SOUTHERN SECTION BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS : Finnerans Take Off, Eagles Soar
After having everything go his way for a half, Santa Margarita forward Brad Finneran was beginning to unravel under the pressure of Servite’s swarming defense.
The disgusted look on Finneran’s face said it all.
“I was mad at myself after turning it over twice,” he said. “I was careless with the ball. Brian (Finneran) told me about it. I realized I had to slow it down and take my time.”
Finneran didn’t exactly slow it down. If anything, he picked up the pace. But instead of making turnovers, he started causing them, and that helped Santa Margarita to a 67-53 victory over Servite Saturday in the Southern Section Division III-AA boys’ championship.
One of his steals led to a pretty no-look, over-the-head pass to his brother Brian that made it 47-29 with 3:15 left in the third quarter.
“I make a lot of passes to him, but it’s never that kind of thing,” Brad Finneran said. “That was totally spontaneous. I was running down court and I heard him yell behind me. I had a guy next to me and I just flipped it behind me. I was hoping he would be there to get it.”
The fun was just starting for Brad Finneran. Minutes later, he stepped in front of a Servite pass and took off for the basket. Before landing, Finneran threw down a dunk that gave his team a 51-32 lead.
“That floor was really good for jumping,” he said. “That, plus the adrenaline you get from the crowd really gets you up in the air.”
But Finneran wasn’t through flying. He soared one more time with 57 seconds left to put the finishing touches on the victory.
Finneran finished with a game-high 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, six rebounds, two assists, three steals and four dunks.