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Boys Basketball

San Marcos Plays Its Game, Beats Riverside Poly by 20 for First CIF Title

Royals' formula of balanced offense, tough defense results in a 67-47 victory

San Marcos center Jackson Stormo dunks two of his 17 points in the CIF 2A Division championship victory over Riverside Poly.
San Marcos center Jackson Stormo dunks two of his 17 points in the CIF 2A Division championship victory over Riverside Poly. (Gary Kim photo)

AZUSA — At the end of the day, it’s not about who scores the baskets, it’s about winning — one goal, one team.

That’s the San Marcos basketball team’s motto, and the Royals followed that formula to an impressive 67-47 victory over Riverside Polo for the first CIF-Southern Section title in school history on Saturday at the Felix Events Center at Azusa Pacific University.

Four players scored in double figures for the Royals (25-60 and they contained Riverside Poly’s two main scoring threats to record the lopsided win.

“It’s just a committed group and a group that was ready to sacrifice for each other and, night in and night out, not worrying about their own stats and just worrying about the win. Today, that was just another example of that,” San Marcos coach Landon Boucher said of the performance in the championship game.

“I’m really proud on how we played and how we executed on offense and defense tonight.”

Stef Korfas drives past Riverside Poly’s Tobin Kund. Click to view larger
Stef Korfas drives past Riverside Poly’s Tobin Kund. (Ryder Riva photo)

Stef Korfas, Ryan Godges and David Frohling took charge on the offensive end in the first half, as Riverside Poly sagged on 6-foot-9 center Jackson Stormo.  The trio combined for 20 of the team’s 26 points as San Marcos led 26-19 at halftime.

In the second half, it was Stormo who stepped up at the offensive end, scoring 14 of his 17 points.

“We’ve been running this offense all year and it’s worked well for us,” said Stormo. “Coach has drilled it in us so we kind of know where the open man is going to be. And that’s not always going to be me. When my teammates do feed me and they do a good job, I’m looking to reward them.”

Korfas took advantage of open space given him and drove to the basket and pulled up for jumpers. He led the Royals with 19 points on 6 of 10 shooting and dished out six assists.

Godges made 4 of 6 shots, including 2 of 4 from three-point range, and finished with 14 points, and Frohling had 11 points, nine coming on a trio of three-pointers.

Frohling hit a pair of threes and Godges buried another in the first quarter to help San Marcos take an 11-6 lead

“Hitting three threes in the first quarter I think that was discouraging for them and it was big for us to get our confidence going,” said Boucher.

Like they’ve done all season, the Royals softened Poly's defense with good outside shooting and slashes to the basket and then finished off the Bears with a heavy dosage of Stormo. He manuvered inside for layups, hook shots and dunks.

Riverside Poly coach Yancey Dodson was impressed with Stormo's play and the Royals' execution.

“The personnel that they have and what it is they did and do wasn’t a surprise,” he said. “It’s like facing a Nolan Ryan fastball. You know it’s coming — he can tell you it’s coming — and you still got to hit it.

“Their point guard made plays, their shooters made shots and their big was absolute, and I mean this in the best way possible, he was an absolute load. He was a big, big kid who used his body, his feet, his hands and he was probably the difference, and not even the statistical side of it. Us trying to account for him opened up shots for shooters and lanes for penetrators. All the credit in the world goes to them.”

San Marcos also did its job taking away Poly's threats. The Royals held Tobin Kund, the Bears' top three-point shooter, to just four points and no three-point baskets. 

“We put our shooter on their shooter and Ryan did excellent job of not only shutting him down but going on offense for us,” said Boucher of Godges.

Lamont Butler, a slick sophomore point guard, led the Bears with 19 points, but he did it on 6 of 21 shooting.

“We tried to not let him get the ball after he passed it away,” said Beau Allen, who along with Nate Fay, hounded Butler. “When he got the ball, we just tried to filter him to Jackson (Stormo) because he’s an amazing shot blocker and he puts the pressure on and makes it hard to finish.”

Said Boucher of Butler:  “What a good player he is, only sophomore. We really made his life difficult.  If he got by (Allen and Fay) he had David and Jackson at the hoop to help out. They did a great job.”

After a quiet first half, Stormo went off on Riverside Poly in the third quarter, scoring six straight points to expand San Marcos’ lead to 32-21.

Godges and Korfas knocked down threes to extend the advantage to 40-27 with 1:51 left in the quarter.

The closest Riverside Poly would get is nine points (46-37) early in the fourth quarter.  San Marcos then responded with an 8-0 run, sparked by Stormo.  He converted a three-point play off an inbounds pass and then overpowered a defender for a layup.

“The perfect windfall of things going right for them and things not going right for us, you end up with a 20-point differential,” said Dodson.

Stormo can now get an actual championship ring.

Jackson Stormo completes a reverse layup during the fourth quarter. The Royals outscored Riverside Poly 41-28 in the seond half. Click to view larger
Jackson Stormo completes a reverse layup during the fourth quarter. The Royals outscored Riverside Poly 41-28 in the seond half. (Gary Kim photo)

“Jackson has a picture of a ring on his phone and he said, ‘I want one of these,’ Allen said in the postgame press conference. “And I said, ‘Jackson we’re going to get you one of these.’ Tonight, he got it.”

The title also was extra special for the Korfas family. John Korfas, Stef's father and a Royals' assistant, was on the 1981 Runnin' Royals team that lost by one point to Long Beach Poly in the CIF Finals.

On coaching San Marcos to its first CIF basketball title, Boucher said, “It feels amazing doing that, but it feels even better doing it with these guys. These guys were freshmen when I first got the job, so these are my guys. To do it with them, like Jackson, I can’t put it into words.

“It’s really evident it doesn’t matter who scores as long as we score. It’s not just words they’re saying, they really play like that. It’s such an unselfish group one through 12, not just guys on court. And it shows.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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