Brett Callan Memorial Tournament: Newman rallies to force OT, then captures the title

Cardinal Newman's Chad Sousa passes the ball around Washington's Jeremiah Batiste during the Brett Callan Memorial Tournament championship game held at Casa Grande, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. (Crista Jeremiason  / The Press Democrat)

Cardinal Newman’s Chad Sousa passes the ball around Washington’s Jeremiah Batiste during the Brett Callan Memorial Tournament championship game held at Casa Grande, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

By HOWARD SENZELL

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Trailing by six points with less than two minutes left in regulation, the Cardinal Newman boys basketball team rallied to force overtime and then defeated Washington of San Francisco, 68-64, to win the Brett Callan Memorial Tournament on Saturday night in Petaluma.

After the game got to the extra period, Cardinal Newman never trailed. Damian Wallace followed a missed shot to make it 60-58 and the Cardinals were in front for good.

Newman got off to a great start and led by five after one quarter with the lead growing to 11 at halftime.

The second half was a different story, with Washington getting back in the game thanks to a 32-15 run.
The Eagles’ biggest lead was 57-51 with 1:58 left in the fourth.

Justin Botteri started the comeback with a put-back basket and that was followed by two James Ryan free throws.

Ryan then put the Cardinals in front when he made a 3-point play the old-fashioned way. Washington’s Armani Hall converted one of two free throws to knot the score.

Newman had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Connor Rubattino’s jumper failed to hit iron.

“The game was a tale of two halves,” Cardinals coach Tom Bonfigli said. “In the first half, we played our best half of the season, and then Washington really stepped it up in the second half.

“We got it going in the final two minutes of regulation and the overtime.”

Rubattino finished with 26 points, including four 3-pointers, and was named tournament most valuable player.

Ryan collected 12 points while Wallace had nine.

Newman is now 7-0 and that includes two tournament wins. In addition to the Callan, the Cardinals captured the Rose City last week at their gym.

“I think we showed progress in our three games this week,” Bonfigli said. “We beat three good teams in three days.

“To come back against a quality team like Washington is something the kids should be proud of,” Bonfigli added.

“They’re very good with a lot of good athletes.”

Washington is now 8-2.

WINDSOR 51, CASA GRANDE 43

In the third-place game at Casa Grande, the Jaguars rallied from a five-point halftime deficit to get the victory.

Gabe Knight led Windsor with 21 points and eight rebounds. He made five shots from behind the 3-point arc.

Thomas Drew and Brent Tucker finished with nine points apiece.

J.J. Anderson had 15 to take high-point honors for Casa and was followed by Jon Christy with 13. Christy came into the game averaging 25 in the Callan tournament.

“Drew’s play was a highlight for us,” coach Travis Taylor said. “On defense, he did an excellent job holding Christy to 13. Christy is four inches taller and a lot more muscular.”

ANALY 70, PETALUMA 52

In the game for seventh place, the Tigers fell behind in the first quarter and then took control by halftime.

The Trojans trailed 15-11 after one but took command, 29-22, by halftime.

Malcolm Jenkins had a game-high 19 points for Analy, while teammate David Codoni finished with 15. John Molinari led Petaluma with 12 points.