A dominant second-half effort by the Gilroy High boys varsity basketball team highlighted a 57-47 Tri-County Athletic League victory over the Alisal Trojans on Wednesday night at Bog Hagen Memorial Gymnasium.
Alisal threatened to upset the Mustangs with a 15-point run to end the first half for a 29-26 lead. Any thought of a Trojans shocker went away in the third period when the Mustangs regrouped to post a 19-9 edge to go into the fourth period with a 45-38 advantage.
“We took care of the basketball,” coach Matt Tait said of the Gilroy surge in the second half. “Most of the points Alisal scored on that run in the first half came off our turnovers.”
Christian Goldstein scored 11 points and Brendan Holler came off the bench for 10 to pace the Gilroy offense.
“That was Brendan’s best game of the year,” Tait said. “He really worked on the boards, made some shots and played solid defense.”
Alisal received 21 points from sharp-shooting forward Mark Farafan, but had only two other players with more than four points.
The Mustangs, (3-8 in TCAL play) with a home date against the Salinas Cowboys Friday to end the regular season, shook off a 3-2 deficit after 30 seconds to post the next 10 points for a 12-3 edge. Niko Fortino sparked the rally with a layup and a 3-point field goal. Fortino ran into foul trouble but managed nine points on the night, including a nifty hook shot in the final period.
Alisal stayed within range by producing nine of the last 11 points of the first period to trail 14-12. The Mustangs moved out to a 26-14 lead when Goldstein slashed inside for a layup with 4:25 left in the first half. The Trojans took advantage of Gilroy miscues to run off 15 points, including the first seven by Farafan.
Gilroy made 7-of-15 field goal attempts in the third quarter to leave the period with a seven-point cushion. Alisal enjoyed its final lead of the game at 32-30 on a Farafan 14-footer. Gilroy scored the next eight points. David Gonzalez drained a smooth 3-pointer, then assisted on a Goldstein 3-pointer. Jonathan Lester’s lone field goal of the game came at the end of a fast break with 3:50 left in the third.
Alisal drew no closer than six points in the fourth period.
Stefan Mercer produced nine points, Charles Walker seven for the winners.