Bryce Shore has become a leader in Sobrato High’s boys basketball team, and the junior shooting guard was ready to seize the moment Monday as overtime tipped off with a rivalry game up for grabs.
“I tried to get my mind right, and I knew that we needed some extra points to lead the team to victory,” Shore said.
Shore scored 11 of his 19 points in overtime to lift the host Bulldogs to a 59-47 victory over Live Oak on Monday.
Shore looked at home in a basketball game that was almost as physical as a football game, charging hard to the basket like a running back fighting for a first down.
Shore converted two three-point plays in the first 56 seconds of overtime, including a driving layup while being fouled to help Sobrato (1-1) take a 49-43 lead with 3:04 remaining.
“I just started attacking the basket, which I should have been doing the whole game,” Shore said.
Shore made 5 of 6 free throws in overtime, and made a tough shot off the glass for a 54-47 lead that forced an Acorns timeout with 49 seconds left.
“He was huge,” Sobrato coach Lee Washington said of Shore. “In certain situations you’ve got to know when to shoot, when to pass and when you have a mismatch. And he was able to exploit the mismatches he had and take high quality shots where he was getting points in the paint or getting fouled and going to the free-throw line.”
Sobrato struggled to a 3-21 record last season, but Shore is part of a backcourt that gives the Bulldogs reason to dream big. Another part is junior point guard Kristian Maldia, who poured in a game-high 26 points, including 17 after halftime.
Maldia was fouled shooting a fourth-quarter 3-pointer and made 2 of 3 free throws for a 41-38 lead, then drilled a baseline jumper for a 43-38 lead with 1:23 left in regulation.
But Live Oak rallied, as Luke Laguna put back a missed free throw as the regulation buzzer sounded to tie the game 43-43 and force overtime.
That’s when Shore took over, taking the overtime tip-off and racing to the hoop for the first of two and-one specials.
“I just grabbed the ball, saw an open lane and took the ball to the basket,” Shore said.
An undersized Live Oak team struggled to find an answer for Sobrato center Karl Mann. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound junior had four points and 11 rebounds before fouling out.
“We stay together as a team. That’s our main principle,” Shore said. “We stayed together no matter what, and when we made a mistake, we made up for it.”
A starting backcourt combining for 45 points is usually a winning formula in high school basketball, and Washington looks forward to seeing Shore and Maldia grow together.
“They can be as good as they want to be as long as they’re dedicated to getting better every day,” Washington said.
Laguna paced Live Oak with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Eddie Plascencia had nine points and seven rebounds for the Acorns, and teammate Taylor Pullen added eight points.