Fast-breaking, slashing and at other times working the ball inside, the Atascadero High boys basketball team executed a nearly flawless third quarter of offense Wednesday afternoon.
But after a 25-point outburst to start the second half, the Greyhounds went cold down the stretch, opting for too many hasty perimeter attempts for coach Jerry Tamelier’s taste.
Atascadero made just two field goals during the final period of a 68-65 loss to Montclair in the championship game of the 46th annual Atascadero Christmas Classic tournament, squandering a 58-54 third-quarter lead that had once been a seven-point halftime deficit.
“If you look at all three losses, this is what our fourth quarter would look like,” Tamelier said while pointing to a shot chart. “Kind of settling for long shots, not getting to the line.“Hopefully we can learn from this,” he added. “We just have to be a little smarter, more selective and be a little more careful with the ball.”
The Cavaliers took a 62-61 lead with two-and-a-half minutes remaining and had their largest lead of the second half at 66-61 in the closing moments.
“They face-guarded and stayed in their zone,” Greyhounds guard Troy Norris said. “We couldn’t make shots.”
On the other end, Montclair (10-2) knocked down 11 shots from 3-point range, including five by diminutive gunner Bobby Talamantes, the tournament MVP, who finished with 19 points.
“We got caught up, kind of, in their game,” Tamelier said. “We took the early shot, and maybe if we could’ve gotten the ball inside a little more”
Norris had 15 of his game-high 26 points during the third quarter. He also had six assists and four steals for the game.
A senior named to the all-CIF Southern Section Division 4AA first team last year, Norris had two highlight-reel plays that electrified the Ewing Gym crowd. The first was a one-handed dunk by the 5-foot-10 guard on a breakaway, before he later made up ground following a turnover to elevate and emphatically block a Montclair player’s layup attempt off the glass.
Meanwhile, power forward Sean Slavin had 15 points for Atascadero (9-3), while shooting guard Hayden Mislavsky added 13. Norris and Slavin were all-tournament selections.
This was the final tune-up for PAC 7 play for Atascadero, which opens its league slate against San Luis Obispo at 7 on Monday.
“Hopefully we have a few good practices here at the beginning of league and play well the first week,” Tamelier said. “We’ll learn from this.”
The Greyhounds’ toughest test of all in the PAC 7 could arguably come from defending league champion Righetti (7-3).
The Warriors made waves throughout Southern California earlier this week by defeating defending Southern Section Division 2AA champion Murietta Valley (10-1), MaxPreps.com’s 25th-ranked team in the nation, 69-53, at the ESPN RISE Holiday Classic in San Diego.
Also in the Atascadero ClassicPaso Robles 46, Pioneer Valley 43The Bearcats outscored Pioneer Valley 16-1 in the first quarter, then held on.
Adam White, who was named to the all-tournament team, had 10 points and seven rebounds. Aleksander Koch had a game-high 12 points and eight rebounds for Paso Robles (6-7).
Ben Oliver, who joined White on the all-tournament team, finished with eight points.
Templeton 32, Lompoc 29The Eagles got their second win of the season, with both coming at the expense of the Braves. Daulton Oropeza had team-highs in points (eight) and rebounds (eight) for Templeton (2-9).
Estancia TournamentSan Luis Obispo 66, Norco 43Connor MacLeod scored a game-high 13 points, Mike Hansen added 10, and the Tigers used a 21-2 first-quarter run to put Norco away early.
San Luis Obispo (6-6) will play for the consolation championship against Vista Del Lago of Folsom.
VCA TournamentMorro Bay 81, Laguna Blanca 35;Morro Bay 71, Valley Christian 32Bryce Owens scored 28 points over the two games, Carlo Green and Luke Munds had 24, and the Pirates swept to advance to the consolation championship in Santa Maria.
Griley scored a game-high 16 in the opener while Green hit five 3-pointers in the late game.
Bishop Diego 40, Nipomo 34Marc Baker scored a team-high 11 points, and Kirk Wilenius added 10 for the Titans in Santa Maria.Baker hit 9 of 13 free throws for Nipomo, which wasn’t outscored by more than two points in any quarter.
GIRLS BASKETBALLWest Coast JamboreeMission Prep 68, Caruthers 50Kaylee Williams had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Royals in Brentwood.Mission Prep (9-4) put the game out of reach early, outscoring Caruthers 24-4 in the first quarter.
Jenna Dunbar had 16 points and eight assists for the Royals, and Bri Harvey continued her solid play at the tournament with 15 points and eight rebounds. Harvey has averaged 19.3 points per game at the tournament.VCA Tournament
Templeton 51, Bishop Diego 47;Campbell Hall 56, Templeton 33The Eagles got a narrow win in the opener as all six scorers had between eight and 10 points.
Katie Hunter was the team’s leader with 10, while Katie Koehler added eight and 11 rebounds.
Paige O’Sullivan narrowly missed a double-double without even scoring, finishing with 15 rebounds and eight assists.
In the late game, Templeton was unable to stop Lauren Holiday, the sister of NBA point guard Jrue Holiday.
Holiday scored 13 points before leaving the game in the second quarter with an injury, but the damage had been done. Templeton trailed 34-16 at halftime.
Megan Hattar led Templeton (8-3) with 15 points in a losing effort. The Eagles will play Mercy at noon today for third place in the tournament.
Larry Doyle Memorial TournamentMarina 43, Paso Robles 29;Paso Robles 44, Hawthorne 34Amani White scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds and had five steals with two blocks in Tuesday’s loss in Huntington Beach.The Bearcats (7-5) rebounded with a win over Hawthorne. Molly Donovan had a game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Audra Perry scored eight and grabbed 12 rebounds.
GIRLS WATER POLOArroyo Grande 14, Ventura 7Alexa May had five goals, Katie Sverchek scored four, and the Eagles won on the road. Goalkeeper Kylie Anderson made six blocks and added five steals for Arroyo Grande (6-2), which will host its own tournament next week.
The Eagles put the game away by outscoring Ventura 6-1 in the fourth.
Tribune staff contributed to this report