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Merritt, International cruise past Gateway

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Josh Merritt hit four 3-pointers and had 17 of his 24 points in the first half as top-seeded International beat fourth-seeded Gateway 73-33 in the semifinals of the Bay Counties League Central boys’ basketball playoffs Wednesday.

Seaver Kyaw added 10 points and eight rebounds for International, which subbed liberally throughout and placed 11 players in the scoring column. The Jaguars (18-8) led 41-12 at the Intermission after making seven 3-pointers and forcing 17 turnovers by Gateway (10-12).

They will play either Leadership or Waldorf in Saturday’s 6 p.m. final at Kezar Pavilion.

“In the playoffs, it’s one loss and you go home, so we had to come out swinging,” International coach Carl Jacobs said. “I felt like during the regular season we started to get a little complacent. But the guys definitely stepped up the intensity today.”

Aaron Williams scored all 10 of his points in the second half to lead Gateway, and also had nine rebounds.

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SSBL BOYS PLAYOFFS

Jewish Community 47, Redwood Adventist 29

SONOMA — Jojo Grossbard and Mike Yagudayev each scored 16 points and keyed a third-quarter surged that carried the Wolves (17-3) to the semifinal victory. The Wolves advance to today’s 7:30 p.m. championship game against Candell Prep (11-4) of Oakland. Jewish Community swept the season series against Candell.

Despite Redwood Adventist controlling the offensive glass and the transition game in the first half, the Wolves clung to a 20-18 lead. But Grossbard and Yagudayez each scored seven points in the third quarter as Jewish Community outscored Redwood Adventist 15-3 to take control.

— Staff report

BCL WEST GIRLS PLAYOFFS

Gateway 65, Bay 12

Alyson Szeto scored 17 points and hit five of Gateway’s 10 3-pointers as the Gators (24-2) rolled past the Breakers (13-14) in the first round of the BCL West playoffs.

Center Dominique Hunter had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four blocks. Camilla Rosen added nine points, 12 rebounds, 11 steals, eight assists and two blocks to get dangerously close to a quadruple-double on the night.

“The girls played exceptionally well on the defensive end,” Gateway coach Mike Coffino said. “The denial ‘D’ was effective and we got a lot of steals and deflections.”

The Gators were clicking on offense as well, knocking down shots from inside and out seeming at will.

“We shot the ball really well from the perimeter,” Coffino said. “We had really balanced scoring.”

— Jesse Haley

International 38, Leadership 30

Julia Hechanova scored 22 points as the Jaguars rallied in the fourth quarter to advance in the playoffs.

— Staff report

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