The new, tougher schedule of the Tri-County Athletic League's Rock Division hasn't slowed down the Salesian High boys basketball team.

The defending state champion Pride remained unbeaten in league play with a 56-43 win over host St. Joseph Notre Dame on Wednesday.

The creation of the TCAL has the Pride (14-3, 4-0 TCAL-Rock) facing nothing but teams that will likely be in the playoffs.

"Because of our tough league schedule, I feel like going into the playoffs, we'll be well-prepared," said Jabari Bird, Salesian's Cal-bound star, who finished with 21 points, six rebounds and four assists.

St. Joseph's 2-3 zone defense kept the ball out of Bird's hands early, but the Pride eventually found ways to get it to him.

His first points came with 3:22 left in the first quarter on an alley-oop layup off a pass from Markel Leonard. He turned that into a three-point play. Bird's 3-pointer made it 17-10 for Salesian.

Bird added an alley-oop dunk in the second quarter and finished the half with 13 points as Salesian took a 33-18 lead. Jermaine Edmonds made three 3-pointers in the half.

The Pilots (12-7, 2-2) moved into a man defense in the second half, and the Pride built a 22-point lead that it took into the fourth quarter.

After having several tough games with St. Joseph in recent years, Salesian relished the chance to earn a relatively comfortable win.


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"It was a focus for us to try to jump on them from the start," Pride coach Bill Mellis said. "Because the last few years, they've played us so tough that down the stretch of the game, it could go either way. We didn't want to be in a position where it was a one- or two-point game."

Marc Voisenat paced St. Joseph with 12 points.

Newark Memorial 66, James Logan 44: Visiting Newark Memorial utilized key runs at crucial points and took advantage of 19 turnovers by James Logan -- including eight in the third quarter -- to claim a Mission Valley Athletic League win.

Newark (9-6, 4-0 MVAL) opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run and closed with an 8-3 run that gave it a 28-15 halftime lead.

Newark's Joey Frenchwood scored 12 points and teammate Jo Jo Zamora added 11. Damien Banford was held to just six points but grabbed 10 rebounds and had a trio of assists.

The Cougars took command of the game with a 9-3 spurt in the third quarter to take a 45-27 lead.

Logan (11-5, 3-1) made just one field goal in the second quarter and scored a mere five points. Logan's Clarence Kaye had 15 points and five rebounds.

-- Steve R. Waterhouse, correspondent

Men's basketball

Ohlone 84, Las Positas 57: Four players scored in double figures for the host Renegades, who beat the Hawks in a Coast Conference-North game. Fredrik Boehn scored 15 points, all on three-pointers, to lead Ohlone (14-5, 2-1 CCN). Henry McCarthy, Warren Wright and Chris Read each added 14 points.

-- Staff