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Boys Basketball: Merced pummels Skyline

SALIDA -- Otis Caery didn't take long to heat up.

The senior guard drilled two 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds of the game and Merced was off and running.

Caery's second 3 gave Merced an early 10-2 run and it never let up en route to a 92-67 win over Skyline in the consolation championship game at the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic on Wednesday night.

"When you hit your first couple shots it fires you up," said Caery, who finished with 17 points.

"It gets you right into the game."

Skyline's pressure defense didn't effect Merced at all as Caery and his teammates put on a passing clinic.

Merced used back-screens and its transition game to score layup after layup.

"When you face a team that pressures you, you want to pass through the pressure," said Merced coach Marcus Knott. "I was proud of the trust our guys showed for each other and the way they played together."

Merced jumped out to a 27-15 lead after the first quarter.

Knott's boys again picked up the pace to start the second half with a 29-point third quarter.

Tyrone Bowie scored 14 of his team-high 18 points in the third quarter.

Brian Cooksey added 17 points and Reggie Nelson chipped in with 16 points.

Merced led by as many as 35 points midway through the fourth quarter.

It appears Merced is ready for an opportunity to defend its three straight Central California Conference titles.

"We're pretty confident going in," Caery said. "We have one more game to go on Saturday before league starts."

Merced's 3-1 record at the MC tournament was one of its best showings in the eight years it has participated in the event.

"Anytime you can get two wins, you're feeling pretty good," Knott said. "With three wins, our confidence is up and we feel like we're headed in the right direction."

Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic


At Modesto Christian

Skyline 15 13 17 22 -- 67

Merced 27 16 29 20 -- 92

SKYLINE --Joseph Phillips 4, Kevin Jackson 21, Jeffrey Marcus 8, Jeremiah Phillips 2, Tau Cavil 2, Willam Cavil 3, Paris Davis 10, Bryce Fluellen 10, Marcellus Clay 5, Anthony Styles 2. Totals: 23 18-30 67.

MERCED -- Jacquari People 2, Michael Elsberry 3, Otis Caery 17, Reggie Nelson 16, Brian Cooksey 17, Yingkong Moua 3, Tyrone Bowie 18, Manny Orozco 8, Marques Barron 8. Totals: 39 10-15 92.

3-pointers: Skyline 3 (Marcus 2, Fluellen 1), Merced 4 (Caery 3, Moua 1); Total Fouls: Skyline 16, Merced 22; Foul Outs: Cooksey (M).

Records: Merced 11-2.