Sebastopol spoils Miller’s debut with St. Al|[12/08/07]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2007

Gary Miller kept a folded-up roster close by his side Friday night, in case he forgot the names of some of his players. On the court, the St. Aloysius Flashes were racking their brains trying to remember all of the new plays they’d gone over in the last two days.

The unfamiliarity led to a rough opening night for St. Al’s 2007-08 season, version 2.0.

Sebastopol’s Justin Spivey hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished with 19 points, while Lorenzo Patrick added 16 points, five steals and four assists as the Bobcats defeated the Flashes in Miller’s debut, 59-44.

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Miller took over as St. Al’s coach on Wednesday, the day after Larry Smith resigned to return to the professional ranks. With only one real practice before Friday’s game, Miller said it was like starting the season all over again.

“When you’re bringing in a new coach, new system, you need five or six games to get it together. Hopefully they’ll improve every game. That’s the key,” Miller said. “This is coming in and starting all over. I was pleased with them tonight. They played hard the whole game.”

The Flashes (2-6, 0-1 Division 7-1A) endured several stretches where they seemed out of sorts. Sebastopol (4-4, 1-0) outrebounded them 15-6 in the first half, then Spivey got open and hot at the right time in the third quarter to help the Bobcats pull away. Spivey hit two of his 3-pointers during a 13-5 run late in the third quarter — after St. Al had chopped a 12-point halftime deficit into single digits. The treys came after Patrick hit two quick layups, and by the end of the run Sebastopol had a 44-27 lead.

The Flashes shot just 39 percent from the field in the first half and committed 24 turnovers in the game. Junior forward Alex Lanier said a big reason for the spotty play was that the team and its new coach simply hadn’t meshed yet. They’ll get another chance today with a game at Mount Olive.

“It’s hard to incorporate all of this stuff. We were cramming in inbounds plays that we went over today,” said Lanier, who led St. Al with 15 points and eight rebounds. “We’re learning a lot, but there’s only so much you can take in.”

(G) Sebastopol 55, St. Al 40

Bianca Thomas and Nisheka Hughes scored 16 points apiece, and Tan Patrick added 13 as Sebastopol beat St. Aloysius. The Lady Bobcats (6-5, 1-0) outscored St. Al 35-20 in the second and third quarters and then cruised to the victory in the fourth.

Elizabeth Mazzanti led St. Al (1-7, 0-1) with 16 points, and Tori Hines scored 11.