Bertram Mak and Justin Saisho scored 17 points apiece as the Mark Keppel boys’ basketball team defeated Marina High, 69-57, in the La Canada Tournament at La Canada High on Tuesday.
With the win, the Aztecs improve to 5-1 in nonleague play.
Bertram said the team had an easy game plan to follow.
“We just needed to ‘d-up’ and hit our shots,” Bertram said.
Aztecs coach Hung Duong said his team is solid when it has the ball.
“Today, we were able to hit shots,” Duong said. “We’re hitting a lot more threes than we usually do. We were a little bit rusty on our defense. Defensively, we’re not where we need to be. We need to be better on the defensive end.”
But he said his team needs to improve when it doesn’t have the ball.
“We need to work on a lot of stuff,” Duong said. “We always need to work on things. Right now we need to work on our outside-d and our on-ball-d. We just need to work on our defensive end. If we can shore that up I think we will be a little bit tougher.”
Improving on defense is easier said than done, Duong added.
“For us, we’re stronger on offense,” he said. “Our defense is behind. We can score. It’s just on the defensive end we got to get that attitude. We’re giving up too many easy buckets, too many easy lay ups. We got some shooters this year. It comes and goes. Luckily, we hit some shots.”
Up, 5-4, midway through the first quarter, Keppel went on a 14-2 run that featured two three-point baskets by Saisho and led after the first quarter, 19-10.
The Vikings kept pace in the second quarter, hitting four straight three-point shots to end the frame, and trailed the Aztecs at halftime, 38-28.
Noah Muronaka got a hot shooting hand in the third quarter, scoring seven points in the frame, as the Aztecs pulled out to a 59-44 lead.
The shooting of Saisho and his three fourth quarter three-point shots sealed the victory for Keppel.