They held something called the Empire League Tip-Off at the Anaheim Convention Center Wednesday, giving the league's teams a handsome showcase for their league openers.
Four games in all, they saved the best for last, though even that one was often as ragged as the first three.
In the nightcap, El Dorado High School edged Kennedy, 77-72, to put the Golden Hawks one-up on their rivals.
Depth was a big problem with all of the teams involved Wednesday, but this had more to do with perception than any roster shortcomings.
As it is with most big arenas, the baskets are free-standing, not extending out from any nearby wall, as is the case in most high school gyms. This meant that outside shooters consistently had trouble finding the basket because the background is so different.
Missed outside shots and missed free throws were common, even among teams that ordinarily shoot well, but by the end of each game the teams seemed to adjust as well as could be expected.
With El Dorado and Kennedy, that wasn't as much of a problem, if only because the Golden Hawks and Irish enjoy taking the ball to the basket so much.
Whenever these two schools get together, it is usually a wide-open contest, and this time was no exception. Both teams like to shoot first and ask questions--such as, "What's the score or How much time is left?"--later, preferably much later.
Katella's Bob Erbst and Brea-Olinda's Kevin Walker are generally recognized as the premier players in the north county this season, but El Dorado's Jim Sammon is no slouch by any means.
Sammon scored 34 points, helping the Golden Hawks to a 47-47 third-quarter tie. They dominated in the fourth quarter.
Sammon scored 34 points. Glen Mares and Darrin Queen led the Irish with 24 and 16 points, respectively.
EL DORADO (77)--Krapf 4, Bailey 4, Dahmen 7, Sammon 34, Hanna 28.
KENNEDY (72)--Lauderdale 1, Keith 10, Queen 16, Mares 24, Curry 16, Hansell 4.
In other Empire League games:
Cypress 67, Esperanza 41--The Centurions outscored the Aztecs 20-6 in the third quarter to break open a close game. Ken Kawamura led the Centurions with 16 points while teammates Chris Yoxtheimer and Mike Cote added 12 points each. Kirk Branstetter led the Aztecs with 16 points.
ESPERANZA (41)--Branstetter 16, Harvey 13, Vincent 8, Gammalo 0, Burks 2, Driver 1.
CYPRESS (67)--Civitelli 2, O'Leary 2, Cote 12, Reese 4, Kawamura 16, Evans 5, Reyes 8, Yoxtheimer 12, Aguirre 6.
Katella 64, Pacifica 31--Bob Erbst scored 14 points to lead the Knights to the easy win. Katella raced to a 34-14 halftime lead and was never challenged. No Pacifica player reached double figures. Jim Anderson and Wayne Petrakis added 10 points each for the Knights.
KATELLA (64)--Sunu 6, Axworthy 1, Harker 6, McDaniel 2, Stierstorfer 8, Anderson 10, Erbst 14, Lucas 3, Petrakis 10, Boberg 4, Baldwin 1.
PACIFICA (31)--Bonham 4, Honda 4, Brodt 2, Shelton 2, Chapman 6, Brodowski 2, McDowell 4, Short 2, Merry 3.
Los Alamitos 71, Loara 51--J.T. Snow shows no signs of having much trouble making the transition from football to basketball. The senior guard--and quarterback--scored 22 points, 17 in the first half to lead the Griffins to the win. Gary Loe added 15 points for Los Alamitos. The Saxons leading scorers were Gary Miller with 17 points and Wade Clester with 12.
LOS ALAMITOS (71)--Snow 22, Pagett 4, Forster 4, Loe 15, Blossey 12, Schmitz 11, Anderson 3, Warner 6.
LOARA (51)--Trujillo 8, Parker 8, Clester 12, Miller 17, Roberts 2, Hagerman 4.