Saugus boys basketball goes steal-crazy in win over Kennedy

Saugus sophomore point guard Tyler Mehl goes in for a steal against Kennedy in the Centurions' 82-39 win Monday, Dec. 18, at Kennedy. Courtesy photo.

GRANADA HILLS — The points have come in bunches for Adrian McIntyre early this season.

The Saugus sophomore logged 46 of them in the team’s season opener against Heritage Christian.

Consistency on defense has been a point of emphasis of late for the young guard-forward combo, and the Centurions got plenty of that from him Monday afternoon.

McIntyre nearly logged a triple-double (28 points, nine steals and eight rebounds) in the Centurions’ 82-38 win at Kennedy in the quarterfinals of the Ed Baker San Fernando Valley Invitational consolation bracket.

“I felt great on defense this game,” McIntyre said. “I just need to work on getting this feeling after every game.”

The Centurions will play Chatsworth in the semifinals of the consolation bracket Tuesday at Kennedy.

It took Saugus (3-4) all of five seconds to record its first point of the game, and it would score with similar ease the rest of the contest.

A full-court press enacted from the onset helped the Centurions jump out to a 27-2 lead less than four minutes into the contest.

Seniors Luke Bodeau and Dylan Spring, along with McIntyre, were at the forefront of the ferocious trap-press. They combined for 10 steals and seven assists, with Bodeau second on the team at 14 points. Spring chipped in 10 points.

“I think the key was the way we passed the ball,” McIntyre said. “We were scoring a lot of points, but we still spread it around.”

Saugus sophomore Adrian McIntyre drives toward the basket in the team’s 82-39 win over Kennedy on Monday, Dec. 18. Courtesy photo.

Manzano gave his starters the second quarter off and 6-foot-7 sophomore Cameron Nale shined with extended playing time, scoring five points, grabbing two rebounds and blocking a shot in the quarter. Nale finished with 10 points.

With the second unit getting the entire second quarter, the Cents held a 41-30 halftime lead. West Ranch had allowed just 14 points to Kennedy (2-7) in an entire game in late November.

“I saw how many points they held them to and that kind of just motivated me for the second half,” McIntyre said. “I wanted to show people our defense can keep up with theirs.”

McIntyre logged six of his nine steals in the second half. The Centurions jumped out to a 20-point lead less than two minutes into the third quarter.

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Manzano was still looking for more patience from his defense, citing players jumping and diving out of control, but was able to get his reserves more than a full quarter of playing time in the lopsided win.

“You never know when you’re going to need to call on those guys,” said Saugus coach Alfredo Manzano of the team’s reserves. “We hoped to work those guys in a good amount today and I thought we accomplished that.”

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