Newark Memorial High seized sole possession of first place in the Mission Valley Athletic League boys basketball standings with a 47-36 win over Washington on Wednesday.
Both teams entered the showdown undefeated in league play, but the 10-time defending league champion Cougars (11-7, 6-0 MVAL) overwhelmed the Huskies (11-7, 5-1) in the second half.
Newark's Jo Jo Zamora scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the second half as the host Cougars pulled away.
The Cougars put on a defensive clinic early, holding Washington scoreless in the first quarter.
"We knew they had good guards, so we knew we had to shut them down early with good pressure defense," Zamora said.
Newark's offense wasn't exactly clicking early as it had only four points entering the final minute of the first quarter, before tacking on a couple of buckets for an 8-0 lead.
Washington got its first points 28 seconds into the second quarter and then heated up from the perimeter. Caleb Baskett hit two 3-pointers and Matt Isola and Harman Sra also hit treys. Baskett's second 3-pointer tied the game at 14 with 1:34 left in the first half.
The Cougars nudged ahead on a bucket by Zamora and led 16-14 at intermission.
Washington took its first lead of the game when Isola buried a 3 early in the third quarter, but Newark responded with 12 straight points to lead 28-17. The Cougars took a 32-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
Newark extended its lead by scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter. Washington got 3s from Isola and Baskett to get back within single digits, but the Huskies never seriously threatened down the stretch.
Baskett led Washington with 16 points.
El Cerrito 65, St. Joseph Notre Dame 49: Marcellus Pippins had 22 points, six assists and five rebounds to lead the host Gauchos past the Pilots in a Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division game. El Cerrito (15-7, 5-1 TCAL Rock) led 30-29 at halftime but outscored St. Joseph Notre Dame 20-4 in the third quarter to pull away. Temidayo Yussuf led the Pilots (14-8, 3-3) with 13 points.
Acalanes 3, Redwood Christian 0: Katherine Tottle scored two goals, one in each half, to lead the host Dons past the Eagles in a nonleague game. Lexie Silva also scored for Acalanes (7-7-2), which won for the fourth time in its last five nonleague games. Goalkeeper Kelsey Borne made 12 saves for Redwood Christian (5-8-1).
Acalanes resumes Diablo Foothill Athletic League play Friday at Miramonte. Redwood Christian hosts Concord on Friday in another nonleague game.