Lancers Get Their Chance For Revenge
Ever since last year’s Division IV semifinals loss to Mater Dei, Francis Parker’s senior captain EVAN FITZNER vowed two things…to get better and to get that bad taste out of his mouth.
There’s no doubt he’s grown to be a better player this season, but there was no chance of either happening unless the Lancers took care of business Tuesday night at home against a scrappy Steele Canyon team.
The Cougars can shoot the lights out if you let them, but behind a stifling defensive gem turned in by Parker they’ll get that chance again for revenge after claiming a 55-46 victory. That means they will face the Crusaders Friday night at University of San Diego’s Jenny Craig Pavilion at 6pm for the Division II Championship.
“I’m so pumped up for Friday night,” Fitzner said after. “Ever since last year this is all I’ve been working toward.”
Steele Canyon was able to make a game out of it for three quarters – even though they were forced into 25 turnovers – by hitting timely three-pointers. Even though they were 6-of-8 from downtown, their hot shooting abandoned them down the stretch as Parker’s defense was suffocating.
“All our guys love to play defense and we kinda hang our hat on it,” said Lancers’s head coach JIM TOMEY. “When you have two hard-nosed physical teams it really just comes down to who can execute in the end.”
Parker held the Cougars to 1-of-10 from the field in the fourth quarter, but Steele also shot itself in the foot going 3-of-10 from the charity stripe as they entered the stanza down 46-41, but could only must five points in the last eight minutes.
Fitzner ended with a game-high 22 points, 8 boards, 1 steal, a pair of blocks and assists, but had to leave the game in the third quarter with a minor injury. With his 6-foot-10 presence inside the Lancers briefly lost the lead, but sophomore ANDREW “kris-krossover” CROSS made the Lancers’ fan “Jump” as he broke ankles left and right scoring 8 of his 13 points with some Allen Iverson type moves to the basket.
“Our coaches told me to take it at that point so I just listened to them,” said the sophomore guard. “But we won this game thanks to all my teammates. We really had to talk and communicate on defense and we work a lot on that in practice.”
MICHAEL PELAIZ was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field for 11 points, 4 dimes and 3 steals. Also with his hand in the cookie jar was KHALEEL JENKINS with 5 pilfers of his own to go with 7 points and three assists.
Steele Canyon: Zach Kissel 18 (6 reb, 1 stl), Aaron Pisiona 13 (2 reb, 1 ast), Dominick Wood-Anderson 7 (6 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk), Robert Teo 6 (1 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl), Dylan Hamlett 2 (11 reb, 2 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk), Tyler Gulino-Jones (2 reb), Tanner Perry (1 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl), ?? Newson (1 reb)
Francis Parker: Evan Fitzner 22 (8 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk), Andrew Cross 13 (3 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl), Michael Pelaiz 11 (3 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl), Khaleel Jenkins 7 (3 ast, 4 stl), Paulo Cruz 2 (1 reb, 1 ast), Jack Brady (1 reb)