Oh brother, what a comeback.
Head coaches – and brothers – Tony and Tim Amundsen faced each other Thursday night, when Tony’s Clovis North Broncos completed a second-half comeback to defeat Tim’s Bullard Knights 86-71.
Tony and Tim play each other once every season, with the winner holding bragging rights until the next year.
“We are each other’s biggest supporters, but when we play each other, we want to beat each other,” Tony said.
“It’s a [yearly tradition] between us, and we always sandbag on each other,” Tim said.
It was Tim’s Knights who led for much of the first half. Bullard played excellent interior defense early on, negating the height advantage Clovis North has employed against most teams this season.
Clovis North struggled with turnovers in the opening quarter, and fell behind Bullard by as much as 12 points.
The Knights got into foul trouble in the second quarter though, giving the Broncos momentum for a 10-0 run to take a brief lead.
Bullard still led at halftime however, 38-34.
The game looked dramatically different after intermission; Clovis North attacked the paint relentlessly and feasted off Bullard turnovers.
Bullard could no longer defend the paint effectively, as senior AK Okereke muscled his way to 19 points in the second half en route to a game-high 21.
“We came out pretty sluggish in this game, but after halftime, we started moving the ball around,” Okereke said. “It wasn’t just me; it was the whole team.”
The script was flipped for the Knights, who as a result were outscored 29-12 in the third quarter.
With the help of their big third quarter, Clovis North held on to win their 12th game of the season – and Tony’s second straight over his brother.
Clovis North (12-4) will next play in the Central Valley Showdown in Sanger, against Folsom Saturday.