In a very sloppy performance from both teams, the Aztecs’ fourth quarter comeback fell short as the Mark Keppel High boys’ basketball team fell to St. Francis High, 47-45, on Saturday night in the La Canada Holiday Tournament at La Canada High.
Trailing, 45-31, with 3:40 left in the game, Keppel went on a 14-2 run, cutting the deficit to two points with just three seconds left. However, that is as close as the Aztecs would get.
Keppel shot poorly from the floor, hitting just 40 percent of its shots. However, the Aztecs were led by Adam Thompson’s 28 points and Bertram Mak’s 11 points. Thompson shot 6-for-10 from the floor and had three rebound and two assists, while Mak was 4-for-6 with six rebounds and two steals.
Thompson said sometimes these things happen.
“It was a close game,” he said. “We just didn’t make our shots. There are going to be off games here and there. Not everything’s going to be perfect. We just got to come ready to play and come ready to defend.”
He added the Aztecs just didn’t do what it takes to win championship games.
“Winning tough games like this doesn’t come from big things,” Thompson said. “It comes from little things, like defensive boxing out, getting loose balls, hitting shots. It’s just an overall performance we couldn’t put together to win the game.”
He also said while he is glad his team made it to the tournament championship game, he wished the result was different.
“It’s a little bit of an achievement,” Thompson said. “It’s disappointing not winning. We’ll do better next time.”
Keppel coach Hung Duong said his team just couldn’t make the ball go in the net.
“To beat those types of teams you’ve got to make a lot of shots,” Duong said. “Unfortunately, tonight we couldn’t make shots. First half we had to earn every basket. Second half we made adjustments, but we just couldn’t make shots.”
Duong said something his team also needs to improve on is picking up offensive rebounds.
“We’re not getting the offensive boards,” he said. “The kids got to do a better job of getting the offensive boards. There wasn’t anyone hitting the boards. It was like a one-and-out for us. It’s habits. We got to get good habits and right now we don’t have the habits.”