The Mariners (now 10-5) led through most of the game and entered the fourth quarter leading 39-32 and even extended the margin to 41-32 in the early moments of the period.
But after that Pacifica stumbled and a scrappy Fighting Irish team rallied to tie the score at 41, then took the lead for good at the 3:33 mark on a trey by Ryan Priddy to make it 44-43.
Trailing 45-43 with two and a half minutes left to play, the Mariners had a chance to tie it, but top scorer Jordan Fleck missed two free throws. Fleck, one of five returning varsity players on the Mariner team, had 12 points in the first half, and finished with 16.
Pacifica stayed close, and had two chances to tie the game with three-pointers in the last 12 seconds, but missed them both.
“Kennedy deserved to win,” said Mariner coach David Friedman. “They did what a road team is supposed to do. Keep it close and try to steal a win. And they did it.”
In addition to Fleck’s 16, Pacifica was led by nine points by Tarek Soubra and eight by Ryan Tong. Kennedy (10-5 overall, 2-0 in league) got 13 from Terrance Blum and 11 from Corey Richards.
Pacifica is next in action Monday visiting Tustin, the league favorite.
In other Friday night boys’ prep basketball action, Avalon defeated Orangewood 50-38 in a San Joaquin League contest. In the Empire League, Western beat Yorba Linda 57-46.
Non-league action saw Los Amigos best Whitney 63-57 and Loara thumped Magnolia 65-38. Garden Grove defeated Anaheim 58-43.
On the girls’ side, Orangewood defeated Avalon 56-33 and Kennedy bested Pacifica 53-33.