Hall leads Cypress to tournament championship


CYPRESS – Jalen Hall had a game-high 21 points, and Cypress routed Brethren Christian, 68-45, Saturday night in the championship game of the Douglas Uselton Memorial Tournament at Oxford Academy.

Jacob Rouse scored 12 points, and Jayson Fields added 11 for the Centurions (9-2).

The Centurions wasted no time taking control of the game, beginning the contest on a 15-0 run. Fields fueled the run with six points in the first two minutes. Cypress utilized a quick transition offense to avoid the imposing presence of the Warriors’ 7-foot-5 center, Mamadou Ndiaye, in half-court sets.

“We felt we had more quickness than them,” said Centurions’ coach Jeff Russell. “We wanted to get down there before Mamadou could distract shots.”

The Warriors (5-2) struggled to find an answer for the Centurions’ defensive strategy. A poor shooting night made the Warriors one-dimensional, and Cypress had success in denying Ndiaye the ball in the post.

“We wanted a guy in front and guy behind him,” said Russell after his team limited Ndiaye to 18 points a day after he put up 41 points in the semifinals. “Our perimeter pressure made it tough for him to get the ball.”

Cypress led 38-17 at the half. For the first time, Brethren Christian had some success in their inside game, as the Centurions went to a small lineup to disrupt the Warriors’ ball-handlers. Ndiaye had eight points in the quarter.

Getting the big man from Senegal some touches in the paint did not turn out to be the answer. The Warriors needed stops, and Cypress did not cooperate. The Centurions held their largest lead of the game, 53-27, in the late stages of the third period.

Also in the tournament:

Western 73, Pacifica 63: Ausjai Fusick had 20 points, and Jason Walker added 19 as the Pioneers (7-3) defeated the Mariners (6-2) in the third-place game at Oxford Academy.

The Pioneers used two 25-point quarters to gain separation from the Mariners.

Jordan Fleck scored 20 points to lead Pacifica.

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