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Campolindo’s defense stifles Dons

Cade Bennett and Campolindo are undefeated. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Cade Bennett and Campolindo are undefeated. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

There was nothing getting in the way of Campolindo on Wednesday evening.

Backed by a tenacious defense and a 23-0 start through the first quarter, the No. 2 Campolindo Cougars (5-0) kept their undefeated record intact with a 60-23 trouncing of the Acalanes Dons. 

All five of Campolindo’s wins have come by at least 15 points, including three wins against ranked opponents in the Bay Area Boys Basketball Rankings – No. 11 Piedmont, No. 12 Salesian and No. 14 Dougherty Valley.

Right away, Campolindo asserted its will despite the absence of four-star junior guard Aidan Mahaney – who has five Division I offers – as he has not played yet this season.

It was 15-0 out of the gate. Then it was 23-0 after one quarter, as Campolindo pitched a shutout in the first eight minutes while forcing seven turnovers.

At that point, Campolindo continued adding to an insurmountable lead before Acalanes ended its shutout bid on a three-pointer following Campolindo’s run of 28 straight points to begin the contest.

That defense from Campolindo was crucial all game. Through three quarters, the unit still had more forced turnovers (16) than points allowed (13), though the Dons eventually scored more points (23) than the Cougars forced turnovers (18), with the Cougars holding Acalanes to less than half of the 58 points it scored in its previous outing.

Junior Cade Bennett – the son of St. Mary’s College head coach Randy Bennett – was a two-way standout, as he was one of three players to score in double figures by leading the way with 14 points, but he also added three steals and was menace all over the court, forcing opponents into turnovers while making crafty and smart moves to the hoop.

Cade Bennett’s 14 points tied for his second-highest scoring total of the year, trailing 19 he scored in the season-opening win against Piedmont. 

Sophomore Shane O’Reilly reached 10-plus points for the fifth time in five games, finishing with 12 points while shooting 2-of-5 from long range. He continues to shoot an efficient 40% at the three-point line.

Campolindo senior Emmanuel Callas – entering as the team’s leading scorer at 17.3 points per game – posted 11 points, following up consecutive 20-point displays.

Senior Chase Bennett, who is the brother of Cade Bennett, also recorded three steals like his younger brother. 

Acalanes was paced by junior Noah Bloch, who scored five points and hit a three-pointer. Senior Scott Ruegg and sophomore big man Jake Davis added four points apiece.

A top five matchup awaits Campolindo when it travels to No. 5 Riordan at 6 pm. Saturday. Acalanes heads to No. 7 Miramonte at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

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