Crespi boys basketball tops St. Francis with late spark from Isaiah Barnes

Crespi’s Drew Fisher, #0, looks for a pass against St. Francis during second period action at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Crespi’s Nickon Daei, #23, puts up two points as St. Francis Chris Kalachian, #25, defends on the play during first period action at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

St. Francis Ethan Childs, #12, and Delan Grant, #11, force the ball from Crespi’s Joe Sterling, #21, during first period action at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Crespi’s head coach Derik Fisher during the game against St. Francis at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Crespi’s Peyton White, #5, right, puts up two points as St. Francis Ben O’connor, #5, defends on the play during first period action at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Crespi’s Drew Fisher, #0, sets to shoot a three-point shot agasint St. Francis during second period action at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

St. Francis Delan Grant, #11, and Crespixe2x80x99s Peyton White, #5, go after a rebound during first period action at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Crespi’s Carter Barnes, #20, drives the ball down court during first period action against St. Francis Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

St. Francis Noah Henry, #3, left, and Crespi’s Shaun Kowlessar, #1, go after a loos ball during second period action at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Crespi’s Peyton White, #5, right, pulls a rebound from St. Francis defender Ben O’connor, #5, during first period action at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Crespi’s head coach Derik Fisher during the game against St. Francis at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

St. Francis head coach Todd Wolfson at Crespi High Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. Crespi defeated St. Francis 57-50. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

of

Expand

ENCINO — It was only fitting that the Mission League boys basketball opener between Crespi and St. Francis ended in dramatic fashion.

It wasn’t until 5 minutes left in the game that St. Francis had its first lead, but the advantage was short-lived.

Enter freshman Isaiah Barnes, who provided a much-needed spark off the bench for the Celts.

After a couple of swing passes around the arc, the ball landed in the hands of Barnes, who drained a 3-pointer to give Crespi back the lead, which it maintained until the final buzzer for a 57-50 victory.

“I felt like that 3 brought all the momentum back to us,” said Barnes, who finished with 13 points and two assists. “After that everyone started getting hyped. Our team started communicating more and we started locking up on defense. They didn’t score after that so I think that was the big momentum shifter.”

“I think the reason why his teammates have so quickly grown to respect him and appreciate who he is, is the confidence that he can shoot that shot as a freshman who hasn’t played one varsity Mission League game before,” Crespi head coach Derek Fisher said. “The confidence and the trust in himself to shoot the shot, whether it goes in or not, sometimes you just need to see if a player is willing to put himself on the line.”

Crespi was able to jump to an early lead to start the game, but St. Francis stood tough and battled to keep within striking distance the entire night.

Junior Mazi Mosley did his best to will his team to victory, putting up 30 points, including five 3-pointers.

Whether he was double-teamed or had a hand in his face, Mosley pulled up with confidence and hit tough shot after shot.

“He’s so special on and off the court. I’m just in awe of some of the stuff he does on the court and some of the stuff he does off the court,” St. Francis head coach Todd Wolfson said. “He’s a pleasure to coach, he’s a great kid. He works his tail off. I know this one’s going to hurt him and hopefully we can see how he responds.”

Crespi’s leading scorer this season, Joe Sterling, had six points in the first half and was held scoreless for almost the entire second half as he struggled against the defense of St. Francis’ Delan Grant.

But with a minute and change left in the game, he scored off a rebound of his own missed shot to give the Celts a 51-47 lead.

Peyton White anchored the interior for the Celts, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

He scored nine of his team’s 10 points in the third quarter.

“Peyton’s potential is unlimited. He’s the prototypical basketball player. We don’t win games like this without Peyton White,” Fisher said. “When you come and watch Peyton White, the glue of what we’re doing starts with his physicality and presence in the middle.”

Crespi will get its next test in league play Wednesday at home against Harvard-Westlake.

St. Francis will return home to play Notre Dame Wednesday in its next league game.

Related Articles

High School Sports |


Valencia girls basketball continues growth with dominant win over Golden Valley

High School Sports |


Sierra Canyon girls basketball wins tournament, other teams have big performances

High School Sports |


ACL injuries are affecting multiple girls basketball teams: Here’s why

High School Sports |


Daily News girls athlete of the week: Alanna Neale, Village Christian

High School Sports |


L.A. Daily News boys basketball Top 10 rankings, Dec. 18

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *