The Mustangs of The Master’s were too much for Westmont as they beat the Warriors 83-71 in the semifinals of the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament in Rocklin on Friday.
Senior Maxwell Hudgins led the Warriors with 19 points.
Westmont stormed out to a 7-0 lead to start the game. Olisa Nwachie hit a jump shot to open the game, Hudgins buried the first of his five threes, and Nwachie followed with another jumper. Westmont’s first 16 points came from either the hands of Nwachie or Hudgins.
The Master’s would take the lead with 12:49 to play in the first half and the score at 13-12 in their favor off a jump shot from Tim Soares. Soares finished with a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Westmont would tie the Mustangs on four occasions, but would not regain the lead again the rest of the game.
The Warriors stuck with the top-seeded Mustangs and were within one point at 29-30 with 4:13 to play in the first half. The Master’s, however, were able to close out the half going on a 10-2 run. Michael Taylor dunked the ball to start the run, Delewis Johnson hit two free throws followed by a jumper, Westmont’s Tristan Lloyd hit two free throws, and Hansel Atencia hit a jumper and a layup to close out the opening 20 minutes of play. The Master’s took a 40-31 lead into halftime.
Johnson led all scorers with 22 points on the evening and added nine boards. Atencia scored 20 points and had six assists for the Mustangs in his 39 minutes of play.
The Mustangs bolstered their lead to 15 with 12:51 to play in the game and the score in their favor at 53-38. Westmont responded with a quick made layup by Gyse Hulsebosch and a 3-pointer and two free throws from Hudgins to bring the game back within eight points at 53-45 with 11:02 left to play.
After a Soares layup, Kyle Scalmanini scored his first bucket of the game with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to seven. The Master’s again tried to close the door on the Warriors and built up a 13-point lead with 7:22 to go.
Down by nine with 5:14 to play, The Mustangs’ Johnson was called for a technical foul. Hudgins went to the line and promptly hit both free throws. Westmont also got the ball and converted on their next possession with a layup from Cade Roth to come within five of The Master’s with just under five minutes to play.
The Warriors continued to stay in the game. With 3:37 to play, Westmont was down by nine at 73-64. Nwachie hit a jump shot and Jordan Spaschak hit two free throws to bring the Warriors back within five with two and a half minutes remaining.
Atencia hit a jumper to put the Mustangs up by seven and Spaschak was fouled and hit both free throws for the Warriors to bring the game back to five with 1:15 left. Atencia drew a foul and hit both free throws. The Warriors then failed to convert offensively and were forced to foul. Johnson hit his two free throws to ice the game and put the Mustangs up by nine with 28 seconds left.