DOWNEY — The St. Pius X-St. Matthias boys basketball team did what every team wants to do in a postseason opener. It dominated from the opening jump ball to the final buzzer on the way to a 90-57 victory over Alemany in Wednesday’s opening round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs.
St. Pius X-St. Matthias (25-4, 10-0) performed well against Alemany, who carried an 0-7 league record into playoffs, but played in the Mission League, arguably the most challenging league in the Southern Section.
St. Pius X-St. Matthias head coach Donte Archie applauded his team’s concentration.
“We had a lot of energy and a lot of effort,” Archie said. “This team, they look like they focused from last year when we lost. Hopefully, we can keep that going on Friday and keep progressing and getting better.”
Junior guard Tyrone Riley led St. Pius X-St. Matthias with a game-high 31 points, while sophomore forward Douglas Langford contributed 14 points, four blocks and four assists. Junior forward Edmari Binion added 12 points.
Michael Lindsay led Alemany with 22 points and added a steal. Jared Mims led both teams with five steals in addition to his five points.
St. Pius started strong and never looked back. It jumped out to a 28-3 first-quarter lead on the back of 14 points from Riley and strong offensive rebounding from Langford. Alemany’s lone basket came on a three-point shot by Lindsay.
Alemany showed some fight in the second quarter, going on an 8-2 run to cut St. Pius’ lead to 38-15. Lindsay, Mims and Shane Powell powered the offensive outburst for Alemany. Riley had the last laugh for St. Pius X-St. Matthias in the quarter when he drained a deep three-point shot with time about to expire for a 46-20 lead going into halftime.
“Our last shot is always ‘give me the ball and see if I get something open,’” Riley said. “I knew I wanted the three; I was trying to set up the three anyway I could. I knew he was going to jump and I had to pump fake it and get it up and it went through.”
Riley and Langford continued to impose their will in the third quarter to the tune of 17 points between them for a 74-41 lead.
Alemany had its best quarter of the night in the fourth. Ryan Mason tallied nine points, including an and-1 play. Brian Lopez-Wood added four points of his own. But St. Pius continued to bring energy, especially from senior point guard Andrew Rivas, who had four points in the quarter, including an acrobatic layup to help his team to a 90-57 victory.
Archie said Rivas’ commitment to the team, exemplifies what it means to be a Warrior.
“He’s been a blessing to us,” Archie said. “When he first came here, I told him, ‘If you are going to be with the program, you have to be here every day.’ He’s been here every day working hard. He’s putting in the effort. The team loves him and he loves us so he’s been a perfect match, and a great teammate. He is really what a PMA warrior is.”