APTOS — Robert Bishop hit a clutch pull-up jumper with 4.1 seconds left to help Santa Cruz hold off a valiant Aptos upset bid, 59-57, in the first Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League action of the 2019 season on Friday night.
Big shot Bob. Robert Bishop hit a pull-up jumper with 4.1 seconds left to give Santa Cruz enough breathing room to hold on. pic.twitter.com/KXdhs4bh85— Tony Nunez (@Tony_Nunez) January 5, 2019
"I wanted to take the last shot," Bishop said.
The senior forward finished with 23 points and six rebounds in what was the Cardinals' (8-5, 1-0) eighth consecutive SCCAL victory dating back to last season, a campaign in which they won the league's regular season and tournament title.
Jeremiah Elmore had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and split a pair of technical free throws to ice the victory after Logan Feldbrugge buried a desperation 3-pointer to pull the Mariners (6-9, 0-1) within one with 1.6 seconds left.
Santa Cruz senior forward Robert Bishop breaks down the win over Aptos. pic.twitter.com/hHLjZzSAqv— Tony Nunez (@Tony_Nunez) January 5, 2019
Santa Cruz only led 34-28 at the half despite nailing seven 3-point shots.
Santa Cruz forward Robert Bishop had it working from deep in the first half. Cardinals hit 7 3-pointers over the first 2 quarters. pic.twitter.com/kTZWaAOhtn— Tony Nunez (@Tony_Nunez) January 5, 2019
The Cardinals pushed their advantage to 12 in the third quarter, but Aptos clawed its way back into the game behind defense and quick buckets in transition.
A layup from Hunter Matys brought the Mariners within three, and Feldbrugge split a pair from the free-throw line to cut the deficit to two with a little less two minutes left to play.
Aptos has the ball down 56-54 with 54.5 seconds left to play. pic.twitter.com/6BEwWrE8JA— Tony Nunez (@Tony_Nunez) January 5, 2019
Aptos twice had a chance at the game-tying bucket, but turned the ball over on both occasions during the final minute-and-a-half.
Feldbrugge paced the Mariners with 23 points, hitting five 3-point shots. Matys added 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and a LeBron-esque chase down block on Bishop during the first half that produced "oohs" from the crowd.
Max Pepperdine chimed in with nine points.
Aptos senior point guard Max Pepperdine talks about the negatives and positives of tonight’s game against Santa Cruz. pic.twitter.com/HUA5Esmybt— Tony Nunez (@Tony_Nunez) January 5, 2019
Aptos will try to bounce back on Tuesday against Scotts Valley.