Rose City: Sharp’s 34 points not enough for Newman

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

San Marin overcame a 34-point performance by Bobby Sharp on Friday to defeat host Cardinal Newman, 67-55, and advance to the finals of the 44th annual Rose City Tournament.

The Mustangs will battle Montgomery for the championship at 7:30 tonight. The Vikings defeated Rancho Cotate, 59-43, in the other winner’s bracket game on Friday.

In the other Friday games, Windsor defeated Petaluma, 55-12, and JFK (Richmond) downed El Molino, 45-34.

Action starts at 3 p.m. today with Newman playing Rancho for third place. At 4:30, El Mo faces Petaluma for seventh. The 6 p.m. consolation championship finds Windsor battling JFK with the title game following.

Sharp drilled 17 in both halves, but Newman was never able to get the lead and San Marin pulled away in the last quarter. The Cardinals managed only five points in the final 7:45 while the team from Novato scored 13.

“San Marin was the better team and deserved to win,” coach Tom Bonfigli said. “We didn’t defend very well. Our defense broke down in transition and we didn’t defend at the point.”

Sharp took the defeat hard. After his teammates and coaches left the locker room, he remained sitting against a wall deep in thought.

“Coach always tells us we need to hold our opponents to under 50,” he said. “He said if we do that, we’re going to win. We didn’t do that against San Marin.”

The Mustangs had 52 going into the fourth quarter.

Sharp, who averaged 15 points per game last year, came out firing while scoring his team’s final 12 points in the first quarter.

He scored 14 in the third, including eight in the final two minutes of the quarter. The 6-1 guard nailed two 3-pointers from well beyond the arc and also swished an 8-footer.

Newman trailed 57-54 with six minutes remaining. It was downhill from there for the home team.

“We just couldn’t get it done,” Sharp said. “It’s definitely not the best we can play. Our game plan was to get them down early, but we didn’t stop them on offense. We need to get back to work and correct some things.”

The 34 points wasn’t enough to get Sharp into the Rose City record book. Chad Lichau, who also played for Newman, scored 42 against Justin-Siena in the 2003 tournament.

San Marin coach Craig Pitti paid Sharp a huge compliment even before the game began.

“In my scouting report, I told my guys Bobby Sharp is the best shooter in the Bay Area,” Pitti said. “We needed to play a very good game to overcome his scoring and we did.

“We limited our mistakes and made them earn their points. My guys played with intelligence, which is what I was looking for. Foolish decisions have hurt us in the past.”

San Marin enjoyed a big edge in free throw attempts, going to the line 30 times compared to 13 for Newman.

Chris Glennon led the Mustangs with 23, one more than Stuart Wesonga. John Seavey added 12.

Wesonga, who recently signed a full ride scholarship to attend Cal State Northridge, believed the difference was that his team took care of the ball on offense and out hustled Newman.

“We got a lot of layups in transition,” he said. “That was big and I thought they were getting winded in the fourth quarter. Every time they got close, we answered.”

San Marin, who has played several of the top teams in Northern California, is 4-3.

Newman is 2-1.