Boys basketball roundup: St. John Bosco captures its first state title since 2014

A basketball season that a couple of weeks ago some St. John Bosco faithful might have considered a failure turned into a celebration Friday night after the Braves won the state Division I championship at Golden 1 Center.

“The fact we get to hang a banner, our legacy will be forever,” said senior guard Jack Turner, who scored 20 points and made seven of 10 shots, including four of six from three-point range, in a 78-62 victory over San Ramon Valley, delivering St. John Bosco its first state title since 2014.

There were high expectations for the Braves (28-7) when they started the season ranked No. 1 in Southern California by The Times. They finished second behind Santa Ana Mater Dei in the Trinity League, went 1-2 in the Southern Section Open Division playoffs, then regained their mojo in the Division I regional playoffs with close wins over Windward, Damien and Mater Dei in overtime.

“I have great pride we were able to stay the course,” St. John Bosco coach Matt Dunn said. “Our guys were able to rally.”

The core trio of Turner, Brandon McCoy (18 points) and Elzie Harrington (12 points, seven assists) started trusting one another and their teammates.

“Brandon, Elzie and Jack did an amazing job making their teammates better,” Dunn said.

Chris Komin made a trio of three-pointers and had 11 points. Dominic Perfetti had nine points. And sophomore Max Ellis chipped in two threes. St. John Bosco made 11 of 22 shots from three-point range. Playing at Arena earlier this season was good preparation.

“Yeah, we played terrible that game but got out our jitters,” Turner said.

Even with starter Kade Bonam unavailable in the state playoffs because of a foot injury, the Braves displayed the urgency and teamwork to finish in style. They made five threes in the first quarter en route to a 28-11 lead.

Dunn, who won a state title coaching at Damien, faced lots of challenges this season and never stopped teaching and cajoling as he tried to help St. John Bosco reach its potential.

Luke Isaak led San Ramon Valley with 18 points.

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