Malibu High School varisty boy's basketball team completed a sweep of the visiting Crossroad High School (Santa Monica) squads, winning 54-46 Monday night at Malibu High.
The game started in scrappy fashion with both teams trading free throws. Malibu started to open up the game up when senior forward Will Rosenthal, penetrated the defense, kicked the ball to junior guard Anthony Kodomichalos who scored a layup.
The first quarter finished with a buzzer beater as Sharks senior forward Alex Eddy stole a pass, pushing the ball in front senior guard Andrew Yazdani who beat the collapsing Roadrunner defense for the layup. The Sharks finished the quarter strongly outscoring the visitors 13-7.
The second quarter saw Crossroads press Malibu, forcing several turnovers. Senior forward Vinnie van Patten helped stem the tide with a three-point play from a put back on a missed layup. The Sharks had difficulty getting the ball inside where both Rosenthal and Holmes had clear advantages.
The play of the game occurred again around Yazdani, who was allowed to dribble up to the defense and then rifled a zinger of a pass to a diving Kodomichalos for an uncontested layup. The play occurred so quickly, that by the time the defense reacted, the ball was falling through the net.
However, Malibu could not overcome the 15 turnovers in the half and trailed Crossroads at the break, 21-20.
The second half opened up with the Sharks increasing the intensity. Crossroads tried to press the Sharks, but guards Yazdani and Kodomichalos broke the press, leading to easy baskets for Holmes, who poured in 11 points in the quarter.
After shooting 8-of-20 in the first half, the Sharks dropped in 8-of-9 in the third period. Good offense also spurred spectacular defense with the Sharks holding the Roadrunners to eight points in the quarter. Malibu closed the quarter with a 13-point advantage, leading 41-28.
The Sharks had to withstand one more surge from Crossroads. The Roadrunners continued to press and as Malibu tired, the errors piled up. However, the lead created in the third quarter was unassailable and Malibu won the game with making most of it free throws, winning 54-46.
Malibu shot 19-of-33 for the game. Most players who saw substantial time contributed to the victory. Holmes led the way with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 12 rebounds and three assists; Rosenthal scored 12 points, eight from the free-throw line and nine rebounds; Kodomichalos added 10 points, nine boards and four assists; Yazdani scored six points; freshman guard Frankie McGovern chipped in six points and van Patten scored five.
The win was the product of team play and a real boost after the Pacifica tournament last week. The Varsity Sharks completed a sweep of Crossroads after comfortable wins by both the Fresh-Soph and JV teams.
The Varsity and JV teams next head off to the MaxPreps Palms Springs Tournament starting after the day after Christmas.
The Sharks open up league play at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 4 and return home to play Oaks Christian on Jan. 9.