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No. 2 Garces holds off West, advances to D-III quarterfinals

Sometimes playoff basketball is all about surviving and advancing.

That pretty much sums up the opening round of the Central Section Division III boys basketball playoffs for Garces Memorial.

The second-seeded Rams, thanks to a 15-0 run in the second half, held off No. 15 West 58-48 at home on Tuesday.

The Rams will host No. 7 Chavez in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 7 p.m. Chavez defeated No. 10 Nipomo 71-54. 

“We let West come out and play their game and get some open 3-point shots,” Garces coach Brian Dignan said.

The two teams combined for nine 3-pointers in the first quarter with the Vikings (12-13) hitting their first five of the game as Garces led 20-17.

“West really made it a good ball game and competed,” Dignan said. “They really represented themselves well. Our guys, we let them hang around.”

A quiet second quarter for both teams as West finished on a 10-1 run to tie the game at the half, 28-28.

The Rams (20-9) finally got things going offensively in the third and fourth quarters on a 15-0 after West took a 34-31 lead midway through the third.

The run began with a layup from Jack Hatten and ended on a put-back by J.J. Uphold.

Hatten led the Rams with 15 points and Uphold added 14. Ipreye Egbe (12 points) and Zavier Marshall (11) also scored in double figures.

“We stepped up and made the plays we needed to and didn’t get flustered,” Dignan said. “I was proud of them. It wasn’t the percent game on our part, but we stayed together and stayed positive and made enough plays to win.”

The win marks the first time Garces has achieved 20 wins in a season since 2012-13. That also happens to be the last time Garces played for a section championship.

Central Section Division III first round

No. 2 Garces 57, No. 15 West 48

WHS: McCollough 11, Brooks 6, Frazier 9, Daniels 15, Brown 4, Chavez 3.

GMHS: D’Amato 4, Hatten 15, Campbell 2, Uphold 14, Egbe 12, Marshall 11.

W-L: WHS 12-13; GMHS 20-9

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