Mission goes down fighting

Judson Steele took his time walking off the court, offering hugs to some and gently guiding others with his arms back to the locker room.

For 30 minutes, his Mission boys’ basketball team had played host and top-seeded El Camino of Sacramento to a standstill in Tuesday’s NorCal Division III quarterfinal.

Then, suddenly, it was over.

With the score tied 62-62 with 2 minutes, 30 seconds remaining, the Eagles went on a 5-0 run to take control. And when Kyle Baxter made two free throws with 3.8 seconds left to provide the final margin in a 69-65 win, the band exploded and a season that saw the Bears win their first San Francisco Section championship since 1993 had ended.

“We had nothing to lose and we fought a greatteam to the end,” Steele said. “They could barely handle us.”

Junior Demaree Hampton had 30 points to lead Mission (26-5), including a short jumper that banked in to forge the 62-62 tie. The Bears then had a chance to take the lead, but after a missed shot, Mission was whistled for an offensive foul and, in the aftermath of the call, a technical. Baxter (15 points, 14 rebounds) made three of four resulting free throws and Juwann Springfield had a steal and a layup to give El Camino

(26-5) a 67-62 lead. Hampton hit three free throws with 5 seconds left to cut it back to two, but Baxter’s free throws iced it.

Harry Howard added 18 points in his final game for Mission, which trailed by as many as 12 points early in the third quarter, but went on a 19-2 run and to take a 59-54 lead on Anthony Layton’s 3-point play with 5:15 left in the game. El Camino features three players 6-foot-7 or taller and had a 42-31 rebounding advantage, but was held to 7-of-27 shooting in the second half after going 18-for-31 from the floor over the first two quarters.

“I’m so proud of my guys — we played last night and they were ready to go all night again,” Steele said. “We weren’t intimidated and we gave it our best shot.”

melliser@examiner.com

Other Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City Attorney targets permit expediter, developers in new round of subpoenas

San Francisco’s corruption scandal is the dumpster fire that keeps on giving… Continue reading

SF to introduce legislation authorizing safe injection sites

Mayor Breed and Supervisor Haney join forces to create regulations, permit process for nonprofits

Newsom says state to expand testing capacity for coronavirus

Health officials mobilizing resources after case of unknown origin reported in Solano County

Study: Banning cars on Market had minimal effect on side streets

A traffic nightmare. Congestions madness. Carmageddon. Those were the fears voiced by… Continue reading

Police Commission president calls for probe into allegations of ‘rampant’ anti-black bias in SFPD

A newly surfaced email alleging widespread anti-black bias in San Francisco’s police… Continue reading

Most Read