Renaissance, which does not have a league affiliation, picked up its 10th win of the season Friday and will now await the release of playoff brackets by CIF on Sunday afternoon.
“We’re ready for any team [in the playoffs],” said senior guard Derrick Simms, who sank two key baskets late in the fourth quarter to help the Wildcats pull away. “We played really tough teams and we faced injuries. We’ve played the lowest that we can play, and right now our team chemistry is going up and we’re more confident we can win.”
Renaissance was led by an all-around strong game from junior forward Bryan Bourgeois, who finished with nine points, 14 rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Junior point guard Dushon Carter scored a team-high 18 points with seven rebounds and four steals and senior guard Matt Raya scored 10 points to go with seven boards.
Renaissance led, 44-41, going into the fourth quarter, where it limited the Fighting Frogs (12-13) to just four points on two-of-12 shooting from the field and stayed active around its own basket to pull down six offensive rebounds, several of which led to second-chance points.
Raya followed his own miss all the way from behind the three-point line for an easy putback on the opening possession of the period to spark an 8-2 run.
Simms (eight points, seven rebounds) capped the run with a putback at the 2:22 mark that was the Wildcats’ third attempt of the possession.
A minute later, Bourgeois threaded a pass through the key to Simms, who sealed his defender with a quick turn and converted a layup to put Renaissance up, 54-45.
“We picked up our defense, which helped our offense,” Simms said. “In the first half, we didn’t play defense, so our offense didn’t come. But we picked it up in the fourth quarter and we just started to make shots and easy layups, which was the difference in the second half.”