San Gorgonio edges Redlands for Kiwanis title

San Bernardino San Gorgonio defeated Redlands 59-58 in a thriller to capture the 49th annual event.

SAN BERNARDINO - Blood, Sweat and Tears wasn't just a popular rock n roll band from the 1960s.


All three substances were flowing from the players Friday night following a tense San Bernardino Kiwanis Basketball title game.


San Bernardino San Gorgonio defeated Redlands 59-58 in a thriller to capture the 49th annual event.


"I'm just so happy for our guys," said emotional San Gorgonio coach Ty Stockham afterward. "They never quit."


As San Gorgonio players celebrated their victory, Redlands forward Tristan Kirk (10 points, six rebounds) looked on with an ice bag over his eye. He suffered a cut above the eye with 4:02 left in a scramble for a loose ball.


Redlands was leading 58-51 at the time, but never scored again.


San Gorgonio finally took the lead with 20.6 seconds left on a pair of free throws by Marcus Williams.


Redlands had a chance to tie with 12 seconds left when sophomore guard Nate Fultz got the ball underneath his own hoop and went up for a potential game-winner. But San Gorgonio's Marshan Powell blocked the shot.


"He's only 6-2," Stockham said of Powell. "But he plays much bigger."


The Terriers had one more chance at a victory after the Spartans missed a free throw with seven seconds left. Following a time out, Redlands hustled the ball up the court and Peter Cain launched a three-point attempt from 30 feet. But the shot barely missed and the celebration was on for the host Spartans.


"We came out kind of sluggish in the first half," Powell said. "We were playing too much 1-on-1. But once we started playing like a team, we came around. And our press got to them."


Redlands did lead early, 10-1, but San Gorgonio eventually got its bearings before 1,100 fans on its home court. The Spartans trailed by only 12-7 after one quarter and led 33-32 by halftime.


The difference in the game was turnovers; Redlands had 28 of them.


"That's been our Achilles' heel all season," Redlands coach Brad Scott said. "I'm sure part of it was nerves, but San G. had a lot to do with it. They're good on defense."


Guard Alex Jacobs led San Gorgonio with 22 points. He was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Julius Armon added 10 points for the Spartans.


Josh Green paced Redlands with 22 points. Also for the Terriers, backup center Ryer Van Mouwerik had 12 points and Kirk chipped in 10 points and six rebounds efore leaving due to his injury.


Beside the injury to Redlands' Kirk, at least one San Gorgonio player was wearing a Band-aid above an eye by game's end, as well.


The tourney victory had special significance for Stockham. It was San Gorgonio's first Kiwanis title win since 1985 when he made all-tournament for his coaching father Doug, who was in attendance Friday night.


Golden State Preps Top Stories