Senior forward Mike Minier scored 13 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead Mission Viejo High School to a 58-51 come-from-behind South Coast League victory over host Dana Hills Wednesday night.
The Diablos went into the fourth quarter trailing, 41-35, but behind Minier and guard Tom Desiano, they outscored the Dolphins, 23-10, and won the league opener for both teams.
The Diablos, behind by six points going into the last quarter, stung the Dolphins with a 16-4 tear, fought off a closing rally and wound up winning going away.
With the Dolphins clinging to a 43-41 lead with 5:45 left to play, Minier went to work. He scored three consecutive baskets on a driving layup, a jump shot from the top of the key and a short inside jumper to put the Diablos ahead for good.
Dana Hills followed with one brief rally, threatening to tie the game when Mission Viejo was ahead 47-45 with exactly three minutes to play, but Dolphin guard Will Jeffers missed a layup off of a steal.
The Diablos got the rebound and Minier scored at the other end on a fast break, was fouled and converted the three-point play. The Dolphins never recovered.
Dana Hills had control of the game early, taking a 29-26 lead at halftime, but its inability to contain Minier or center Tim Knowles near the basket proved to be its downfall.
The Dolphins are not a one-man team this season and future opponents that worry strictly about star forward Bryan McSweeney will be in trouble. The Dolphins showed great patience on offense, working the ball around to find the open man for the shot, but were inconsistent on defense, especially underneath the boards.
MISSION VIEJO (58)--Desiano 11, Mohan 4, Minier 25, Knowles 14, Pederson 2, Herdman 2.
DANA HILLS (51)--Jefers 10, Esteban 8, Lyon 4, Mathieu 14, Delfs 2, McSweeney 13.
In other South Coast League action:
El Toro 96, Irvine 90--The Chargers trailed, 79-66, with four minutes remaining but managed to tie the score, 84-84, with a furious comeback. Guard Tim McLain made two free throws with two seconds left to play to send the game into overtime and then the Chargers made their first three shots in the three-minute period to gain the win. IRVINE (90)-- Patchell 10, Tamura 10, Herring 24, Moceri 12, Raye 17, Murphy 4, Trout 13.
EL TORO (96)--Kunsaitis 10, Moynihan 13, Shockey 33, Stone 11, McLain 26, Meyers 3.