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Published February 29th, 2012
Campo Hosts Miramonte in NCS Semifinal Tonight
By Conrad Bassett
Kiran Shastri, who scored 40 points against Analy, looks to lead Mats to win over Campo. Photo Kevin Nguyen

Lamorinda plays host to a key rivalry game tonight. Campolindo hosts Miramonte in the semifinals of the North Coast Section basketball tournament. Having split their first two meetings, the game promises to be an exciting match-up.
Acalanes also qualified for the NCS tournament. The Dons played in the first round against Piner (Santa Rosa). Campolindo and Miramonte received first round byes.
To start the Lamorinda postseason run, the #5 Dons defeated Piner, 44-29. Acalanes only led by one point after the first quarter but extended their lead to 15 in the next three quarters. Senior James Griffin led the Dons with 13 points and sophomore Buster Souza added 11 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks in the winning effort.
In the first period, sophomore Noah Orlik injured his neck and had to be taken out on a stretcher. Coach Darrell Hirashima, Jr. was pleased to report that Orlik was released from the hospital and feeling somewhat better the next day.
The Dons advanced to the second round. They traveled to play #4 seed El Cerrito on Friday night but lost, 51-49. They finished their season at 18-10.
Campolindo received the #2 seed and played their first game against #7 Sir Francis Drake from Marin County on Friday night, winning 50-44. Junior John Schmitz led the Cougars with 21 points while senior Griffin Piatt had 16 rebounds.
Miramonte garnered the #3 seed and hosted Analy (Sebastopol) on Friday night.
Miramonte earned the #3 seed with help from a big win against Campo to end the regular season. The Mats came back from down 18 to beat the Cougars 80-72. Junior Kirin Shastri led all scorers with 26 and sophomore Joey Goodreault added 20 as the Mats outscored the Cougars by 59-24 in the middle of the game.
Miramonte carried the momentum from the rivalry win into their game against the Tigers.
The teams have a history of tight games. In the 2009 Division III final, Analy won 76-73 in overtime over and in the 2010 semi-final the Mats won 70-67 also in overtime.
Again, the Mats and Tigers battled it out in extra time. This time the Mats outlasted Analy 98-87 in double overtime.
Analy had the lead after one quarter but in the second period the Mats went on their own 8-0 run to tie the game and the teams headed into intermission at 27 each.
In the third period, senior Ross Anderson picked up one of his game high 16 rebounds and put Miramonte in the lead, 29-27. The team exchanged baskets much of the period before the Mats pulled out to a four point lead to end the third at 48-44.
With 4:19 to go in the fourth, Anderson hit a bank shot and Miramonte led 60-50. Two minutes later they led 62-54 before the Tigers rattled off nine unanswered points to take a 63-62 lead. Analy senior Nathan Benjamin hit the second of two free throws and Miramonte had the ball with 12.6 seconds left. Shastri hit a bank shot with 4.4 seconds left to send it to overtime.
The Tigers jumped off to a 68-66 lead before Goodreault hit a bank shot, Anderson a long three, and Shastri four free throws. With 38.3 to go the Mats had a seven point lead.
The Tigers stormed back to get within three and Analy junior Mohannad Halaweh calmly buried a three point shot to tie it at 77 each.
In the second overtime, Miramonte was not to be denied. Shastri scored 11 of his game high 40 points in the period and the Mats built of a 14 point lead-a lead that the Tigers could not overcome. Goodreault finished with 24 points to go with six assists.
Shastri played much of the second half on an injured ankle. "I was not able to really step back on shots, so I just stepped forward and shot," said Shastri. His free throw shooting was also important as he made 17 of 23 attempts, many coming at crucial times during the game.
"This game was ridiculous. I really knew we were going to win. It just took a lot longer than we had planned," Anderson said.
Coach Dave Brown was pleased that his team just kept coming back. "Ross was incredible. He found a way late in the game to position himself against the 6'7" Benjamin to snag rebounds without losing them to his reaching over the top. He made great adjustments."
The Matadors head over to Campolindo tonight for a rubber match, having split their Diablo Foothill Athletic League games with the Cougars. The game begins at 7:00 p.m.
Campo coach Matt Watson is looking forward to the game. "I am excited to play Miramonte and the atmosphere is going to be off the chart with great fan support from both schools!"
This time, the chance to move on to the NCS final will be on the line. The good news is that regardless of the outcome, each team has qualified to go on to the Northern California championships that begin next week.

Joey Goodreault had 24 points and six assists.
Senior Ross Anderson had a game-high 16 rebounds in the win over Analy.
JJohn Schmitz led Campo with 21 points over Sir Francis Drake. Photos Kevin Nguyen
James Griffin's Dons fell to El Cerrito, 51-49.

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