PASADENA — There wasn’t a safe space for Saugus to operate Wednesday night against Bishop Alemany.
In the post lurked 6-foot-11 center Fred Odhiambo, and out on the wing, D.J. McDonald was draining 3’s at a shocking rate.
That left Saugus with little to attack in an 82-42 loss to Alemany at Maranatha of Pasadena, as the duo combined for 41 points.
“We had solid spring and solid summer, so this is definitely humbling for us,” said Saugus coach Alfredo Manzano. “I told my team we could easily go 1-4 to open the season with our schedule. It’s great for us to play these kinds of teams, though.
Saugus (1-2) watched a 17-point halftime deficit double heading into the fourth quarter. McDonald, who led all players with 30 points, hit five 3-pointers before Saugus had its first bucket of the second half.
Trailing by more than 30 points, Manzano needed a way to keep his team engaged in the final quarter.
“It’s very easy to mail it in and give up when you’re down by that many,” Manzano said. “I told the guys to focus on just winning the fourth quarter – don’t worry about anything else.”
Manzano himself treated the final quarter as a new game, yelling out, “It’s tied 6-6,” as the Centurions and Warriors were neck-and-neck to open the quarter.
“They were still playing and that’s good to see,” Manzano said. “They didn’t give up on themselves.”
Luke Bodeau led the Cents with 20 points and was the only Centurion to score in double figures. Adrian McIntyre had eight points and led the team with five rebounds.
There weren’t many rebounds to be grabbed with Odhiambo down low, however. Without a player over 6-foot-4, Odhiambo slammed down three alley-oops with ease in the contest. He also collected three blocks, though was rarely tested inside.
“We tried to front and double-team him the best we could,” Manzano said. “We knew his first shots likely weren’t going to go in. It’s his put-backs that were going to kill us and we were able to somewhat limit him in that department.”
Manzano said after the game that Alemany, one of the hosts schools of the Warrior Classic, would be closed Thursday due to the Creek Fire. He expected their game Thursday against Sun Valley Poly would be played at Heritage Christian.