Capuchino knocked off Galileo in the quarterfinals of the South City Classic Monday.
Ethan Kassel/Prep2Prep

South City Classic: Capuchino runs and guns to victory

December 21, 2021

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — For better or for worse, the Capuchino boys basketball team likes to run.

That up-tempo pace helped the Mustangs jump out to a 17-point lead on Monday afternoon, then contributed to Galileo’s comeback, and it lastly fueled their decisive surge to finish off a 68-58 win over the Lions in the quarterfinals of the South City Classic.

Nico Caruso scored a game-high 30, including a bank 3-pointer to put Capuchino (8-2) ahead for good at 57-54. His stretch pass to Alexander Chan made it a five-point lead, but Galileo (3-8) answered back on a DeMarco Kutz lay-in and Tyler Lee putback to cut the lead to 1.

The Mustangs finished the game off from there, with a Tino Stemberga jumper from the free throw line and the last of Caruso’s six 3-pointers. Stemberga scored again on the following possession, and Caruso’s coast-to-coast basket finished matters off.

Junior forward Nikos Gamble scored 15 in the victory, including 11 in a first quarter where the Mustangs jumped out to a 27-11 lead. That advantage sat at 35-22 at halftime after the Lions closed the second quarter on a Ben Liang 3-pointer, and Galileo shockingly took the lead with three minutes left in the third quarter on an 18-4 run, capped off by Noah Nepomuceno’s deep 3-pointer.

Caruso and Nepomuceno, who scored 14 of his 16 in the second half to lead the Lions, traded baskets on the following possessions before Caruso, a three-sport athlete, put his team back in front with a 3-pointer and deep jumper. Gamble brought the lead back to six with a mid-range floater, but Nepomuceno answered with another 3-pointer.

Galileo never retook the lead in the fourth quarter, but the Lions did tie the game on an 8-0 run. Capuchino had gone up 54-46 on Caruso’s mid-range pull-up and 3-pointer, but a Lee basket and 3-pointer from Liang, who scored 15 and matched Nepomuceno with five assists, cut the lead to three. Nepomuceno made one of two free throws on the following possession, and after the Mustangs came up empty on three straight possessions, Liang tied the game.

Kutz and Adrian Henry each recorded double-doubles in defeat, with Kutz scoring 11 and Henry adding 10. Each also accounted for 10 rebounds. Caruso finished with eight rebounds and four assists, matching Chan’s passing output. Chan also scored 14.

Capuchino was originally supposed to face St. Mary’s-Albany, but the Panthers had to pull out of the tournament on Sunday night due to COVID issues. Galileo was added as a last-minute replacement.

South San Francisco 77, Wallenberg 60

The hosts of the South City Classic upped their physicality and intensity in the second half, pulling away for a 77-60 win over Wallenberg.

South San Francisco (5-3) led just 36-34 at halftime after allowing 24 second quarter points, but allowed just three points in the first five minutes of the third quarter and led by double digits for the entirety of the fourth.

The Bulldogs trailed by just nine after three quarters thanks to Daeleon Neal’s layup off a full-court inbound pass, but South City opened the fourth quarter on a 13-2 run, going up 67-47 behind a pair of Reuben Lem 3-pointers, the junior’s only points of the game.

Jayden Rodrigues scored 18 to lead the hosts, while Maximiliano Lara Perez accounted for 14 points and 11 rebounds. Angelo Abellan scored nine and Steven Fernando added eight. Wallenberg (3-4) got a game-high 22 points from freshman Caleb Rollins, one of three members of the Class of 2025 to start for Dean Wilson’s squad.

Paul Antion, another freshman, finished with 15 and grabbed eight rebounds, while the third member of the cast, Deandre Dimesse, had seven points and eight boards. Neal, a sophomore, scored 12.

San Mateo 62, Burton 28

A 16-2 third quarter run was the impetus for the San Mateo Bearcats in a convincing 62-28 win over Burton at the South City Classic.

Aidan Natusch scored 11 of his game-high 17 in the third quarter, finishing a Joey Salvail layup and scoring off a steal to give the Bearcats a 38-19 lead. Owen Bergstrom and Natusch each hit 3-pointers to extend the lead to 25 before Burton (2-5) could finally answer.

Noah Gagne scored 16 off the bench for San Mateo (6-4), hitting four 3-pointers, and Gabriel Jaen scored eight. Benjamin Son led the Pumas with 11, connecting three times from behind the arc.

Leland 75, Oceana 45

Back in the gym where he spent the bulk of his coaching career, Drew Petiti saw his Leland Chargers jump out to a 27-9 lead after a quarter, then went deep into the bench in a comfortable 75-45 win over Oceana.

Eleven of the 12 players who saw time for Leland (7-0) in Monday’s game scored, led by Ethan Chang’s 25-point outburst. Nick Ames, Kevin Gui, Loic Prudhomme and Dylan Schweighardt each added eight, and Brayden Hom chipped in six in the second half. Oceana (3-7) got 16 points and 11 rebounds from Dylan Sanford and 12 points from sophomore Colt Sanford. Julian Harris finished with nine.

Tuesday’s schedule

Capuchino (8-2) vs. Leland (7-0), 3:30 p.m.

San Mateo (6-4) @ South San Francisco (5-3), 4:45 p.m.

Burton (2-5) vs. Wallenberg (3-4), 6:15 p.m.

Galileo (3-8) vs. Oceana (3-7), 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday’s schedule

7th place game, 3:30 p.m.

5th place game, 4:45 p.m.

3rd place game, 6:15 p.m.

Championship, 7:45 p.m.

To visit GameCenter for this game, please click here


Are you a high school student interested in a career in sports journalism? For more information, please click here.