Hoops: Balers advance to Scattini title game

San Benito's Jacob Tonascia goes up for a shot against Pioneer during their game Thursday in the 33rd Annual Bob Hagen Memorial Tournament at Gilroy High School.

Two games into the Palma Luis A. Scattini Memorial Tournament, the San Benito boys basketball team has quickly validated its 9-1 start as no fluke.

The Balers advanced to the Scattini title game Friday, upending 8-3 St. Mary’s 72-65. Once again, the Balers ran out to an early lead – taking a 20-point lead – before holding off a late Panther rally.

With the win, San Benito has won eight games in a row.

“We are rolling right now,” SBHS head coach David Kaplansky said. “The kids are playing really well. You can see it in practice. We are clicking right now.”

On Friday, San Benito received 26 points from Hyram Miskin, who started slow but got hot after the opening minutes. Jacob Tonascia added 19 points and Michael Breen scored 10 for San Benito.

“When Hyram is shooting like that it opens everything up for us,” Kaplansky said. “When he is shooting like that, he is tough to stop.”

Against the press defense of St. Mary’s, the Balers received a strong game from point guard Brian Becerra, who scored eight points, Kaplansky said. Becerra was the Balers main ball handler and controlled the San Benito attack.

“He did a great job of protecting the basketball and putting us in the right situations,” Kaplansky said. “He did a good job taking care of the ball.”

San Benito will play host Palma in the title game at 5:15 p.m. Saturday. The Chieftains (6-1) defeated Alvarez 63-39.

“This is going to be the ultimate test for us,” Kaplansky said. “This is going to show us where we are in league.”

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