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Capo Valley passes big test against Brethren Christian
MISSION VIEJO – The tallest high school basketball player in the nation did not have his best game on the shortest day of the year.
Mamadou Ndiaye, Brethren Christian's 7-foot-5 senior, scored 22 points with 11 rebounds and blocked two shots. But he got himself into foul trouble that placed him on the bench for extended periods Friday in the JCTees.com Orange County North/South Challenge.
Capistrano Valley took advantage of Ndiaye's absences to beat the Warriors, 64-59, on the first day of the two-day showcase event – and the first day of winter - at El Toro High.
Ndiaye got his third foul in the third quarter, an offensive foul that was called when Ndiaye pushed away a Capistrano Valley defender who had been leaning on Ndiaye. Seconds later, Ndiaye got his fourth foul on the defensive end, a blocking foul 25 feet from the basket. That sent Ndiaye to the bench with Capistrano Valley leading, 41-38, with a couple of minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Ndiaye remained on the bench for the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. When he returned, the Warriors (6-3) trailed, 53-46.
Capistrano Valley's Mason Dossey, a 6-foot-3 senior, was assigned the task of covering Ndiaye. He got plenty of help, as the Cougars had players in front of and behind Ndiaye. Dossey drew the two offensive fouls on Ndiaye.
As Capistrano Valley varsity football's starting quarterback the past two seasons, Dossey is accustomed to body contact.
"I'm a football player, so I'm an aggressive basketball player," Dossey said. "So I played as aggressively as I could."
And, Dossey admitted, "I flopped a few times, too."
Dossey also did some scoring. He had 10 points to go with a team-high nine rebounds.
Sebastian Strickler led the Cougars (4-8) with 17 points. Ayman Farah and Josh Littlejohn scored 14 points apiece for Capistrano Valley.
Ndiaye made 11 of his 13 shots. All but one of his attempts was from within 4 feet of the basket. He missed a 14-footer in the fourth quarter.
Going into Friday's game, Ndiaye was shooting 87 percent from the field. In a victory Tuesday over San Gabriel Academy, ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 5A, Ndiaye scored 24 points with 12 rebounds and 12 blocks. He is being mentored by Warriors assistant coach Jamal Sampson, a standout at Mater Dei who went on to play at Cal and in the NBA.
The Warriors led at many points in the game, but their last advantage was 43-41 late in the fourth quarter.