SAN MATEO – Less than 12 months removed from being swarmed by jubilant Serra fans reacting to a miracle buzzer-beater, Matt Redmond scored the game-sealing points as the St. Ignatius Wildcats beat the host Padres 70-61 — winning the Jungle Game for the first time since 2012 and for the third time this millennium.
“Everyone was freaked out that we had the Jungle Game and the Bruce-Mahoney Game in the same week. We love it,” said coach Rob Marcaletti. “We just totally embraced it. Our guys are just excited and they’re so proud of how they stayed with it mentally.”
St. Ignatius (10-4, 3-1 WCAL) trailed 38-31 at halftime, faced a nine-point deficit early in the third quarter and trailed for more than half of the game, but Wrenn Robinson’s 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third gave the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish.
Last year’s hero, Parker McDonald, scored 20 points for Serra, including a short jumper off an inbound pass to cut the lead to 62-58 with 90 seconds remaining, but Redmond answered and Darrion Trammell took care of business from there. The senior point guard sank all six of his free throws in the final minute to lead all scorers with 23 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter.
Losing guard Colin McCarthy to injury certainly didn’t help Serra (9-5, 1-3), as the do-it-all senior was forced out with 20.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter in the midst of a 13-0 St. Ignatius run that bridged the final two periods. McCarthy, who scored 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds, was taken to the hospital with a gash on his mouth.
Robinson (12 points) tied the game at 48 before McCarthy got hurt in a scramble for a rebound. After a brief delay, Robinson hit the 3-pointer that gave SI the lead for good.
Robinson and Trammell combined to stretch the lead to 62-51, with Robinson feeding Trammell for a short jumper with six minutes remaining to make it 57-48 and Robinson converting a huge three-point play with 3:31 left to answer a Masie Mohammadi 3-pointer.
Mohammadi scored nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Padres close, much like he did in Tuesday’s loss to Riordan.
Serra took the lead on Diyar Yuksel’s short jumper in the final minute of the first quarter and held it for the next 15 minutes of play before Neal Begovich’s first points of the night capped off a 12-1 run to put the Wildcats up 44-43.
A resilient effort kept SI close for the first three quarters. Brandon Beckman, who committed to Chicago earlier in the week, scored eight of his 16 points in the first quarter and Benjamin Davis scored a key putback in the final minute of the first half for his only points of the game to cut the Serra lead to six.
Correction: An earlier version of this story had Darrion Trammell scoring 26 points.