Feb 20, 2013 1:56 AM by Andrew Masuda

Royal Return: Adlesh, Rowley lead Mission into CIF semifinals

Sparked by clutch shots from Quinton Adlesh and Andy Rowley, as well as pure hustle plays from Patrick Laird, the Mission Prep boys basketball team advanced to the CIF semifinals with a 54-48 Division 5AA quarterfinal win over Saddleback Valley Christian on Tuesday.

"All throughout the playoffs we haven't really played our best but as a team we've just always found a way to win and we've done whatever it takes to come out in the end," said Adlesh.

The Royals fell behind early 8-2 midway through the first quarter before outscoring the visitors 15-2 for the next seven minutes. Mission trailed 8-7 after the first quarter, but led 20-17 at the half.

Saddleback took a 34-30 lead late in the third quarter before Adlesh hit back-to-back three pointers to give Mission the lead for good. The sophomore also scored all of Mission's points in the first quarter. He finished with a team-high 16 points for the Royals.

Rowley added 11 points, most of them came in the second half. He hit a running layup and drew a foul to help Mission take a 9 points lead in the fourth quarter. Saddleback kept fighting and pulled to within 3 points late in the game, but the Royals held on for the victory. Laird scored 9 points and played stellar defense. Connor Woolpert added 8 points and 8 rebounds for the Royals despite battling foul trouble all game long.

"It feels great to be back in the semifinals this year. Our goal is to win CIF so one game at a time. We know it's going to be a tough road," said Rowley, the senior point guard.

Now 21-7, Mission plays at Flintridge Prep in the semifinals on Friday. The Royals lost to Flintridge earlier this season 61-47 and in the semifinals in 2011. The Royals are seeded #3 in the division, while Flintridge is #2. Flintridge beat Santa Clara 77-47 in the quarterfinals.



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