Published February 2nd, 2022
Campolindo outlasts Miramonte 55-46 after 1.5-hour blackout
By Jon Kingdon
#5 Shane O'Reilly - Campolindo, #1 Clay Naffziger - Campolindo, #24 Tyler Dutto - Miramonte
A rivalry game is one thing. It's quite another when the opposing team's records coming into the game are a combined 34-3 (Campolindo 17-1), (Miramonte 17-2). To add to the uniqueness of this matchup, with 7:47 left in the second period and Miramonte ahead 14-11, a car accident on Moraga Road cut the electricity, leaving the gym only lit up by the flashlights from the spectators' cell phones.
With no idea when the electricity would be restored, the coaches were preparing for the game to resume later that evening or seeing it suspended to the next day. "I told our players to relax and get off their feet because I didn't want the lactic acid to build up in their bodies," Miramonte head coach Chris Lavdiotis said. "We did have a couple of players that cramped up late in the game, though they did get through it."
Campolindo head coach Steven Dyer took a similar tact: "I told our players to stay loose and then after a while, we considered going to one of the parent's homes and would then come back if the lights came back on. Chris and I agreed that if the rest of the game were postponed, we would start again at noon the next day. We were about five minutes from announcing a postponement when the lights came back on."
The lights went out at 7:25 p.m. and came back on at 8:25 p.m., and after both teams warmed up, the game began again at 8:50 p.m. In the fourth quarter, there was a personnel shortage on the floor so Campolindo's Aidan Mahaney and Cade Bennett took it upon themselves to use the sweat mop to dry the floor themselves.
Miramonte started the game very aggressively, leading at the end of the first quarter 14-8. "We wanted to come out and hit them in the mouth (figuratively), but we wanted to stay under control," Lavdiotis said.
After a driving layup by Bennett at the buzzer put Campolindo ahead 22-21 at the half, the intensity for both teams remained at peak level to the conclusion of the game. Coming into the game, Campolindo had connected on 43% of their 3-point shots during the season and their talent in this area proved to be a key in the ultimate outcome of the game. With 2:40 left in the game and Campolindo leading 43-41, the Cougars hit four consecutive 3-point shots (Bennett, Clay Naffziger, Shane O'Reilly and Mahaney) to close out the scoring.
Mahaney had an uncharacteristicly off night, finishing with only 8 points but he led the team with seven assists and five rebounds. O'Reilly led the Cougars with 19 points and Bennett scored 15 points and had five rebounds. The Cougars were playing short-handed due to injuries, playing without Logan Robeson (foot) and Justin Yasukochi (wrist). Both are expected to return to the active roster prior to the playoffs.
Tyler Dutto defended Mahaney all evening before fouling out with three minutes left in the game. "Tyler was ultra-aggressive which is why we were able to hold Mahaney to only 8 points," Lavdiotis said.
While acknowledging Dutto's defense on Mahaney, Dyer highlighted Mahaney's overall play: "Dutto is a good defensive player. Aidan did force some shots, but he really made the right plays down the stretch with three big assists (on the 3-point shots at the end) and he also made the final 3-point shot of the game."
The Matadors were led by James Frye, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Caden Breznikar who scored 15 points, 10 rebounds and held center Matt Radell to 4 points.
Despite the loss, Miramonte walked off the court with their heads held high. "We were disappointed in losing but we were not upset at losing the game," Lavdiotis said. "I had told our players, `Let's make sure that when we walk out of the gym, Campolindo will know that they are going to have a tough game coming when we play them in two weeks,' and we accomplished that. We know that we can beat them, and they know that we can beat them."
Both teams set up their schedules in preparation for games like this and the upcoming playoffs. At the end of the year, Miramonte will have played 11 schools rated in the top 100 in the state and Campolindo will have played 15 teams in that category as well.
"I told our players that we were going to have a challenging schedule and they loved it," Lavdiotis said. "The purpose of all of this is that we want to make a run at the state tournament. Our first goal is to be the No. 1 seed in Division III, which we are right now. Our second goal is to qualify for the state tournament and our ultimate goal is to win the whole thing. All of these games, like the one we just played, are to allow us to play as tough a schedule as we could to prepare for any situation."
Dyer is just as focused on the team's singular concern, which is to win another state championship. "We obviously want to win every game, but our main goal is to be prepared to play the really good teams in the state tournament."
From left: #3 Marcus Robinson #15 James Frye and #23 Caden Breznikar Photos Will Bergen

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