BURLINGAME -- The Campolindo High boys basketball team opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 10-point lead and went on to a 58-50 victory over host Burlingame on Wednesday in the first round of the Northern California Division III regional playoffs.
Campolindo's ability in the open court was a big factor. Three baskets in that 9-0 run were of the fast-break variety.
"They had some athletes," Burlingame coach Pete Harames said. "They do it very well."
"That's what we are all about,'' Campolindo coach Matt Watson said. "We like to play fast."
Nick Loew led Burlingame with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Connor Haupt scored 11 points but had a tough shooting night.
"They played great defense," Haupt said. "They switched screens, and pushed me out of my range."
After Campolindo opened the 10-point lead, Burlingame responded with nine unanswered points of its own. Loew started the run with a slam dunk, then added four free throws. Point guard Mikel Floro-Cruz hit a 3-pointer to bring the Panthers within 48-47, but that was the last gasp. Campolindo closed the game on a 10-3 run.
Floro-Cruz also had 11 points for Burlingame (21-9), which started the season 5-7 and then caught fire, going 12-0 in Peninsula Athletic League play and winning the first Central Coast Section boys basketball championship in school history.
"It was an awesome run," said Harames, who was brought in to coach the team shortly before the start of the season. "I didn't know what to expect, but I knew they were good kids and that's 75 percent of it right there."
After a tense and confusing start to the week, Campolindo was glad to be back on the court.
When the brackets for the state playoffs were first released Sunday, Campolindo was mistakenly left from the field.
North Coast Section commissioner Gil Lemmon said he mistakenly submitted Miramonte instead of Campolindo as the fourth team from the section to reach the Northern Regional Division III playoffs.
The NCS was allowed to select an additional representative for Division III after Bishop O'Dowd was moved to the Open Division.
That was supposed to be Campolindo. The Cougars were the No. 2 seed in NCS but lost in the quarterfinals.
Per NCS policy, the highest seeded team to lose in the quarterfinals would reach NorCals if a team from that division was selected for the Open.
But Lemmon submitted Miramonte, the No. 5 seed in NCS, when the commissioners from the 10 sections across the state met Sunday to fill out the brackets.
Lemmon learned of the error when he received an inquiry from this newspaper.
Lemmon said in an email late Sunday night that he has apologized to both schools and informed Miramonte that he must replace the Matadors in the playoffs with Campolindo.
"Having all these teams and backfilling, it was just a nightmare," Lemmon said Sunday
Staff writer Jimmy Durkin contributed to this story.