Price heats up late, routs Notre Dame

SHERMAN OAKS -- The Notre Dame boys' basketball team jumped out to an early lead against visiting Price in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs, but playing on consecutive nights proved to be too much.

Price went on a 14-0 run in the third quarter and eliminated host Notre Dame, 66-47, Friday night.

Because of icy roads and snow, Notre Dame had to postpone its first-round playoff game against Paraclete from Lancaster on Wednesday night. Notre Dame beat Paraclete on Thursday night, its first win in 14 games, but had to turn around and play Price, the fourth-seeded team in the Division 4AA playoffs.

“You want to have a day to prepare. I think that definitely worked against us tonight,” said Notre Dame coach Bill Bedgood. “They’re a great team. If we had two or three nights to prepare for them, it was going to be tough. I think playing back to back is not ideal in the playoffs. It definitely looked like we ran out of gas tonight.”

It was Bedgood’s last game as Notre Dame coach after announcing his retirement last week. But Bedgood said his team’s first-round win over Paraclete was a great way to end his coaching career.

Price (21-7), meanwhile, looked like the team playing its second game in two nights. The two teams scrapped in the first quarter as Notre Dame took a slim 9-5 lead.

But Price turned things around in the second quarter to take a 27-22 lead at halftime. Price’s defensive pressure forced Notre Dame into making turnovers. It was a sign of things to come in the third quarter.

“We knew they were going to come out hard because it’s their home,” said Price’s Skylar Spencer, who scored a game-high 17 points.. “They were going to give it everything they got. When it was our time, we attacked.”

Did they ever. Price turned a five-point halftime lead into a 19-point advantage in the third quarter. It was a balanced attack too. Spencer, Kahlil Johnson and Jaqua Green each scored four points. Seven players from Price scored in the third quarter. By the end of the period, Price was up 18 points and held Notre Dame scoreless for the first four minutes of the period.

“The third quarter, that was the difference in the game,” Bedgood said. “Third quarter, we were out of sorts. We turned the ball over. We weren’t executing our stuff very well. Part of that was because of the defensive pressure they were putting on our guys. Our guys were having a hard time with their length.”

Trey Dickerson only scored two points in the third quarter, but had 13 in the game. Johnson ended up with a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“Our coach said we did good, but we could do better,” Spencer said. “We stayed aggressive on defense so we could blow them out so the fourth quarter was easy for us.”

Jonathan Bell scored 11 points in the first half for Notre Dame (10-19), but was shut out in the third quarter and finished with 15 points. He was the only player from Notre Dame to score in double figures.