ALBANY -- Temidayo Yussuf scored nine points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the St. Joseph Notre Dame High boys basketball team to a 44-38 win over University-San Francisco on Saturday in the North Coast Section Division V championship game at Albany High.
"That's what I pride myself off of -- rebounds and points," Yussuf said. "I know that most of my points come off of offensive and defensive rebounds so I try to go for every one. When I'm going for every one and the team is going for every one, nobody can outrebound us."
St. Joseph (21-11) used a dominating defense in the second quarter to build a 22-14 lead at halftime. The Pilots forced eight turnovers and held University (24-8) to zero of eight on field goal attempts over the first six minutes, 14 seconds of the quarter before Will Carroll finally made a baseline jumper. Those were the only points for the Red Devils in the quarter.
Yussuf said the Pilots switched to a 2-3 zone and that keyed the defensive run.
"We saw a couple of holes," he said. "Our players worked it to perfection. James Choyce played great minutes off the bench."
Said University coach Randy Bessolo, "It's all about a good defense against a shooting team. But with their size down low, they really extend it out, block the passing lanes and gave us a lot of trouble."
The Red Devils fought back and took a 33-32 lead early in the fourth quarter. However, the Pilots put together a 7-0 run to retake control of the game.
Yussuf tied for team-high scorer with Marc Voisenat. Justin Brown pulled down 11 rebounds. Jack Gale led University with 14 points.
It's the third straight NCS Division V title for St. Joseph Notre Dame, and fourth in five years.
"Three of anything is not too shabby," Pilots coach Don Lippi said. "We work a lot on getting to shooters. And when shooters have guys coming at them, it's hard to get your shot off."