The Salesian Pride upset the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs in a surprisingly lopsided 72 – 51 victory in the first annual Catholic Schools Winter Classic at Cal State East Bay in Hayward. Cal-bound Jabari Bird led Salesian (7 – 1) with 19 points and nine rebounds in front of a packed house at Pioneer Gym, which included Cal Golden Bears head coach Mike Montgomery, among many other college coaches in the stands.
Mitty super senior Aaron Gordon led the Monarchs with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but was constantly harassed by a physical Salesian defense with multiple double teams.
While the outcome was a mild upset, the manner in which Salesian systematically destroyed Mitty’s defense appeared to shock Mitty’s players as well as fans.
Mitty (3 – 2) actually got off to a 9 – 2 lead to start the game, but the Pride made several major runs to blow out the favored Monarchs in surprising fashion, opening up a 66 – 36 lead at one point in the fourth quarter. Defending Div IV State champion Salesian appeared more athletic, deeper, and balanced than the 2-time defending Div. II State champion Monarchs, despite Gordon’s imposing presence in the paint.
Salesian’s Mario Dunn was able to penetrate Mitty’s defense with relative ease, and crisp passing enabled the Pride to get good looks on the perimeter and in the paint on multiple possessions. On defense, the Pride pressured Mitty into several turnovers and rushed, contested shots.
Montana-bound Dunn finished with 15 points, followed by Jermaine Edmonds, Jr.’s 13 points. But Pride forward Sean O’Neal may have deserved the game ball, as he was assigned to defend Gordon, and with the help of his teammates, was able to relatively bottle up the stunningly long and athletic Gordon.
Both Gordon and Bird threw down highlight-worthy dunks, but in the final analysis, Bird’s Salesian team convincingly out-played Gordon’s Mitty team.
Topics: Aaron Gordon, Archbishop Mitty Monarchs, Cal Golden Bears, Cal St Easy Bay, Catholic Schools Winter Classic, High School, High School Basketball, Jabari Bird, Jermaine Edmonds Jr., Mario Dunn, Mike Montgomery, Montana Grizzlies, Pioneer Gym, Salesian Pride, Sean O'Neal