The Patriots defeated Encinal by a single point, 58-57, in the opening round, then lost to Dublin, which went on to play in the championship game, setting up a Saturday showdown with cross-town rival Liberty on Saturday. Heritage defeated the Lions 57-45, earning its first-ever varsity win against Liberty in any sport.
"We played OK, but I wouldn't say we set the world on fire," said head coach Pat Cruickshank of his team's performance over the weekend. "I saw glimpses of what we really need to do to be successful. We had stretches where we played well, and we had bad stretches - part of that is inexperience."
Junior forward Kyle Golinveaux earned all-tournament honors, averaging 18 points over the three games. Golinveaux gave the Patriots consistent production throughout the tournament, with scoring totals of 18, 20 and 16 points, and played solid defense.
"The team really fed off his energy," said Cruickshank.
Golinveaux had to shoulder more of the scoring responsibility than usual, as forward Greg Howard continues to regain his strength from a bout of bronchitis. Howard, the Patriots' primary offensive threat in the low block, still managed to contribute despite playing through fatigue.
"Greg's a big part of our team and we need him. We need his scoring," Cruickshank said of his 6-foot-4-inch center. "He had a doughnut against Liberty and I didn't even realize it till the end of the game because he did other things really well - rebounding, defending and passing the ball on the post."
Sophomore guard Jordan Knox had a great tournament for the Patriots, using his phenomenal quickness to penetrate and create.
Zach Lindsey, a junior forward/center, also played a key roll for Heritage with his strong post play.
Sophomore guard Jimmy Enomoto continues to impress with his defensive tenacity and ability to run the offense.
Enomoto surprised the coaching staff with his improved play at the beginning of the season and has maintained that high level of play thus far, earning a role as a seventh man off the bench.
"When guys come off the bench and give us positive minutes we do really well," explained Cruickshank. "A big key to our success is getting guys off the bench to give us significant minutes and allow us to rest our starters."
The Patriots return to the court Wednesday, Dec. 27 at the Bruin Shoot-Out, where they are scheduled to play host Bear Creek High School of Stockton at 7:30 p.m.