NEWARK -- The Newark Memorial High boys basketball team overcame a sluggish first half against visiting Maria Carrillo-Santa Rosa on Saturday to post a 67-56 victory in the second round of the North Coast Section Division II playoffs.
The Cougars trailed by as many as 13 points but stormed back in the second half to record their 19th consecutive win. Newark Memorial will now host Mission Valley Athletic League rival Washington on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Cougars beat the Huskies twice in league play this season.
"It's very tough to beat a team three times and both teams are very familiar with each other," Newark Memorial coach Craig Ashmore said of Washington. "Washington has been playing great the last couple of weeks."
The Cougars got a tremendous performance from Damien Banford, who finished with 20 points and 20 rebounds. Guard Joey Frenchwood had 16 of his 20 points inside the paint for Newark, who scored at will in the key in the second half.
Newark (21-7) scored 17 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to turn a four-point deficit into a 63-50 advantage with 2:05 left. Matthew Thomas, who was held to just two points and two rebounds in the first half, had eight of his 10 points during the run. He also added 10 rebounds.
"They got all the loose balls which led to wide-open shots in the first half," Ashmore said. "In the second half we were able to turn the tables and track down all the loose balls which turned into points inside for us."
Clayton Andrews led Maria Carrillo (20-10) with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Pepperdine-bound AJ John added 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Johnny Parker added 11 points for Newark.