Julio Lara/Daily Journal
Mills' Daniel Yu drives to the basket during the Vikings' 61-31 win over South City in the first round of the PAL tournament.
Huddled near the foul line before the start of an opening round clash with Mills, the South City boys’ basketball team got in a circle, wrapped arms around one another and repeated “we’re ready” to hype themselves up before tip-off.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, the Vikings showed them that on Wednesday night, they really weren’t ready for what Mills would dish out.
Behind an offense that saw 12 different Vikings get on the score sheet, Mills blitzed South City and cruised to a 61-31 opening round win in the Peninsula Athletic League tournament. Mills moves on to play the No. 1 seeded Half Moon Bay Cougars.
“We shot the ball well on offense and shared the ball well,” said Mills guard Robert Noland, who finished with 15 points despite sitting out the majority of the fourth quarter. “We really take pride in our defense. We have been working on it a lot during practice.”
The Viking defense was their best offense on Wednesday night. Mills jumped out to a 14-0 lead to start the game primarily by either suffocating South City into a turnover or getting out on transition and burning the Warriors that way. The Warriors got on the scoreboard with 38 seconds left in the first period when Eric Watkins knocked down a 3-pointer and looked to build a bit of offensive flow in the initial stages of the second quarter. But every time they pushed, Mills and their transition offense, led by Noland, was just too much for the Warriors to handle.
“They have a couple of good big men and a couple good shooters,” Noland said. “We just had to keep an eye on them and we did fine. We had size on them and used that. When they collapsed, we just shared the ball.”
Mills totally wore the South City defense out by the middle of the third quarter and that’s when players like Tyler Wright took over. Wright scored four points in the first half but added 11 in the last two quarters of the game.
“Look for my offense,” Noland said when asked what the key to his performance on Wednesday was. “Coach told me to look for my shot and I just took advantage of the defense and what they were giving me.”
Mills increased its lead to 20 points at the end of three quarters. From there, it was just putting the basketball machine into cruise control.
“We’re just going to take every game one game at a time,” Noland said, looking forward to his team’s matchup with Half Moon Bay. “We can’t take any time for they’re nothing. We just have to play hard.”
Burlingame 80, Westmoor 35
The Panthers were firing on all cylinders as the blew out the Rams in the first round of the PAL tournament Wednesday night as they led 38-24 at halftime and then outscored Westmoor 42-11 in the second half.
Burlingame, the top seed from the PAL South Division, will face Aragon in a semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Capuchino.
Frankie Ferrari paced the Panthers with 24 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while Nick Loew added yet another double-double, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Of Burlingame’s 17-man roster, 11 made it into the scoring column.
Westmoor was led by Cameron Cook, who finished with 13 points and six rebounds.