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Friday, December 9, 2022

Sacred Heart Cathedral Wins Season Opener

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After missing back-to-back layups late in the fourth quarter, Sacred Heart coach Keesar Smith replaced all five of his players, sending a message to his team that sloppy play will not be tolerated.

“We have a standard, and we’re going to stick to that standard,” Smith said. “We have a way of playing basketball and we’re not going to compromise.”

Never mind that the Fightin’ Irish had a 30-point lead and went on to beat Terra Nova 74-44. The higher bar shows that SHC is aiming well above its goals over the past two seasons, where the program has gone 5-26 overall.

“We’re getting back to where I was when I was here,” said Smith, a 1998 SHC graduate. “We’re never going to be the biggest team, but hopefully we can take advantage of the players we have so they can be successful.”

Twelve different players scored for the Sacre Coeur (1-0) on Wednesday night as the Fightin’ Irish went 10-0 and never trailed, going 13-0 in the second quarter to go 38-16 and forever Don’t let the Tigers get close to 17 in the second half.

“I believe we can win the CCS (Central Coast District) this year,” said RL Miller, who scored a team-high 13 points.

The 2021-22 SHC team didn’t get Miller, Jerry Mixon Jr. and other Fightin’ Irish football players until mid-December, a by-product of the school’s state championship game, while the 2022 football team was placed in a higher split and quickly moved from Elimination in the playoffs, which means that football players will be quickly integrated into the system.

“Last year, it felt like we had two different teams. We had a starter team and then the football players came over,” said Feder Pennell, who had eight points, eight assists and six rebounds. “This year, it’s a completely different chemistry.”

Sacred Heart guard Fed Pernell (2) dribbles in the third quarter of the Fightin’ Irish’s 74-44 victory over Terra Nova during a non-league basketball game on November 23, 2022 in San Francisco, California.Ethan Cassel/Standard

Pennell had four assists in the first quarter alone, after Terra Nova (0-2) cut the lead to 14-12 on Mason’s mini return and 1, Miller and Jonah Gullin Consecutive three-pointers.

Goorin, who had 11 points, was one of two starters on the junior varsity team last year. Jack Kennedy also made his varsity debut on Wednesday night, scoring all eight of the fourth quarters.

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“Our JV team had a great year last year and a lot of guys came back to health pretty quickly,” Smith said.

It’s not like Wednesday is a complete masterpiece. The Irish had their turnovers and poor sequencing, but they were typical mistakes for an early-season high school team.

“We actually practiced together as a team for two hours,” Smith said, noting that he had some sick players in the week before the football season ended. “We’re looking forward to doing a week of practice and finally installing something.”

Mixon Jr. scored 10 points off the bench, filling out the rotation with fellow football players Mikey Calonico, Mykel Patton and Danilo Salgado. Vinny Smith scored a game-high 17 points for the visiting Tigers, hitting a 3-pointer in every quarter. Uter finished with 10 points.

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