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Standout third quarter spurs SI to victory in Bruce-Mahoney Game

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The fans were out for the Bruce-Mahoney Game on Tuesday. (Ethan Kassel/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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WAR MEMORIAL GYM — St. Ignatius point guard Darrion Trammell has a knack for fourth quarter heroics. This time, he jumped into the spotlight a bit sooner.

The junior, generously listed at 5-foot-9, took over the Bruce-Mahoney Game in the third quarter on Tuesday, scoring 19 of his team’s 23 points to turn an 11-point lead into a 64-48 blowout before a sold-out crowd at the University of San Francisco.

In last year’s game, Trammell scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats escaped with a one-point victory. He also scored 13 of his team-high 25 in the final quarter this past Saturday as St. Ignatius knocked off two-time defending WCAL champion St. Francis in Mountain View. This time, Trammell outscored Sacred Heart Cathedral on his own in the third quarter.

Thanks to his monster third, Trammell finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.

Afterwards, he said he aims to not “ever let first-half struggles affect you in the second-half.” This mantra has held true time and again as Trammell has led a St. Ignatius team that appears primed to win the WCAL for the first time since 2004.

Almost all of the pieces are in place for St. Ignatius (11-1, 3-0 WCAL) to do as much.

The one main obstacle in the Wildcats’ path is a lack of size. Six-foot-nine center Will Emery graduated last season and now plays at Dartmouth.

But, to their credit, the entire team has stepped up following his departure. At the forefront of those efforts in the Bruce-Mahoney Game was Brandon Beckman.

The 6-1 junior notched a double-double, scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

“We’ve all stepped up on defense,” he said after the victory. “We get to the middle, we talk a lot and we play good help defense.”

That principle was on display as SI — the same defense that yielded 72 points on Saturday — allowed just 48 in the rivalry win.

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Sacred Heart Cathedral (6-6, 0-3) was led by senior point guard Romello Dunbar who had 18 points.

Dunbar is one of just two seniors in the starting lineup for a Fightin’ Irish team that graduated three starters last year and is now led by a new head coach, Sean MacKay.

Girls: Sacred Heart Cathedral 80, St. Ignatius 54

Cincinnati-bound senior Iimar’i Thomas scored 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds as Sacred Heart Cathedral outscored rival St. Ignatius 36-18 in the final 12 minutes in the girls’ Bruce-Mahoney Game, which also served as the WCAL opener for both teams.

Small but mighty point guard Jayden Benitez, standing at just 5-4, scored 19 for the victorious Fightin’ Irish.

After trailing by 17 midway through the second quarter, St. Ignatius cut the Sacred Heart Cathedral lead to 11 at halftime and trailed 44-36 midway through the third before the Irish blew the game open with superior shooting and speed with Benitez and Thomas taking control.

St. Ignatius (12-2, 0-1 WCAL) was led by Cal Poly-bound senior Ayzhiana Basallo, who scored 17. Fellow senior Maggie Burke added 11 for the Wildcats.

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