BAKERSFIELD – Michael Lynch, the Price boys basketball coach, has been relying on a deep bench throughout the playoffs.
He wants to see his reserves step up again against St. Mary’s of Berkeley in the CIF Division IV state championship game at Rabobank Arena.
In the CIF Southern California regional final against Francis Parker, Price didn’t start pulling away until the second half. That’s been the pattern for most of the season.
Lynch said he likes to rotate 10 players throughout the game. His team wears out opponents, but the benefits of that rotation don’t surface until the second half starts.
“The third quarter’s been when we’ve been stepping it up,” Lynch said. “If I had it my way, I’d like to go in three groups.”
St. Mary’s coach Manny Nodar said he thinks he has a way to counter Price’s deep bench. Keep them out of the paint and don’t let them score any easy baskets.
“The less we have to help, the better we’ll be,” Nodar said.
St. Mary’s is coming off a tough, 54-50, overtime win over Salesian in the Northern California regional championship game. Salesian and St. Mary’s play in Bay Shore League and meet several times during the regular season.
“Every game is a physical, grind-it-out game,” Nodar said.
This is Price’s seventh appearance in the CIF state championship game. They are 5-1.
St. Mary’s has played in three CIF state championship games. They are 1-2.