In Open Division Battle, Memorial Stuns Clovis North in Comeback 74-70 Victory

Clovis North point guard Niko Jones drives to the hoop amidst contact in the Broncos’ 74-70 loss to San Joaquin Memorial Saturday Feb. 22. (Gabe Camarillo/Clovis Roundup)

In a hard-fought playoff game where both sides traded leads all night, No.3 seed San Joaquin Memorial used a late 20-4 run to upset No.2 seed Clovis North 74-70 Saturday night at the Stables Center.

“It started on the defensive ended slowing down Terri Miller, who is obviously a great player [for Clovis North],” Memorial guard Jaden Geron said. “On offense, we stayed aggressive the whole time and waited for the right moment to attack.”

The action on the court was fast-paced from the opening tip, as Memorial pushed the tempo with its fast break. Clovis North struggled early to contain the three-headed attack of Geron, Joseph Hunter and Devin Newsome for the Panthers in transition.

Memorial took a 24-19 lead after the first quarter, yet Clovis North used a big second quarter to take a lead into halftime.

Broncos guard Sammy Al-Saber knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the second period, and junior forward AK Okereke hit a pair of mid-range jump shots to keep pace with the Panthers.

Most importantly, Terri Miller caught fire for the Broncos in the post, scoring nine points and dishing a couple assists in the first half to put Clovis North ahead 43-39 at the break.

Memorial came out of the break on a 9-3 run to take a brief lead in the third quarter, but Clovis North answered with a balanced scoring effort.

Miller scored four points in the third quarter, Okereke chipped in three and Malachi Henry hit a three-pointer to guide Clovis North to a 57-51 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Clovis North extended its lead to as large as 63-54 midway through the fourth before Memorial mounted its comeback.

Geron scored 12 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter to fuel Memorial’s 20-4 run in the game’s final minutes.

Clovis North hit a late three-pointer in the closing seconds to cut the final score to 74-70.

For Clovis North, Miller finished the game with a team-high 15 points and Okereke contributed 14 in a tough loss for the Broncos to swallow.

Yet if there ever was a silver lining, it would be the fact that Clovis North is guaranteed a spot in the state playoffs with its selection in the Open Division bracket.

Clovis North will play again Thursday in the third place game, at home against Arroyo Grande.

 

Gabriel Camarillo
Gabe Camarillo joins the Clovis Roundup staff as a first-year student at Fresno State, pursuing a major in Media, Communications and Journalism. Aside from his studies and work at the Roundup, Gabe provides play-by-play/color commentary for Fresno State softball, baseball, and various other sports on the Mountain West Network. Gabe brings his exciting, detailed style of writing to the Clovis Roundup sports section.