record, including a 3-8 mark in the NBL, and had lost six of their previous eight games.
Even Pumas coach Jerry Deakins conceded that he didn’t see it coming.
“We thought we’d prepare our kids to go in and do the best they could, but we didn’t expect to go in and walk away with a win,” Deakins said. “We certainly expected to go in and compete.”
And that they did.
Carrillo outscored Newman, 26-14, in the fourth quarter, a stunning figure considering the Cardinals (19-5, 11-1) were allowing an average of 42 points a game. Pumas 6-foot-1 junior guard Mike Francis scored 29 points and drilled seven 3-pointers to headline the upset. Senior forward Nate Veldkamp added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Francis made 10 of 15 shots from the field, including 7 of 10 3-pointers.
“Francis was on fire,” Cardinal coach Tom Bonfigli said. “We’ve played against him the past two years and we knew he was someone we had to guard closely. We uncharacteristically didn’t do that very well, but he was shooting the ball from 28 feet out.”
The Cardinals, whose regular-season NBL streak began with a 71-36 win against Ukiah on Feb. 9, 2008, can clinch the NBL title with a win against visiting Montgomery on Wednesday night or against Ukiah at home on Friday.