Napa defeated Los Medanos in a close one with the final score 81-76.
The Napa Storm has yet to lose a game in February and started out strong against the Mustangs.
The Storm built a 9-0 lead at the beginning of the game forcing LMC’s Head Coach Derek Domenichelli to call timeout. The Mustangs responded with a couple of three pointers by Wayne Engelstad and a steal by Marcus Walton.
LMC picked up their game and started to get into a rhythm to put some points on the board. However, Trent Rojas from the Storm made his mark early on and helped his team keep the lead with his offense. He finished with 23 points on the night.
The first half ended with Napa ahead big, 47-29.
Domenichelli seemed to have amped up his team during half time. LMC guard Aaron Silva came out and scored the first five points of the half, and fellow guard Brandon Silva made a couple shots as well, which narrowed the deficit.
“LMC came out with a lot more energy and began making shots, and we started to lose them in transition,” said Napa Head Coach Steve Ball.
The push out of half by the Mustangs put the Storm on alert, and after Napa built a twenty point lead again.
Marcus Walton got his team and the crowd going after a steal that led to a fast break dunk at the other end with eight minutes left in the game. A few plays later, Engelstad drove baseline and made a reverse layup bringing the team within 10 points.
LMC began playing better defense, but allowed too many offensive rebounds down the stretch and couldn’t secure the ball off of a missed free throw while only down four.
Aaron Silva later hit a 3-pointer which brought his team back within four at a score of 80-76 with 16 seconds left in the game, with Napa still in the lead.
Napa missed some more free throws, which gave LMC a chance, but a bad pass at the end was picked off by Napa’s Rojas to seal the game. He was fouled and made one of his free throws which gave his team 81 points to LMC’s 76.
Despite the loss, Coach Domenichelli was proud of his guys.
“In the second half we played better ‘D’ and better team ball. The guys showed character and mental toughness,” said Domenichelli.
The game was closer in the second half and the game barely slipped away from LMC.
“We had some big stops down the stretch and we were just a rebound or so away,” said Domenichelli.