Marquise Mosley, Wildcats win first battle at War on the Floor

WOODLAND HILLS — In looking to overcome a late deficit, the short-handed Renaissance Academy basketball team needed somebody to take charge and handle the assignment with composure.

With just six players on board, the Wildcats sought Marquise Mosley to tackle the task Friday night.

Mosley scored 15 points, including the game-winning shot with 32 seconds left, to give Renaissance a 40-39 victory against Palmdale in a pool-play game of the War on the Floor Tournament at L.A. Pierce College.

Mosley faked a Palmdale forward near the right key and sank a jump shot to give the Wildcats, who won the CIF Southern Section Division VI championship last season, their first and only lead in the 40-minute contest.

"[Renaissance Coach Sid Cooke] believes in me and he gave me the green light in that situation," said Mosley, who helped the Wildcats overcome a 29-18 halftime deficit. "That gives me confidence that I can come through in situations like that.

"I had to be aggressive and the guy bit on the fake and I made the shot."

The Wildcats, who advanced to the CIF State Division V Southern California final last season, overcame a 39-32 deficit in the final three minutes.

Mosley had seven points in that stretch to help complete the comeback.

Cooke said he's been working with Mosley to simplify his overall play in close contests.

"We want him to start taking charge and he's certainly capable of it," Cooke said. "He can be hard to stop.

"He's capable and he's only going to be a sophomore. He stayed in attack mode in the last few minutes."

The Wildcats also got a solid effort from guard Matthew Der, a transfer from Temple City High. Der contributed 12 points and teammate Shane Williams finished with six points and seven rebounds.

Mosley made a long jump shot to bring the Wildcats to within 39-36 with 2:15 left. Der then made a pair of free throws to trim Palmdale's advantage to 39-38 with 1:10 remaining. After Mosley gave the Wildcats the lead, Palmdale's attempt to win the game fell short on a jump shot with two seconds remaining.

The Wildcats were scheduled to play Malibu earlier Friday in a pool-play contest, but Cooke said the Sharks withdrew from the tournament. Renaissance will take part in another pool-play game at 5 p.m. today against Dorsey. The tournament will conclude Sunday.

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