Once Gilroy’s shots began falling the third quarter, Live Oak’s window for stealing an early win in the Bob Hagen Memorial Tournament was all but shut. Charles Walker scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, and three Gilroy players finished with seven points Thursday as the Mustangs pulled away to a 48-39 victory on opening night of their 32nd annual boys basketball tournament in Bob Hagen Gymnasium.
The Mustangs (2-4) ended a three-game slide and will play the winner of the late game between Pioneer and Harbor at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The Acorns (1-4) will face the loser at 5 in the consolation bracket.
Eddie Plascencia and Luke Laguna had 12 points apiece, with Plascencia grabbing 11 rebounds and six rebounds, to lead Live Oak.
Greg Spellman, Jonathan Lester and Tommy Cox each had seven points for Gilroy, which led by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter.
The Acorns briefly held two one-point leads in the second quarter, when Gilroy shot an ice 3 for 14 from the field. Ardean Salvador intercepted a pass at midcourt and went in for a layup to push Live Oak ahead 20-19 with 32 seconds left in the second quarter. But the Mustangs answered with Travis Moulden’s 3-pointer to lead 22-20 at halftime.
Gilroy stayed hot in the third quarter while pressuring Live Oak into 12 turnovers. The Mustangs outscored the Acorns 16-5 in the period, with Walker chipping in six points during an 11-0 scoring run.
Laguna made two treys in the fourth quarter to help Live Oak trim the lead to 44-35 with 3:31 remaining. But the Mustangs were well on their way to an easy win over their old rivals from up Monterey Road.