Salesian wins opener in South Carolina tournament

A 13-day trip got off on the right foot for The Chronicle’s top-ranked boys basketball team Thursday in South Carolina.

Shane Bell scored 16 points and Jaden McClanahan and Jaden Lazo had 10 apiece, leading Salesian-Richmond to a 50-40 win over Norcross (Ga.) in the first round of the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia.

With North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and South Carolina head coach Frank Martin in attendance, the Pride (12-0) jumped to an 8-2 lead and did not trail against Norcross (9-4), which opened the season No. 14 in the MaxPreps national rankings.

Brandon Boston scored 23 points for the Blue Devils, who cut the deficit to a basket with three minutes left before back-to-back three-pointers from Tyler Brinkman and JoVon McClanahan put Salesian back in control.

“Tyler’s three-pointer really flattened their rally,” Salesian coach Bill Mellis said. “JoVon’s three just about clinched it. Considering the opponent and all the travel, this was a really good win. Norcross is really big and athletic, and the Boston kid is very special.”

Salesian, which forced 18 turnovers and committed 11, faces Independence-Charlotte, N.C., in the semifinals.

“More than anything, we kept our composure throughout,” Mellis said. “We held off every run they made at us.”

The Pride also survived a big loss in the final two minutes when JoVon McClanahan was poked in the eye and suffered an eye laceration. He is questionable the rest of the trip.

“He said he’s going to go (Friday), but we’ll see,” Mellis said.

Instead of flying home after this tournament, the Pride will travel to four more states, attend a college game (Massachusetts-Georgia), practice at Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt, and spend New Year’s Day in Nashville before participating in Mustang Madness — a two-day showcase in Paducah, Ky., Jan. 4-5.

“The beauty of it all is we don’t miss a single day of school,” Mellis said. “It should be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for a lot of these kids. It’s been fantastic thus far. It helps to win, of course.”

Miramonte-Orinda 61, #7 Serra 59: Jayson Fernbacher scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Matadors (8-4) defeated the Padres (6-2) in the quarterfinals of he Bambauer Classic at Marin Catholic-Kentfield. Matt Meredith added 14 points for the winners.

#16 St. Patrick-St. Vincent-Vallejo 78, Tracy 47: Dishon Jackson had 16 points, Jaden Alexander 13 and Akil Edwards 12 as the Bruins (4-4) won a consolation-bracket game over the Bulldogs (7-5) at the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic.

Heritage-Brentwood 69, Redwood-Larkspur 60: In a Bambauer Classic quarterfinal, Ezra Manjon scored 11 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter as the Patriots (9-3) beat the Giants (9-3). Brandon Radu had 22 points and Jake Mathews 10 for Redwood. Manjon, a UC Davis commit, scored 29 points in a 72-54 win over University on Wednesday. Radu had 24 points and Miles Squiers added 23 in Redwood’s 88-78 first-round win over Lincoln.

University 72, Lincoln 59: In Bambauer consolation-bracket play, Charley Moore scored 27 points and Max Fried added 20 points, 18 rebounds, six assists, five steals and four blocks for the Red Devils (8-5). Freshman Jordan Aquino had 19 points and Gage Cross added 15 for the Mustangs (6-7).


West Coast Jamboree: Natalie Nicolosi hit a three-pointer with 19 seconds left, lifting third-ranked Carondelet-Concord (9-1) to a 58-55 win over Clovis North in a first-round Platinum Division game. … Second-ranked Pinewood-Los Altos Hills (8-0) raced to a 16-point first-quarter lead en route to a 68-34 Platinum Division win over Alemany-Mission Hills (9-4).

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

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