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Crespi Falls in a Game of Runs

Boys' basketball: Garces defeats Celts, 78-53, in Division IV semifinal after going on scoring binges of 16-1 and 20-4.


BAKERSFIELD — In a championship season, it hasn't happened many times to the Crespi High basketball team.

The Celts are usually on the other end of scoring runs.

On Thursday night, they watched Bakersfield Garces go on a 16-1 run in the second quarter and the Celts never recovered in a 78-53 loss in a Southern regional Division IV semifinal before 2,200 fans at Centennial High.

"I guess the wall hit us," Crespi Coach Dick Dornan said. "They just got a lot of easy buckets. We haven't seen a lot of runs like that and I guess it really affected us."

The Celts (24-7), who won the Southern Section Division IV-AA title last week, recovered enough to battle back from an 18-point deficit in the third quarter.

Crespi made it 52-45 on a three-point basket by Dino Fekaris with 7:47 remaining in the game.

That was before the undefeated Rams (30-0) went on a 20-4 run to put away Crespi for good.

After it was over, the Celts were at a loss to explain what happened.

Andrew Moore said he and his teammates never felt comfortable in the game.

"It didn't seem like we had our legs [Thursday night]," said Moore, who scored 14 points before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. "We weren't as quick as we usually are."

Maybe their opponent had something to do with it.

Garces, the only undefeated team in the state, forced the Celts into numerous turnovers with a full-court defense that was difficult for them to solve.

"It's our senior leadership and our full-court defense," Garces Coach Gino Lacava said. "It seems to be a pretty good recipe for a 30-0 team."

Garces had its difficulty early in the game.

The Celts built a 20-12 lead early in the second quarter.

Lacava said he made a few adjustments after falling behind by eight points.

Then the Rams went on their 16-1 run.

Most of the damage was done by their guard tandem of Matt Robles, who finished with 25 points, and Keith Villalovos, who scored 20.

The Celts were led by Kingsley Anyanwu, who played much of the game in foul trouble and eventually fouled out with 6:19 remaining. He finished with 15 points.

Despite the score, Moore said he wasn't particularly impressed with the Rams.

"I'm not trying to discredit them, but if they were in the Mission League they'd be in fourth or fifth place," he said. "But I can't argue with 30-0."

Dornan couldn't either.

"We just ran into a better team on this night," he said. "It's as simple as that."

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