District boys basketball: Newsome 50, Alonso 38
LITHIA — Newsome hit its coldest drought of the game — eight consecutive misses in the third and fourth quarters — and needed a spark.
Tyler McKenna stepped up. His first bucket off an offensive rebound ignited a 21-8 fourth-quarter explosion in Newsome's 50-38 victory against Alonso in a Class 9A, District 6 semifinal game that was much closer than the final score.
In a game of runs, Newsome (20-6) got hot in the final eight minutes after Alonso (14-12) used an 8-0 spurt to end the third quarter for a 30-29 lead. McKenna's layup off a Nick Stuck miss was the Wolves' first basket in eight minutes.
Alonso bounced back to take a pair of one-point leads, but Newsome pulled away by making seven of its final eight shots. McKenna scored six of his seven points in the period.
"We talk about the law of averages," Newsome coach Barry Jacobs said. "Eventually (the shots) have to fall. . . . It just so happened in the fourth quarter instead of the third. We told the guys that if you're shooting, you've got to keep shooting and eventually get some makes."
After Alonso took its final lead at 34-33, a Jake Brazinski 3-point basket — his only points of the game — fueled a 12-2 run. The Ravens never got closer than seven after that.
"(McKenna's first bucket) was a big shot," Jacobs said. "He's a baseball player and we love him to death. He works his tail off. Every team needs a Tyler McKenna on it — a lunch-pail type player who comes to play and gives you everything he's got."
McKenna said Newsome came together after scoring only three points in the third quarter.
"We play as a team and started getting confidence making buckets," he said. "It's my role to go out there and get boards."
Stuck led Newsome with 17 points. Isaiah Islam added 11.
Alexander Jacovides (15) and Christian De Leon (12) were the top scorers for Alonso, which shot only 30 percent.
"I have a lot of respect for (Alonso coach Todd Price) and the Alonso program," Jacobs said. "They made it difficult for us (and) did a very good job clogging up the attack lanes. We adjusted in the fourth quarter and we made some shots. That was the difference in the game."