Going up against some elite-level competition in the Trevor Ariza Tip-Off Classic, the Hart boys basketball team understood that they were going to take some bumps and bruises against St. Bernard at Westchester High School on Tuesday.
Having an off shooting night, coupled with having to guard an extremely athletic and offensively gifted Vikings team, the Indians fell 85-54.
“It was a great learning situation,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. “They are very good, don’t get me wrong. It was a good eye-opener for our kids. They were just extremely athletic, they had size and they attacked the basket well. They are just good.”
The Indians (3-2 overall) were held to just 10 points in the opening quarter, while St. Bernard scored 24 points led by Dainon McBeker with nine points.
Playing just seven guys for the majority of the match, Hart got key contributions from freshman newcomer Brady Dunlap, who finished the game hitting three 3’s, had a team-high 15 points.
Hart shooters Ty Penberthy, Isaac Deedon and Jaden Penberthy had difficulties getting their normal repertoire of shots and only hit three 3’s combined between the three.
Deedon and Jaden finished with five points apiece and Ty finished second on the team with 12 points.
“Isaac didn’t get many shots, he only had five and so did Jaden,” Kelly said. “They just had an off night and just didn’t go down.”
The Indians held St. Bernard (4-0) just 15 points in the second quarter to trail by 10 points, down 39-29.
But out of the half, the Vikings were too much for the Indians to contain and scored 25 points in the third and capped the game off with 23 in the final frame to earn the victory.
“We kept harping on keeping them out of the paint because, in my opinion, they are a better driving and attacking team than a shooting team,” Kelley said. “They had 85 points and they only had four 3-pointers so we didn’t do a good job of sagging and helping and they got into the gaps too easily.”
Hart plays Long Beach Poly at 4:30 p.m at Westchester High School on Thursday.