Brackenridge put one defender behind him, another in front and kept at least one more nearby on most of Memorial’s offensive possessions.

Josh Pitts still could not be stopped.

The 6-foot-10 senior center finished with game highs of 15 points and 20 rebounds Tuesday night, leading the Minutemen to a 48-46 win in a District 28-5A game played on the Eagles’ home court.

“I’m used to it. Every team does it,” Pitts said. “I just have to maneuver around it and find a different way to score, a different way to help the team.”

Pitts, a Cal State-Fullerton signee, did most of his first-half damage on offensive rebounds. Memorial (10-14, 7-5 district) did not executive a post entry pass until the second half, when Pitts scored eight points and threw down the last of his three dunks.

His play helped Memorial (10-14, 7-5) sweep the season series against Brackenridge (13-16, 5-8) and improve its playoff chances. The Minutemen moved into a tie with Highlands, an 82-67 loser Tuesday against Jefferson, for the district’s fourth and final playoff spot.

“It’s a big game for us,” Memorial point guard Carlos Balderas said.

Balderas Betlike scored eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter. Adarius Brady added 11 points and had a couple key offensive rebounds down the stretch for Memorial, which needed all of it to hold off the Eagles.

Brackenridge, despite trailing throughout the final three quarters, never fell behind by more than seven points and had a chance to tie or win it at the end.

Isaiah Balderas and Matthew Hernandez combined for a trio of 3-point goals in the fourth quarter, and Robert Martinez’s last-second heave from near halfcourt hit the side of the rim.

“It’s real tough,” Brackenridge forward Marc DeLaCruz said. “We should have hit the shots that we needed to, and we didn’t.”

DeLaCruz led the Eagles with 12 points and helped to guard Pitts, which proved to be an insurmountable assignment for him and his teammates. They did their best to keep the ball away from the Memorial big man, but it still found its way in his hands and eventually in the net.

“He makes all the difference in the world,” Memorial coach Jonathan Sanchez said. “And that’s with people doubling him and tripling him.”

Twitter: @AZuvanich

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