Boys basketball: Montgomery ‘too much’ for Cardinal Newman

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Cardinal Newman’s Tom Bonfigli has seen a lot of basketball in his 34 years as a coach, and when he talks, people listen.
Here’s what he had to say Tuesday night after watching Montgomery defeat his team, 55-35, at the Vikings’ gym:

“Montgomery is a great team. They’re well-coached and just do so many things well. We tried hard, but they were just too much.”

A near-capacity crowd showed up for the North Bay League contest and four minutes into the game, the Vikings had already built an 11-2 lead.

Sam Averbuck got things going with a 3-pointer and then Alec Raven scored a pair of baskets from in close. Kiel Long and Rylan Kobre finished the run with layups.

The Vikings, scoring most of their baskets in transition and from the free throw line, increased the advantage to 37-14 by halftime.

Appearing comfortable with a big lead, Montgomery didn’t play with the same intensity after intermission. With the game already decided, Newman outscored the Vikings 21-18 in the second half.

The Vikings are 5-0 in league and they’re bulldozing the opposition. Those five wins were by an average of 27 points. The Cardinals finished closer to Montgomery than the other four and they lost by 20.

Montgomery prepared for NBL by playing a rugged preleague schedule and went 8-4. They played top teams in Northern California in a tournament in Oakley and won three of four games in the National Prep Classic at Santa Maria.

Against Newman, a school that beat them three times last year, Averbuck led the scoring attack with 14 points. Raven finished with 13, all but one coming in the first half.

Averbuck nailed four 3-pointers.

“Credit goes to my teammates,” Averbuck said. “They were looking to get me the ball.

“I thought we played really well in the first half and broke down a little in the second half. Still, it’s good to get the win.”

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