For the third time this season, Casa Grande High School's boys basketball team played North Bay League champion Cardinal Newman tough early, but faltered once the game got rolling Wednesday night. Casa Grande's 64-45 loss in the Cardinal Newman gym eliminated the Gauchos from the North Bay League Tournament and sent the Cardinals into the tournament championship game Friday night against Montomgery, a 68-59 winner over Ukiah on Wednesday. The championship game will be played at 8:15 p.m. at Santa Rosa Junior College following a 6 p.m. girls championship game between Montgomery and Santa Rosa.
Casa Grande matched the high-scoring Cardinals hoop-for-hoop in thee first quarter, reaching the first buzzer trailing just 18-17, but Cardinal Newman took charge in the second period, holding the Gauchos to just six points. By the half, Cardinal Newman led, 32-23, and then put the game away with a blistering 23-point third period.
In the end, Cardinal Newman had too many weapons for the Gauchos, with Kyle King scoring 14 points, Kenny Love 13 and Tim McCoullough 12.
Cetrick Yeanay was the only Gaucho to reach double digit scoring with 10 points. Although he did not have any 3-point connections, he did dish off five assists. Point guard Tyler Nadolski connected twice from beyond the arc and added eight points to the Casa cause. Drew Busse also scored eight points and Jake Ielmorini added seven. Sophomore Jon Christy pulled down 10 rebounds and scored six points.
Casa Grande is now 14-13 for the season after finishing 7-7 in NBL play. The Gauchos now await possible inclusion in the North Coast Section playoffs.