BURBANK — For the first time in Julian Andrade's three-year tenure as Bellarmine-Jefferson High head boys' basketball coach, he will be at the helm as his team plays a second round playoff game.
More than likely, the road game on Friday night will offer more resistance than Wednesday night’s CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA first-round home playoff match against Academy of Careers & Exploration.
“Hard work paid off,” said Andrade, who has coached the Guards to a 16-11 record and a second-place showing in the Santa Fe League. “We were able to get the high seed and play a game like this.”
The eight-seeded Guards will play the winner of La Sierra Academy and Bishop Diego Friday night at 7 p.m.
Chances are, Bell-Jeff isn’t going to see another 33-6 first quarter as they move deeper in the playoffs. Nor should it be anticipated that they will hold a lead as many as 59 points.
Nevertheless, the Guards played an impressive game on both ends of the floor in the opener.
Malcolm Regisford and Abid Oses benefited from good ball movement and spacing to control the paint and get easy baskets, as the two combined for 29 points.
Giovanni Gabb led a full-court press attack on defense, which led to easy baskets for the senior guard. he finished with 15 points.
While the front line dominated the boards and took advantage of its size over the smaller Eagles, the backcourt of the Guards shot the ball well, particularly from behind the arc where they made eight three-pointers and kept the ACE (11-9) defense honest.
Andrade was able to go deep into his bench as early as the third quarter with the Guards comfortably ahead. Really, the Eagles were overwhelmed from the get-go and never cut the deficit down to single digits after Bell-Jeff took an early 12-2 lead.
“We’re going to stay humble, and work hard,” Andrade said. “We’re just glad we’re playing on Friday. No matter where we’re going, we’re glad we got another game.”