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St. Ignatius advances to semis

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Elliot Ferrara and Paul Toboni combined for 32 points, 21 in the second half, to lift the St.Ignatius boys’ basketball team to a 59-43 win over West Valley in a NorCal Division III quarterfinal game.

The Wildcats (24-7) advance to play must get past Bishop O’Dowd in Saturday’s 7 p.m. semifinal at St. Ignatius.

The home court was certainly an advantage on this night. West Valley (24-5), which eliminated Mission in the outbracket game, traveled almost 200 miles to face the Wildcats. Perhaps as a result, West Valley started slowly, falling behind 7-0 before closing out the first quarter behind 10-5.

The undersized Eagles hung tough, however. Guards Thomas O’Brien and Troy Duemas showed endless range, draining 3-pointers to keep West Valley close through three quarters.

“We played man-to-man [defense] to keep close to them,” SI coach Steve Reardon said, “but they’d just shoot beyond us.”

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For the night, O’Brien had 15 points, Duemas 13, including three 3-pointers for O’Brien and two for Duemas.

In contrast, most of Ferrara’s 17 points came on tip-ins and layups, plus one putback dunk midway through the first quarter.

“This year, no matter what, someone has come through for us in every game,” Reardon said. “Elliot helped us out tonight.”

Paul Toboni added his 15 on a variety of layups and short jumpers, while Alex Brown, who hit 5 of 6 free throws in the game’s waning minutes, filled up the box score with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists. On the defensive end, Brown and Haldavid Cope held West Valley’s Garhett Parent to 12 points and five rebounds, well under his season averages.

St. Ignatius 59, West Valley 43

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