After a historic 30-win season, the good luck dried up Saturday night for the San Marin High boys basketball team.
Bishop O’Dowd, a powerhouse team from Oakland that was picked as one of the top 50 teams in the country at the start of the season, sought and got revenge on San Marin with a 52-49 victory in a CIF NorCal Division III semifinal played at Redwood High in Larkspur.
San Marin, which had stunned Bishop O’Dowd in the North Coast Section semifinals on March 2, ended the season with a 30-5 record, a Marin County Athletic League championship and an NCS championship.
Senior center Stuart Wesonga finished his San Marin career with 10 points and 16 rebounds and several dozen bruises from double- and triple-team defenses against him. Wesonga will, by all accounts, go down as one of the greatest players in Marin County history.
The Mustangs last led Saturday’s game at 17-16 with 5 minutes, 4 seconds left in the second quarter, but they rallied late in the game and nearly pulled off another stunning victory.
When junior guard John Seavey stole the ball, wrestled with a defender to hold onto it and then launched a 3-pointer, San Marin closed to within 47-45 with 2:07 left in the game and sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Chris Glennon, who ended up with a team-high 13 points for San Marin, sank a jumper to keep it to 49-47 with 1:30 left. After that, the Mustangs fouled the Dragons on five rapid-fire plays since they had fouls to give and a deficit to make up.
Wesonga nailed a put-back bucket with 8.8 seconds remaining to keep it to a two-point game at 51-49. Seavey quickly fouled O’Dowd’s Kendall Jackson, sending the Dragon guard to the line. Jackson hit made the first shot to account for the game’s final margin.
He missed the second shot and Jimmy Burrows grabbed the rebound for San Marin as the clock ticked down. He found Seavey, who had about 1 second to dribble and heave the ball as the clock expired. It fell a few feet short, and the O'Dowd celebration got under way.
Seavey, the only junior among San Marin's starters, finished with nine points. Senior point guard Ryan Zirkle sank two 3-pointers late in the game to keep the Mustangs in the running and senior forward Burrows had eight rebounds.
O'Dowd, the No. 1 Division III team in the state for much of the season, improved to 25-7 and will play March 19 for the NorCal title against El Cerrito, which shocked No. 1 seed Sacramento 63-51 on Saturday. San Marin beat El Cerrito for the NCS Division III title on week ago.
In the first half, O’Dowd had the early momentum and jumped to a 16-8 lead before San Marin took a timeout. The Mustangs promptly responded with a 9-0 scoring run highlighted by Dominic Coyne's 3-pointer, but it was followed by 10-0 run by the Dragons.
Wesonga and O’Dowd star Brendan Ashley only had two points and four points at the half, respectively, a sign that the other players were getting it done. Ashley finished with 14 points for O'Dowd, and Anders Haas led all scorers with 15 points.