Joey Brocchini provided the Bears with an answer to Orland star guard Jud Sailsbery in the second half of Wednesday night's matchup in the first round of the 2013 CIF State Boys Division IV Basketball Championships, but the Trojans managed to hold on for a 67-62 victory.
Brocchini drained six treys, three in each of the final two quarters, for a team-high 18 points that kept the Bears in the game through the final minutes.
"I was just open and shooting with confidence," Brocchini said. "But my teammates got me open, so I'm not taking any credit for that."
The Bears on court chemistry and unselfishness was on full display for the roughly 900 fans who packed Summerville High's gymnasium to witness the first CIF state playoff basketball game ever to be hosted at the Tuolumne school.
Morningstar scored 16 points, Rosendo Amaya-Wood and Logen Foster each added 10 and Jesse Roberson had eight.
"(Brocchini) just shot the heck out of the ball and we had a hard time closing out on him all night," said Orland head coach Jason Bragg. "And, of course, we had trouble with the three-headed monster that they have inside (6-foot-7 Amaya-Wood, 6-7 Morningstar and 6-6 Roberson). We knew that if we took bad shots that would be the only shot we would get, so we stressed that to the boys this week."
And Sailsbery, Orland's career leading scorer, must have heeded that message carefully because he wasn't missing Wednesday night.
Though Bear defenders guarded Sailsbery closely all game and rarely let him get off an uncontested shot, the 6-foot senior scored a game-high 40 points including 10 treys.
"He had a disappointing game in our section (Northern Section) final and I think he just wanted to come out and prove what kind of player he is and he had a fantastic night," said Bragg.
The Bears jumped out to a 6-3 lead early in the first quarter before Sailsbery got his second 3-pointer two minutes into the game to tie the score.
Foster answered Sailsbery with a trey of his own off a pass from Brocchini making the score 10-6, but then Orland 6-foot-3 senior Jordan Long responded with another3-pointer to get the Trojans to within a point.
After Amaya-Wood was fouled in the post and made both free throws, Orland got its first lead, 14-13, when Trojan senior Eneas Rosales nailed a 3-pointer off a pass from Sailsbery. A 2-point Orland field goal gave the Trojans a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Orland went on a 10-0 scoring run to start the second quarter that put the Bears into a 10-point hole before a Roberson 3-pointer ended the Trojan streak and sparked one for Summerville.
In the final three minutes of the first half, Foster dished a pass to Morningstar who used a strong move to get to the hoop for an easy 2-point bucket followed by Foster hitting a wide-open trey from the corner off an inbound pass from Brocchini to be trailing Orland 31-22 at the break.
"I just did what I usually do and was aggressive inside," said Morningstar, who also grabbed a team-high eight boards to go with his 16 points.
Sailsbery opened the second half shooting an airball on a 3-point attempt with Foster defending which seemed to provide a spark for Summerville.
Amaya-Wood had a nifty sequence starting a minute into the quarter in which he got a 2-point layup and a steal on Orland's ensuing possession. He then got an offensive rebound on that very same possession and got a putback, causing Bragg to call a timeout with the Trojans leading 31-28.
Over the next two minutes of the third, Sailsbery scored three treys on consecutive possessions that went unanswered by Summerville.
"He just kind of went off on 3s," Amaya-Wood said of Sailsbery. "He had a push-off he could do every time that made it hard to defend. It was really disappointing to see him get all those points and have us lose, but he's a good shooter and I gotta give it up to him."
Brocchini nailed his first 3-pointer of the third quarter off a pass from Roberson who found him open to make the score 35-40 with 4:00 on the clock. He got his second trey 30 seconds later with another assist by Roberson.His third trey, off a pass from Foster, made the score 52-45 going into the final period.
In the fourth, Brocchini had another three treys. Morningstar found Brocchini open for a baseline 3-pointer that made the score 54-50 with 5:45 remaining, which sparked deafening chants of "Defense!" from the 900-plus strong crowd.
Sailsbery kept hitting 3s and Brocchini kept answering but the Trojans were able to outlast the Bears in the end for the five-point win.
The tough loss caps off a historic year for Summerville basketball. The Bears went undefeated in the Mother Lode League to clinch the title before cruising through the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV postseason and winning their school's first-ever section championship for hoops. They finished with an28-4 overall record.
"It's been outstanding," said Bear forward Colton Ebbers, who was aggressive in the post and grabbed four rebounds in the minutes he played Wednesday.
"I feel very honored to be a part of the pennant we hung (in Summerville's gym) today, but it's very, very frustrating to lose in the first round of a playoff tournament."
Summerville head coach Ben Watson put the blame for the loss mostly on himself.
"My biggest impression is that I didn't do more to help the kids be successful tonight," Watson said. "You always think that as a coach."
He said despite the loss, his team accomplished what no other Summerville team has before and should be proud of their unprecedented run.
"I feel bad for the kids, but we have so much to be thankful for with this group of guys," said Watson