State Basketball: Valencia pulls away in second half to win boys’ Division IV title

Bryce Bedgood grabbed a mid-air rebound, threw a walk-out cross to teammate Mikah Ballew, and paused for a second. He had achieved his job.

Ballew and teammate Jacob Michel-Zavala had a two-on-two transition late within the second quarter in opposition to Half Moon Bay within the Division IV boys’ basketball state championship recreation, and an amazing bodily benefit. As Ballew took a euro step, Bedgood’s half-hearted jogs up the court docket got here to a halt.

That was not the mentality that obtained Valencia right here, which turned a 7-9 begin, following a 5-20 season, right into a dominating run to a Division 4AA Southern Part title and Saturday’s spot within the state closing. And it actually wasn’t the mindset father and head coach Invoice Bedgood tried to instill all these years in his lanky 6-foot-9 teenager.

So when Michel-Zavala charged for a nook three, Bryce Bedgood galloped down the court docket like a rampaging gazelle, destroyed a Half Moon Bay participant half his measurement attempting to field him in, grabbed the rebound on one other Cougars participant and ended a troublesome alternative association.

It was a microcosm of the season for Bedgood, a child who admitted he used to journey over his personal limbs maximizing a progress spurt (4 inches over the course of the season) by sheer effort. And in main Valencia to an 89-59 victory and the Division IV state title, he capped a lifetime journey along with his father, the older Bedgood strolling away with a trophy within the final recreation of his profession. as a coach.

“The factor that’s most necessary to me is simply being a father,” Invoice Bedgood stated after the sport, the 6-foot-6 veteran coach’s eyes turning purple. “And I feel being a father makes you a greater coach. However I don’t know if being a coach makes you a greater father, ever.”

Coaching Bryce was the toughest factor he had ever achieved as a coach. It was robust in that 5-20 season, having to place up with all of the losses. It was robust on Bryce, who merely stated that taking part in for his dad was nice, however that he typically needed to face his dad so he wouldn’t come throughout as a “jerk.”

It was nonetheless robust when the schedule modified to 2023, and that 7-9 was all of the Vikings may consider, Bryce stated. All they might carry. So, in his first follow within the new yr, Coach Bedgood had his gamers sit in a circle and write basketball-inspired “resolutions” on a chunk of paper: how they every felt they might assist a program make spin your wheels.

A cerebral child with a 4.3 GPA and Ivy League hopes, Bryce saved it easy. He give attention to the defensive finish. He purchased into a giant man position. He grabs each rebound and consistently picks up the tempo.

“How are you going to positively have an effect on the sport with out the ball in your arms?” Bryce described.

On Saturday, he was a mass of arms swirling across the rim, ending Half Moon Bay layups like a merciless father taking part in basketball in opposition to a 3-year-old son. After a gritty show of ball motion and taking pictures by the Cougars produced a tie late within the first quarter, Bryce’s effort grew to become the distinction in pulling the Vikings away, culminating within the hustle from the second quarter.

“Even 7-9, in the midst of the yr, I wouldn’t have made the play, as a result of I’d be lazy,” Bryce stated. “However I simply know that I’ve to run across the court docket and play onerous on a regular basis.”

He obtained going offensively within the second half, exhibiting good footwork and contact to complete with 22 factors, 13 rebounds and 7 blocked pictures. Mikah Ballew, who transferred from Bishop Alemany, labored his manner as much as 25 factors, and level guard Kai Davis added a gradual hand with 17 factors and eight assists.

After the sport, Bryce praised his father and the coach supplied a real smile and a mild faucet on his son’s leg. It’s time to place down the clipboard. It’s time to only be a guardian.