20 field-goal shooting), eight rebounds, seven assists and two blocked
shots in a 79-68 first-round win over Loara Friday.
Melum is just 45 points from tying the school single-season scoring
record of 618 points, set by Justin McIntee in 1991-92.
Senior point guard Greg Perrine is another three-year varsity standout
for the Sailors. Since returning after tearing his ACL in the summer, he
is averaging 10.3 points and providing the floor leadership Hirst counts
upon him for.
Erik Peterson, a 6-3 senior, chips in 9 ppg and is also the teams
leading defender, while 6-8 junior Nedim Pajevic, averaging 7.8 ppg and
is coming off a 14-point, 15-rebound effort against Loara.
Jaime Diefenbach, a 6-8 sophomore, could also be crucial for the Tars,
while junior starting guard Chase Cameron and sophomore backcourt reserve
Andre Pinesett round out Hirst's primary rotation.
Reynolds identified rebounding as the key to his team's success and
also noted his 10-deep rotation, including sophomore Lloyd Cotton, junior
Chris Selinsky and senior Brian Beisner, as another potential advantage
for the Spartans.
Hirst hopes a jampacked home gym (spectators are advised to arrive
early as not to be turned away) will provide an emotional edge. But
Reynolds points out, his team won all four Yardley tournament games at
Newport last summer.
"We feel great going in there," Reynolds said, "The last time we where
there, we beat Newport in the semifinals and Mater Dei in the final."
Tonight's winner advances to Friday's quarterfinals, against either
Moorpark (18-9) or Inglewood (22-5).