#23 Babacar Pouye scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. | Credit: Victor Bryant

Babacar Pouye scored a game-high 20 points and dominated defensively as the Cate boys’ basketball team picked up a 56-42 Tri-Valley League road win over Bishop Diego on Wednesday night.

In the first meeting between the two teams Pouye was unavailable due to injury and Bishop Diego prevailed 48-41.  Having Pouye’s 6’8” presence in the lineup made huge difference in the outcome of the rematch.

“When we’re patient, when we feed Babacar and when we let him do his thing in the paint he is hard to guard,” said Cate coach Andy Gil. “He attracts so much attention that he is getting really good shots for everybody else and we had a lot of layups today.”

The game was tight throughout the first half. The Rams took a 13-7 lead on an offensive rebound and basket inside by Pouye midway through the first first quarter, but Bishop Diego responded with an 8-3 run capped off by a Lui Fernandez corner three-pointer that cut the Cardinals’ deficit to 16-15 with 7:30 remaining in the second quarter. 

Both teams were locked in on the defensive end and Cate took a 26-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“We struggled [shooting] and I feel like they packed it in even more hoping we weren’t going to make a shot and we didn’t,” said Bishop Diego coach James Coronado. “We got away from our principles of getting the ball inside first because they were packing it in. I feel like there were opening, we just weren’t going for it.”

The game swung drastically in Cate’s favor in the third quarter. The Rams outscored Bishop Diego 18-8 during the period and went on a 15-0 run midway through the third quarter that put the game away.

A three-pointer by Marcus Scudder started the surge, giving Cate a 30-24 lead with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter. A mid-range jumper by Pouye increased the Cate lead to 36-24 at the 4:45 mark.

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Cate’s lead ballooned to 44-25 when Jengus Ercil found Jacob Gabbay inside for a layup late in the third quarter. 

“I think our defense really dictated the whole pace,” Gil said. “They were frustrated, we were playing with patience and it really showed.”

Bishop Diego was led offensively by Bryan Trejo, who scored 13 points, including 6-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line on his senior day.

Bishop Diego and Cate are now tied for second in the Tri-Valley League standings at 4-2.

Santa Barbara, 68; Ventura, 58

Luke Zuffelato scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Carter battle added 18 points and three steals.

Santa Barbara pulled away in the second half and  improved to 13-11 overall and 7-3 in Channel League play with the victory

Buena, 82; San Marcos 58

The Royals had no answer for the inside combination of Zane Carter and Luke Ortiz. Both players finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

With the loss San Marcos drops to 5-5 in Channel League play.

Dos Pueblos, 46; Pacifica 45

The Chargers held on for the narrow victory two days after dropping a rivalry game against San Marcos by one point.

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