The Wolverines gave him plenty to think about. In a 79-75 loss to the visiting Northgate Broncos, Deer Valley turned the ball over 26 times and couldn’t stop a relentless perimeter attack. Northgate went 12-for-29 from beyond the three-point line, a figure matched on two-pointers.
“It was just a reality check,” said Wolverine senior forward Andre McPhail. “We’ve got the potential to be really good, but we’ve got to play as one unit.”
The Broncos’ Zach Corby had the hot hand. The senior guard scored 37 points and was 8-for-18 from beyond the arc. Corby’s teammate, senior forward Matt Butler, finished with 21 points.
Junior guard Olajuwon Garner played as big as his name on Monday, leading Deer Valley with 36 points. McPhail put up a double-double: 14 points and 15 rebounds.
The home-opener loss drops the Wolverine record to 2-1 overall. The Broncos, competing in the Diablo Valley Athletic League, are now 3-1.
“We knew what they could do, so we told ourselves we would make an effort to stop them, but our guys just did not step up at all tonight,” Phillips said. “They just wanted it more than we did.”
Deer Valley actually held a lead for most of the game, but wasn’t able to hold off a hot-shooting Northgate team near the end. Tied at 55 early in the fourth quarter, Butler hit a two-pointer to give his team a lead it wouldn’t give up. A two-point lead grew to 10 in the span of the next few minutes as the Broncos led 71-61 on the strength of a deep three-pointer by Corby.
The Wolverines tried to battle back, cutting the deficit to four with 22.8 seconds left, thanks to a perimeter shot by Garner. Deer Valley fouled to send Corby to the line, but he sunk both free throws. Down 78-72, the Wolverines threw an errant pass out of bounds, giving the ball back to Northgate.
Deer Valley will participate in this weekend’s Chris Vontoure Classic at De La Salle in Concord before hosting Oakland Tech on Dec. 14.
Deer Valley’s junior varsity team prevailed 64-48 over Northgate on Monday. Anthony Sessions led the Wolverines with 11 points. Robert Bershell finished with five rebounds, a team-high. Northgate’s Zak Gay contributed 10 points. The win advanced Deer Valley to 3-1, while the Broncos fell to 1-3.