The Atascadero High’s boys basketball team took an 11-point lead into the half, but spurred by the play of Aaron Holiday, the younger brother of NBA star Jrue Holiday, Campbell Hall stormed back for a win Wednesday.
On the opening day of the Mission Prep Christmas Classic, the Greyhounds (4-6) lost 82-73 to the Vikings (7-2).
Holiday, a 6-foot sophomore guard, who repeatedly burned Atascadero for slashing layups, was the difference in the game with 38 points — 23 coming in the second half.
But Atascadero stayed close behind the sharp shooting of Jared Stuedemann, a 6-3 small forward who had 29 points for the Greyhounds.
Robbie Berwick had 10 points and nine assists for Atascadero, playing with a strained calf muscle that limited his explosiveness.
Pulling ahead 52-51 in the third quarter in an up tempo battle, Campbell Hall gained the edge with numerous offensive rebounds in the second half.
“Those offensive rebounds they had really hurt us,” said Greyounds coach Matt Knudson. “I thought we had the game, but we gave it away by not crashing the boards.”
In the first half, the Greyhounds were able to find gaps in the Vikings defense with dribble penetration.
Despite his injury, Berwick was able to beat his man off the dribble to find teammates such as Stuedemann, who had five 3-pointers in the game.
Berwick, a junior point guard, has been recruited by universities including Gonzaga, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly, and Florida State.
“I didn’t think I played as well as I could have today,” Berwick said. “My calf was bothering me. I’ll have to rest it a bit. I think Jared played the game of his life, though.”
Stuedemann said that once he got hot in the first half, he kept putting the ball up. He helped keep his team close, burying two three pointers in the third quarter in succession.
“Robbie was doing a good job of getting the dribble drive going and then kicking it to me when they collapsed on him,” Stuedemann said.
“I started to get hot and then I just kept on shooting. I felt good overall.”
At times, Holiday was guarding Stuedemann and the two seemed to be trading baskets as the teams raced back and forth for a stretch.
Holiday took the ball to the rim nearly every time he had it, drawing several fouls on the Greyhounds, who had 22 team fouls in the game.
Holiday used his quickness and jumping ability to get around several players in the post for layups.
But the Greyhounds forced him into several misses in the first half, too, some of which by holding steady position on the block and forcing Holiday to contort his body in the air.
At one point, Holiday slapped his hands in frustration after missing a floating runner.
Leading the Greyhounds, Stuedemann also had 15 points in the first half using an inside-out attack of drives to the basket off kick-outs and burying long-range jumpers.
But after the Greyhounds led 40-29 at halftime, Campbell Hall bounced back to take a 52-51 by the end of the third.
Greyhound Joel Wood got poked in eye in the third quarter, firing up the Atascadero fans who shouted for a foul at the no-call.
Campbell Hall upped the tempo using a full-court press, forcing some turnovers off steals and fast-breaking to open up Holiday, who had 13 points in the third quarter.
The Vikings pulled ahead to a 59-51 lead at 6:28 in the fourth after a 3-pointer by Jared Harper, a bucket by point guard Jordan Cohen, and a pair of free throws by Holiday.
And the Greyhounds found themselves down by 10 points with two minutes left in the game and unable to close the gap after some desperation threes.
Berwick said that he has talked with coaches from several prominent colleges, including Gonzaga and Stanford, after gaining exposure from his AAU team play.
Washington State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and Arizona are other schools that have contacted him, he said. Berwick expects some universities to come to his high school games next year.
“I’ve gotten a lot of letters saying, we’d love to talk to you and some have made verbal offers for scholarships,” Berwick said. “I think I’d be playing a one or a two guard, but I like playing point and getting other people involved so that’s my preference. I’m going to try to narrow things down this summer.”
Torrance Bishop Montgomery 72, Mission Prep 57
In a showcase game that doesn’t count for tournament play, the Royals were led by Andy Rowley with 26 points and Conner Woolpert, who had 19 points. Lamond Murray Jr., son of former NBA player Lamond Murray, scored 24 to lead his team with the elder Murray in attendance.
The Royals fought back from a 20-4 first quarter deficit and pulled within nine points in the second half.
“We didn’t shoot the ball great in the first quarter, and we dug ourselves a hole,” Mission Prep coach Terrance Harris said. “In the second half, I thought we battled. We were more relaxed and ready to compete. … But the great thing about this tournament is we still have a chance to win.”
The Royals begin their official tournament play tomorrow in a contest against Marin Catholic. The game starts at 7 p.m. at Mission Prep.
Brighton 64, San Luis Obispo 19
The Tigers scored a combined three points in the second and fourth quarters in a tournament-opening loss at the Mission Prep Christmas Classic.
Blake Shapazian had six points and Carlson Schwoerer added five for the Tigers (5-5).
West Hills 40, Arroyo Grande 39
West Hills made two free throws in the final nine seconds of the game to edge the Eagles (5-5) in the first game of the Burroughs Tournament.
Elizabeth Mero had 10 points, Jordan Robinson had nine and Ashlyn Herlihy had eight for Arroyo Grande, which plays Morningside today at 3 p.m.
Seven Royals named All Division
Seven Mission Prep football players earned All-CIF Northeast Division honors, according to school athletic director Bailey Brown.
Lineman Andrew DaRosa earned the division’s defensive player of the year.
Quarterback Tyler Baty, receiver Joey Hall, linebacker Andrew DeSesa, defensive back Calvin Levisay, running back Michael Cardwell, and running back and defensive back Patrick Laird each were named to the All-CIF team.
The Royals went 11-2 this season, losing in the division final to Rio Hondo Prep.