MORAGA — Shane O’Reilly began Tuesday night’s game like he was trying to make up for missed time.
Campolindo’s 6-foot-3 senior guard made a three-pointer, a quick-hitting layup in transition and a poster dunk from the left wing, all within the first four minutes of a 60-53 home victory over Clayton Valley Charter.
O’Reilly also rebounded, passed to open teammates, and defended with energy on the perimeter.
“It feels good knowing that me and my teammates could get it done,” said O’Reilly, who was injured when Clayton Valley beat Campolindo 74-66 on Jan. 11.
With O’Reilly leading the way, Campolindo jumped out to a 12-2 lead. The Cougars maintained at least a five-point advantage the rest of the way, delighting a crowd that included former Campo star and current Saint Mary’s freshman Aidan Mahaney.
The victory pulled Campo even with Clayton Valley atop the Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division standings and snapped the Ugly Eagles’ 12-game winning streak.
“We’ve been marking this game on the calendar for a while,” O’Reilly said. “We know it has league title implications, so we took it as seriously as we could.”
While Clayton Valley’s players were goaded into attempting contested midrange jumpers, Campolindo’s athletes seemed to get any open shot they wanted during a first half that ended with a 35-22 Campo lead.
Clay Naffziger scored 20 points, and his constant motion got him open looks from distance. He tied Logan Robeson, who scored 19 points, with four three-pointers.
“It was huge, because I was not happy with the way we played the first time,” Campolindo coach Steven Dyer said of the team’s hot start. “We were really fired up for this game.”
Clayton Valley’s Elijah Perryman kept the Ugly Eagles in the game during the first half, when he made a variety of tough jumpers and bank shots to score 12 of his 16 points.
“He’s a really good player,” O’Reilly said of CVC’s sophomore guard. “He can score on all three levels…I think he’ll be a really good player in this league for years.”
The CVC team was far more competitive in the second half, when Jake King, Perryman and James Moore made a concerted effort to shoot layups instead of jump shots. King scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, with most of those coming in the paint.
“Our offensive philosophy is to get to the rim,” CVC coach Frank Allocco said. ”Once we started doing that, we had more success.”
Clayton Valley eventually got the fourth-quarter deficit to as low as 55-50, but a Robeson triple stretched the lead to eight again. From there, Campolindo hit two more free throws and the Ugly Eagles could only muster one more late three to end the game.
“We’ll learn from it,” Allocco said. “In March when it really matters, we’ll hopefully be better.”
The Cougars, who have now won four straight, host Las Lomas on Thursday, while CVC travels to Acalanes that same day.
“I think we’re getting better, although I hope we haven’t peaked yet,” Dyer said.