The Saugus boys basketball team used a prolific first quarter from junior Adrian McIntyre to secure a 79-72 victory over Viewpoint on Wednesday at Heritage Christian High School.
McIntyre was 8-of-11 from the field for 18 points in the initial period and ended the contest with 39 points total, including 4-of-9 makes from downtown. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out two assists, had a steal and a block.
“Something snaps into my head and I just get into the zone,” McIntyre said about his first-quarter explosion. “I know what I’m capable of doing and I ended up doing it.”
Saugus head coach Alfredo Manzano said high-scoring quarters like the one McIntyre had to start the game aren’t sustainable, but he has the utmost confidence in his junior guard.
If he’s in the zone like he was on Wednesday, he wants McIntyre to fire away.
“In that first half, he got it going. It was crazy,” Manzano said. “There is a time and place. If the game gets a little tight and he starts missing shots we’ll correct it. But he’s got the green light.”
The second-leading scorer for Saugus was junior big man Camron Nale, who logged a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds (four offensive).
Nale’s presence in the paint was huge for Saugus, as he often drew double teams which led to open looks for his teammates.
Holding a three-point lead with a little over a minute remaining in the game, Nale once again drew a double team in the post and found a cutting Stephen Tampus for an uncontested layup.
The bucket was a backbreaker for Viewpoint, as Saugus pulled ahead for the win.
“If Cam can play consistently like that it’s huge because it opens up the game for the perimeter guys,” Manzano said. “Today he required the double and as soon as it came he made the right decision. We were talking about that the whole second half. The weakside is going to be open and he found Stephen for the layup. When he is a presence early in the game and requires a double it makes everybody’s life a lot easier.”
McIntyre was often the recipient of one of Nale’s passes from the post.
“A lot of people don’t see, but Cam helps me on all my aspects of scoring,” McIntyre said. “Having him in there, he’s a threat, so they send a double. Cam knows when I’m cutting or if I’m open in the corner. If I’m having an on night on my 3’s, he’s going to find me in the corner or find me on the cut inside.”
While McIntyre and Nale had the bulk of Saugus’ points, the other Centurions stepped up in key moments of the game.
Justin Espinoza added three rebounds and had a crucial 3-point play. Alex Phan was all over the court, drawing offensive fouls and diving for loose balls. Freshman Jared Seow also had a significant impact on the game with his ball-handling and defense.
Freshman Nathan Perez added eight points, two rebounds, a steal and a block.
“It’s very vital,” McIntyre said of his teammates stepping up. “In the beginning of the season, we went over our roles to contribute to our team. Everybody is doing a good job fulfilling their roles so far.”
While every Centurion that stepped on the court contributed to Wednesday night’s win, the evening belonged to McIntyre.
“He’s special and I don’t think he realizes how special he is,” Manzano said. “His ceiling is off the charts and we hope he just continues to improve and put the time in.”
The Centurions will look to build on the win as they face Campbell Hall on Thursday at Alemany High School. The game is set to tip off at 8 p.m.