Concord 81, Dublin 78
The Star: Point guard Daniel Solis keyed Concord High’s second half run with 15 points and two three-pointers in a high scoring barn burner.
The Turning Point: The Minutemen jumped out to a quick lead at 11-2, but Dublin High started to wake up at the end of the first quarter and only trailed 23-17 at the end of one. In the second, Cameron Moses’ stellar pressure defense combined with Joe Mcglaston’s scoring prowess pushed the Gael’s on a run and gave Dublin a halftime lead of 40-32. The Gaels led for the entire third quarter but in the fourth, Concord started to mount a comeback. With 5:40 remaining, the Minutemen retook the lead, 62-60 on a lay-up by Marcus Walton. The teams traded leads late in the fourth quarter when, with two minutes remaining, Concord took hold of the lead for good at 73-72. The Minutemen watched as several Gaels shot for opportunities to tie the game on the free-throw line but missed. Concord narrowly escaped with a three-point victory.
The Quote: “This is the biggest win we have had since I have been here. That is a darn good team over there.” — Concord coach Ted McDavitt.
What’s Next: The Minutemen prepare to tangle with Pinole Valley next Tuesday at 7 p.m. Dublin plays at Antioch next Wednesday at 7.
Bottom Line: A frantic final minute combined with Concord’s late game surge proved just enough to push past the Dublin Gaels.
completed a comeback from down 14 to take the lead in the fourth quarter and edge out an 81-78, road victory over Tuesday night.
With the students on Christmas break, the Division II foes battled in relative silence, but the significance of the victory was not lost on Concord’s second year coach Ted McDavitt.
“We came into this game struggling,” said McDavitt, who’s team had just lost the night before to Liberty by 18 and were in a downward spiral having dropped three of their past four. “I wrote on the board in the locker room before the game the word ‘confidence’. I told these guys, even if you do not have confidence in yourselves, I have confidence in you.”
The Minutemen responded with their most inspired showing over the past two seasons.
“We played well in our NCS game, had a good game against Northgate and had some solid victories last year,” said McDavitt. “But this was by far our best victory since I have been here.”
The game was a nail biter with both teams trading baskets and leads in an up-tempo fourth quarter.
“I think the tempo really favored Concord,” said Dublin coach Tom Costello. “They were able to get some late fast break buckets and we just did not play with the kind of energy that I would like to see. We came out flat.”
Concord’s Marcus Walton led the Minutemen with 20 points, while swishing three three-pointers. He also scored on a tricky leaner with 2:00 remaining in the fourth quarter to put Concord up 73-72.
On the next Concord offensive possession after a steal, Daniel Solis (15 points) scored and was fouled on his way to the bucket and after converting the free throw, the Minutemen led 76-72.
With 1:05 remaining, Dublin was far from done. For the first time in the contest, Costello sent star swingman Joe Mcglaston (24 points) into the post and it paid immediate dividends when Mcglaston wiggled between two Concord big men for a lay-up, cutting the lead to two at 76-74.
After the teams traded scores followed by two missed free throws apiece, Dublin’s Cameron Moses (17 points) found himself on the line after an aggressive drive, looking to tie the game at 78. He split the free throws and the Gaels trailed by one.
Following the Concord inbounds, Dublin immediately fouled Chad Henry, who with only 11 seconds remaining knocked down both free throws, pushing the Minutemen’s advantage to 80-77.
The Gaels called timeout and with a chance to tie, Dublin found Mcglaston for a three-pointer on the wing. Mcglaston’s shot went long, but during his follow-through, he was pummeled and knocked to the ground, resulting in a foul and three free throws for the tie.
Mcglaston could only convert on one of the three free throws and the Gaels found themselves needing to foul Concord again with only three seconds remaining, down 80-78.
The Minutemen’s Mike Adams (17 points) left the door open again by missing the first and making the second freebie, pushing the lead back to three.
But again, Dublin was unable to capitalize, misfiring on a 20-foot desperation three at the buzzer.
“A barnburner!” said McDavitt. “I am too old for this stuff. Defense keyed our run and we had some nice transition offense. The guards played phenomenal, all four of them.”
McDavitt went on to say that he likes his teams’ chances in what appears to be a heavily contested Diablo Valley Athletic League. The front-runner appears to be College Park, who has beat Concord in their past four contests.
“The DVAL is wide-open, anybody can beat anybody on any given night,” continued McDavitt.
The Gaels looked distraught following the game, but their coach took solace in that it was only preseason.
“I like our chances in the DFAL. We just came off a tournament victory and this is just another learning experience,” said Costello.
McDavitt agreed, saying that he believed the Gaels would be a highly seeded team come the North Coast Section playoffs.
Notes: Dublin claimed victory in the Don Nelson Classic with victories over Arroyo, Liberty and California. The Gaels' point guard Devin Koeplin displayed sticky fingers, recording five steals and provided clutch baskets (one at the third quarter buzzer and another late in the fourth.)
Concord 81, Dublin 78
Records: Concord 7-4; Dublin 6-4
Preseason, boys basketball, 12/20/11