Salesian boys top Chicago team to stay unbeaten

A 13-day, cross-country trip for The Chronicle’s top-ranked boys basketball team just keeps getting better.

In a battle of unbeaten nationally-ranked teams Friday, Salesian-Richmond got three big buckets down the stretch from 6-foot-7, 260-pound post Te’jon Sawyer and overall played poised when it counted most to pull off a 63-57 win over Curie-Chicago (Ill.) in the Mustang Madness Showcase at McCracken County High School in Paducah, Ky.

Big three-pointers from Tyler Brinkman and Jaden McClanahan gave the Pride (15-0) a five-point cushion with about two minutes to go, according to Salesian coach Bill Mellis.

From there, Curie (14-1), ranked 16th by MaxPreps, pressured hard and sped up the game. The Salesian guards continued to find Sawyer (nine points) free underneath for buckets. JoVon McClanahan also drilled four free throws down the stretch to preserve the Pride’s win.

Salesian is ranked 19th in the country by MaxPreps, and finishes its trip with a game against Callaway (Miss.) on Saturday in Paducah.

Salesian is coming off a championship in the Chick-fil-A Classic in South Carolina last week. Since then, the team has toured the Southern region with practices at Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. The Pride also attended a game between Georgia and Massachusetts.

“Take the games out of it and this has been a phenomenal trip,” Mellis said. “Add in the winning and it’s been incredible.”

Friday’s win was probably the team’s most satisfying considering the competition.

“Those guys were big and real physical and they killed us on the offensive glass,” Mellis said. “It was a super tough game and could have gone either way down the stretch.

“But we maintained our poise and just held them off.”

Jaden McClanahan led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points, Shane Bell added 11 and JoVon McClanahan 11.

#6 Moreau Catholic-Hayward 84, Washington-Fremont 59: Amil Fields had 18 points, David Hector 11 and D.J. Johnson and Leonard Turner 10 apiece to lead the Mariners (8-5) to a win at Washington (5-8) in the teams’ Mission Valley League opener. The Huskies led 21-13 after the first quarter, but Moreau scored 62 points over the next two quarters.

#8 De La Salle-Concord 62, Foothill-Pleasanton 36: Cade Arbogast had 20 points to lead the balanced Spartans (12–2, 2-0 East Bay Athletic League) over the visiting Falcons (5-10, 0-2).

#15 James Logan-Union City 101, Irvington-Fremont 66: Tim Oldham (16 points) drilled his team’s 15th three-pointer in the final minute to break the century mark for the home team. Malcolm Steadman had 21 points, Gabriel Hawkins 20 and Brahjon Thompson 16 for Logan (8-4, 1-0 MVAL). Ryan Irvington dropped to 9-3, 0-1.

University 60 San Domenico-San Anselmo 46: Max Fried had 19 points and Charley Moore added 15 for the Red Devils (11-6, 2-0 Bay Counties League West). Cash Fulton had 17 points for the Panthers (5-11, 0-2).

Girls basketball

#1 Mitty 77, #17 Valley Christian 28: Haley Jones had 20 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks as the Monarchs (9-2) won their West Catholic Athletic League opener at Valley Christian (9-4).

Max Preps senior writer Mitch Stephens covers high school sports for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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