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Gators, Vikings both win at basketball tourney

 

By Rick Eymer

Palo Alto Online Sports

No matter how you divide it up, there will still be too many McConnell's on the floor to have a fair three-on-three basketball game or some other variation of brothers vs. brothers.

When it comes to the Sacred Heart Prep boys' basketball team, you can't just talk about its 'Twin Towers.' Seniors Will and Reed McConnell may be the Gators' original twins but there's also the matter of junior Cole McConnell, who has been allowed to join his big brothers (by maybe an inch) for shootarounds at the family basket.

"We let him in on everything," said Will, whose father played college football at Dartmouth.

Will McConnell scored 15 points Thursday night and had eight rebounds to help lead Sacred Heart Prep past Riordan, 47-37, and into the championship game of the Burlingame Lions Club tournament Friday.

E.J. Floreal recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds as Palo Alto defeated Aragon, 54-30, in the consolation bracket.

Colin Terndrup added 11 points as the Gators (3-0) meet host Burlingame (4-1), which looks for a tournament three-peat in Friday night's scheduled 8 p.m. tipoff.

Studies on twins have shown a special psychic connection between them, and that they can know what the other is thinking at any given moment.

"He's probably thinking about Burlingame," Will said of Reed a couple of minutes after the final buzzer. The answer will have to wait for another time.

The McConnell trio has a lot of fun playing against the Baloff trio of grad Alex, senior Cal (6-0) and junior Austin (6-4). At least they present some competition on the issue of height.

Senior Pat McNamara at least has some height and looks somewhat imposing with his protective mask. Junior Matt McNamara (5-9) might have a problem guarding one of the towers.

Duke Moran suited up for the first time and if he could talk his brother, 6-8 Brian, into joining the team, then things might really get interesting.

As it turned out, despite some sloppiness and miscommunication, the Gators proved they could play just as intense on defense as the defensive-minded teams in the West Catholic Athletic League like the Crusaders.

Heck, on a routine game day in football, Terndrup and fellow senior Tomas O'Donnell figured to score 47 points easily.

Sacred Heart held the Crusaders to 22 percent shooting from the field, including six percent from long range.

The Gators outscored Riordan, 18-7, in the decisive third quarter. The Crusaders never got closer than the final score.

Aldis Petriceks added 13 points for the Vikings (2-1), who meet Jefferson for the consolation championship at 5 p.m. Friday. Max Schmarzo scored 12 points.

Floreal, who also had five steals, had a banner day, shooting 7-of-12 from the field a day after missing six of his 10 shots in the first round. He's averaging a double-double for the tournament to date. Floreal has 24 points and 20 rebounds in the first two games.

Mathias Schmutz had a solid game, with six assists and seven rebounds for Palo Alto, which still awaits its full complement of players.

Aragon had three players score six points as the Vikings limited the Dons (1-4) to just under 25 percent shooting. They also outrebounded Aragon by a 41-23 margin.

Palo Alto led, 34-13, at halftime.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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