The Century League game between Santa Ana High School and Santa Ana Valley Wednesday presented contrasting offenses.
Santa Ana ran one, Santa Ana Valley, for all appearances, didn't.
Playing at Santa Ana Valley, the Saints, led by playmaking guard Scooti Lynwood, had an easy time with the disorganized Falcons and won, 62-50.
Lynwood had no trouble penetrating Santa Ana Valley's man defense. He seemed to break through at will, many times passing to center Bobby Joyce and forward Eric Turner. Joyce and Turner each had 19 points. Santa Ana is 2-0 in league play, 10-4 overall. Santa Ana Valley is 0-2, 6-6.
For the most part Santa Ana Valley's offense was two dimensional: It forced the ball inside to forward Alonzo Jamison (12 points) or let guard Michael Whitlock (16 points) dribble for room, then shoot from outside, often taking low-percentage shots.
Lynwood's ballhandling skills were exceptional, particularly for a sophomore. (The name Scooti, is actually a nickname given to him by an aunt. "As a baby she said I didn't crawl I just scooted," Lynwood said.)
Lynwood scooted around Falcon defenders most of the night. Santa Ana Coach Greg Coombs decided to spread his offense for the entire second half, after his team had a 23-point halftime lead.
Lynwood was almost flawless in taking time off the clock and getting the ball to Turner and Joyce. He ended the game with 9 points and 8 assists.
Joyce, another sophomore, is one of five on the Santa Ana varsity. All five were members of a freshmen team that went 23-0 last season.
"This is a little different than that," Joyce said. "I was playing against guys 6-feet tall last year. Now I'm going against guys 6-7."
Turner came out late for the basketball team because of his duties as the quarterback on the Saints' Southern Conference championship football team.
"I think Eric's just getting into the flow of things," Coombs said.
Turner took the high-scoring Jamison out of any kind of flow. Jamison was Turner's responsibility inside a Saint zone designed specifically to stop Jamison.
"We wanted to keep him from being in a position to dominate the game," Coombs said. "He's a great player. He can get a lot of points in hurry."
Jamison did score 10 points in one quarter, but they came in the fourth quarter, which Santa Ana entered with a healthy 50-32 lead.