NORTHEAST GLENDALE — When the boys' basketball teams from St. Francis and Glendale high met in the fifth-place game of the Glendale Community College Tournament on Sunday, they combined to produce somewhat of a summer rarity — a game that was hard-fought, truly competitive and exciting right to the conclusion of the Golden Knights' 59-51 victory.
Emerson's Castaneda's late three-point shot and a quirky three-point play converted by teammate Zack Gardea with under two minutes to play were two of the deciding factors for St. Francis in what remained a one-possession game throughout most of a second half that featured numerous lead changes.
"We need as many of these tougher games as possible because you're always going to look good against weaker teams," St. Francis co-Coach Ray O'Brien said. "You won't really test what you're doing until you play a team like Glendale. They run a lot of the same motion offense that we run with screening, so they know how to handle our offense. It comes down to execution. A tough game like today is very valuable to both teams."