Renaissance Academy showed up for last Saturday night’s title game of the 43rd Annual Bulldog Tip-Off Classic with a three-game winning skein.
In fact, the Wildcats had beaten those opponents by an average of 26 points, so it seemed reasonable their clash with Canyon Country might be a blow out.
Nothing of the sort transpired as the Cowboys were better and stronger, but still had to hold on for a 53-50 victory as the Wildcats staged a late rally.
Renaissance (3-1) was ahead by 15 points late in the third quarter, and was outscored by Canyon Country, 21-10, in the fourth quarter after drilling four three-pointers.
Wildcat senior power forward Jesse Cantinol was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points, tallying eight of his 10 first-half points in the opening quarter. Cantinol also pulled down seven rebounds.
Teammate and senior shooting guard Vince De Guzman accounted for 13 points and converted three three-pointers.
Canyon Country’s Clay Kasdorf (15 points) hit a layup and was fouled, but missed the free throw as the Cowboys (3-0) trailed 46-45 with 2:32 left. The Cowboys were paced by Coley Apsay’s 16 points, and his three-pointer late was crucial.
In the third-place match, Burbank High’s Andre Spight scored 30 points, but his sizzling effort went by the boards as the Bulldogs (2-2) couldn’t match Royal, which seized a 68-61 win.
After going on a 10-0 spurt, Royal (3-1) entered the second quarter with an 18-8 advantage, but the Highlanders were outscored, 15-10, in the second quarter.
Burbank’s Victor Turner poured in 10 points, while Austin Pope came up with 15 rebounds and 10 points.
Royal moved out to a 55-41 advantage and was led by Max McCoy’s 19 points.
In other action, Renaissance toyed with Royal and earned a 54-39 decision on Friday in the semifinal of the Tip-Off Classic as Cantinol powered his way to 23 points and 11 caroms.
Cantinol scored six points late in the second quarter after Royal trimmed Renaissance’s lead to 21-19 with 1:42 left.
The Wildcats held a 27-19 edge at the half, and came out for the third quarter by scoring the first seven points to lead 34-19 with just under five minutes showing.
Renaissance guard Nick Troplent hit five treys and finished with 15 points, forward Gerrick Uneau added 11 boards with four blocks, and guard Troy Fontanilla dropped in 10 points.