Jalen Green gives credit to his team after winning second Division II Valley championship
Jalen Green put his name in the San Joaquin Memorial High boys basketball record book.
Green finished with a game-high 23 points as the top-seeded Panthers defeated No. 2 San Luis Obispo 87-45 in a Central Section Division II championship game Friday night at Selland Arena.
Never mind that Green was 2 of 8 from the field and 0 of 5 from 3-point range in the first half. “My teammates were telling me to keep doing what you do and don’t worry about it,” he said. “I felt comfortable when I made my first basket in the third quarter.”
On top of the win, Green broke the school career points record previously held by Roscoe Pondexter who totaled 2,288 points from 1968-71, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
“I’m excited that I broke it,” he said. “For me to pass him is shocking. Everyone is going to remember me for that and I’m happy about it.”
Green is at 2,291 points as Memorial will find out if its regionals destination – Open Division or otherwise – when the CIF state playoff brackets are announced Sunday.
Last year, Memorial beat Selma 71-66 in the section final then lost 67-65 at highly regarded Sheldon-Sacramento in the NorCal Open bracket.
That Panthers team featured a cast around Green including current collegians Dameane Douglas (Loyola Marymount), Jonah Geron (Washington) and Lunden Taylor (UC San Diego).
The Panthers showed Friday night they have weapons other than Green, with Preston Kilbert connecting on all three of his 3-point attempts for a 50-20 first-half lead en route to another section title.
“That was our main focus going into the season,” Kilbert said of defending the championship. “We did and I’m very happy.”
Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalaviz_TheBee