Junior Judah Brown, a 6-foot-7 power forward for the Pacifica Christian Orange County High boys’ basketball team, had come prepared to take flight on Friday night.
On five separate occasions, Brown attempted a dunk. Sometimes they went in, and sometimes they did not, but they were always mesmerizing to watch.
Except that the Tritons did not stand there in awe. They rallied to the rim, and when shots did not fall, they often came away with second chances.
Such frenetic energy helped Pacifica Christian come away with a 66-41 nonleague win against visiting Bear Creek of Redmond, Wash.
“Every time I go up, it’s always super fun because I’m super high up,” said Brown, who finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. “Even though sometimes I miss it, it still gives my team energy and gives the gym a little bit of energy. It’s just fun.”
Brown had three dunks in the game, including a pair of alley-oops from Solomon Davis and Timmy Bahadoor.
Outside of playing above the rim, the rest of the Tritons were a blur. The frenzied play of Pacifica Christian (11-5) could only be described as controlled chaos, as the Tritons hunted for steals in the frontcourt and put up shots in less than 10 seconds.
After falling behind 16-12 at the end of the first quarter, Davis took over in the following period. He had five rebounds, two assists and a block in the second quarter.
For the evening, Davis had 12 points and 11 rebounds, six of which came at the offensive end of the floor.
Davis’ run was one of many acts in the show. Sophomore guard Houston Mallette had 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists. He even made the unselfish play to set up reserve Michael Salerno for a three-pointer at the end of the game.
In addition, Riyaan Jiwani found the range from long distance, scoring all 12 of his points from beyond the arc. Pacifica Christian connected on eight three-pointers, and Tritons coach Jeff Berokoff said that his team is converting three-pointers at a 39% clip this season.
“I think Riyaan is going to be one of the best shooters in Southern California when he gets older,” Davis said. “I really do. He’s just a freshman. He can shoot the ball. When he’s open, we trust him with the ball.”
Although pushing the tempo proved to be an ally for the Tritons throughout the night, Pacifica Christian hit a spell of turnovers in the third quarter. Berokoff seized the moment to teach.
“As a coach, you want your players playing with a little bit of control while they are playing that way,” Berokoff said of his team moving the ball quickly. “It’s important. We’re coaching our kids to get better.
“Taking care of the basketball is important to us, and a few of those passes, I was not happy with. They needed to get coached in that moment.”
Trevor McRae matched the game-high mark of 16 points for Bear Creek (7-2). Jace Blankenbeckler added 11 points for the Grizzlies.
Pacifica Christian has won three of its last four. The Tritons will travel to take on Sage Hill (9-7) on Jan. 3.
Pacifica Christian Orange County 66, Redmond (Wash.) Bear Creek 41
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Redmond Bear Creek 16 – 11 – 8 – 6 — 41
Pacifica Christian Orange County 12 – 20 – 15 – 19 — 66
BC – McRae 16, Blankenbeckler 11, Roth 4, Hansen 3, Snook 3, Kelleran 2, Hunt 2
3-pt. goals – McRae 4, Hansen 1, Snook 1, Blankenbeckler 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.
PC – Brown 16, Davis 12, Jiwani 12, Mallette 11, Bahadoor 8, Paschal 4, Salerno 3.
3-pt. goals – Jiwani 4, Mallette 2, Davis 1, Salerno 1.
Fouled out – None.