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Published January 19, 2011
Lamorinda Boys' Basketball Splits Rivalry Games
By Conrad Bassett
James Griffin (22) rebounds the ball over Carl King (11) Photo Doug Kohen

The three Lamorinda boys' high school basketball teams returned a combined three starters from a year ago and the teams looked to be balanced. The early games of Diablo Foothill Athletic League play showed just that. Miramonte, Acalanes and Campolindo challenged each other the last two weeks and each team split the rivalry series with one win and one loss.

Miramonte at Acalanes
After playing much of their pre-season schedule without several of their top players due to post-season football, the Matadors traveled with a full squad to Acalanes to open the league season on January 4.
The game proved to be a close match. Senior Anthony Piganelli hit a basket early to get the Mats on the board first. Dons junior James Griffin came back at the other end to tie it early. Each team led in the period before junior Ross Anderson hit a follow-up shot to put Miramonte up, 17-14.
The second period was nearly a repeat of the first; they exchanged leads early on. The Dons trailed by four before a nine point run started with a Griffin three. Miramonte came back with a 7-0 run behind Piganelli and sophomore Kiran Shastri. Dons senior Michael Jackson recorded a traditional three point play with 11 seconds left to give Acalanes a 35-34 lead at intermission.
The third period was just as competitive. Griffin opened the scoring with a three to give the Dons a four-point lead, but the Mats fought back. Senior Kazz Tamura led another 7-0 run to give Miramonte a 49-43 lead to end the period.
Miramonte looked like they were ready to pull away with a 10-point lead with less than seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The Dons stormed back to cut the lead to 57-55.
The Mats clung to a four point lead when Anderson hit two free throws with 1:46 to go. With 21 seconds left in the game, Griffin hit a three to cut the lead to 61-60. The Dons fouled Shastri after the inbounds pass and he calmly hit the front end of a one-for-one for a 62-60 Mat lead. He missed the second, but the Dons were unable to score and Miramonte headed back to Orinda with a two point win, 62-60.
Piganelli led all scorers with 20 points and seven steals. Anderson added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Shastri finished with 10 points. For the Dons, Griffin and senior Stephen Collins each had 16.

Acalanes at Campolindo
Three days later the Dons headed to Campolindo to take on the Cougars.
Campo scored early and often as they jumped off to a 15-5 lead after the first period.
The Dons slowly came back in the second quarter. Griffin and Jackson each hit threes before sophomore Griffin Piatt hit a layup for Campo's first points with 4:26 to go in the second period.
Collins scored the next five Dons points and by halftime, the Dons had clawed all the way back. Collins hit a three near the end and the Dons led 24-20.
The third period saw another back and forth duel as Campo senior Carl King scored 11 of his 17 points. At the end of three it was knotted up at 36.
Griffin started out the last quarter stealing an errant Campo pass and making a layup. Piatt came right back with a three and Dons junior Kevin Huber answered with his own three. Again, the teams traded baskets to again tie at 47 all.
Senior Alan Hickey made a shot for Campo to give them a 49-47 lead and Collins answered with a three for a Dons to give them the lead. Collins added another three and two free throws with 26 seconds left to seal the deal; Acalanes recorded a 57-51 victory. Collins had a game-high 20 and Griffin chipped in 14.

Campolindo at Miramonte
Campolindo traveled to Miramonte last Friday-looking to avenge their season ending loss to the Matadors in last year's NCS playoffs; and avenge they did, winning 50 to 38.
Campolindo held Miramonte from scoring a field goal for almost seven and a half minutes to take a 17-5 lead after one period.
The teams went back and forth in the second period and Campo led 24-11.
In the third period, Campo opened up the lead behind layups from sophomore John Schmitz and junior Robbie Wirth and with five minutes to go, the Cougars had a 31-13 lead.
Piganelli made a steal and finished with a layup and led an 11-2 run to get the Mats within nine, but then Piatt hit a lay-up and was fouled and the Mats never got closer. Sophomore Jack Evans ended the period with a half court three at the buzzer. Campo led 42-28.
The lead grew to 20 before the coaches freely substituted and Campo notched a 13-point win. King led Campolindo with 13 while Piganelli had 11 for Miramonte.

Miramonte's Anthony Pignanelli (1) wins the opening tip-off Photo Jordan Fong
Carl King (11) shoots over Acalanes defender Noah Orlik (11) Photo Doug Kohen

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