Half Moon Bay coach Rich Forslund tried to find a way to slow the game down, tried to find a way to turn it into a half-court game.
But nothing worked.
Fast-breaking, full-court-pressing El Camino (18-4, 10-0) controlled tempo throughout and clinched the Peninsula Athletic League North Division boys basketball title with a 60-53 win Wednesday night at Half Moon Bay.
El Camino's press kept the game's tempo at a faster pace than a bigger Half Moon Bay team desired.
"Our biggest weakness is we don't have guys who can take charge with the ball,'' Forslund said. "They're very athletic, very hard to guard. That's why they haven't lost.''
Despite facing a defense designed to deny him the ball, Michael Smith had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead El Camino, numbers that were very close to his season averages of 24.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
But he didn't find the going easy against Half Moon Bay's big front line.
"We weren't shooting well from the 3-point line or from inside,'' Smith said. "Their big men played great defense, it was hard to get shots over them. We really had to work hard on the boards.''
Half Moon Bay (17-5, 6-4) scored the last seven points of the first quarter to take a 15-14 lead. The Cougars were up 24-20 late in the second quarter before El Camino went on a 10-0 run to close the second quarter and take a 30-24 lead at the half. A dunk by Smith tied the score at 24. Baskets by Anthony
The closest the Cougars came in the second half was at 39-36 late in the third quarter. But the Colts went on a 7-0 spurt to take a 46-36 lead at quarter's end.
Rico Nuno, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound post player, had 10 of his team-high 16 points in the first half for Half Moon Bay. His play in the first quarter (six points and five rebounds) was a big reason why the Cougars were up early.
"Nuno can't play at that pace for long,'' Forslund said. "I have to take him out.''
White, El Camino's dynamic point guard, scored 15 points. Corey Cilia had 13 for Half Moon Bay.
Wilcox 56, Palo Alto 41: Joeseta Fatuesi scored 21 points and D'airrien Jackson had 16 for the Chargers (19-2, 7-2 SCVAL De Anza), as they avenged an earlier loss to Palo Alto (8-12, 4-5).
Archbishop Mitty 1, Presentation 0: Goalkeeper Maddie Julien recorded her West Catholic Athletic League-record ninth shutout of the season. Mitty (16-0-4, 11-0-1) also set a league record for fewest goals allowed in a season with three. Stephanie Probst scored the only goal of the match.
Woodside 2, Hillsdale 0: Mackenzie Person and Heather Seybert scored goals for Woodside (15-0-2, 10-0-1 PAL Bay).