The Menlo School boys’ basketball team faced off against Mission Viejo – ranked seventh in the state by MaxPreps, host of the Desert Holiday Classic in Palm Springs. The Knights fell 81-49, but not without a gritty effort in an up-tempo opener Wednesday.
Traffic and weather conditions delayed many of the teams’ arrivals to the 120-team tournament, and Menlo got to Palm Springs after a long trip 90 minutes before tip-off.
The Diablos (13-0) came out with a 25-10 first quarter, and the Knights responded in the second to narrow the gap to 45-27 at the half. Mission Viejo capitalized on turnovers before closing out the win.
“Our guys competed hard and came to play,” Menlo coach Delandro Leday said. “Mission is a very good team that forces you to play their up-tempo style of basketball.
Ryan Young led all scorers with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, and both a pair of steals and blocks.
“They made a lasting impression with their grit and toughness. We could have easily packed it in but our kids don't know the meaning of quitting which makes me so proud to be their coach,” Leday added.
Desert Holiday Classic, Palm Springs
Scoring – M: Grossman 2 4-4 8, Roth 1 4-4 6, Heneghan 3 1-7 7, Dunn 2 0-0 4, Diekroeger 2 3-4 7, Bouret 1 0-0 2, Young 3 6-6 13, Barratt 1 0-0 2.
Three-point goal: Young.
Total: 15 18-25 49.