Despite a change of coaches this season, the Sweetwater High School boy's basketball team has returned to the San Diego Section 3-A semifinals.
First-year Coach Dave Ybarra's team defeated Mount Miguel Wednesday night, 88-48, to advance to the semifinals against Serra Friday night at Mira Mesa High.
Ybarra, who took over the Red Devils when Gary Zarecky left to take the head coaching job at United States International University, started slowly this season, but Sweetwater has rallied to win its last 10 games.
Against Mount Miguel (17-7), Mahlon Williams scored 28 points as Sweetwater (19-6) took an early lead.
The Red Devils made their first 11 shots from the field in the first quarter and built a 26-14 lead. Sweetwater led at halftime, 43-23.
"We controlled it right from the start," Ybarra said. "I think it was probably the best game I've seen us play this season."
Brent Lawrence added 18 points for Sweetwater and Matt Simmons had 17. The Red Devils burned Mount Miguel's 2-3 zone with shots from Gus Lopez, who led Mount Miguel with 17 points.
In 2-A action:
Lincoln 72, University 62--The Hornets (16-6) trailed by one point after three quarters before rallying to beat the Dons (17-9) at Lincoln. The City Central League champions, who have won 11 straight, will meet No. 1 El Camino in the semifinals.
University controlled much of the first half but left the court tied at halftime.
"We blew a lot of chances to take the lead," University Coach Pat Murphy said. "We missed six straight layups in one sequence."
University opened a three-point lead midway through the third quarter before Lincoln rallied back. Murphy said some questionable officiating hurt his team down the stretch.
"Early in the game, they were calling a lot of stuff but in the fourth quarter I think they let them get away with too much," Murphy said. "They were grabbing our players and it was awful tough. But you have to live with those things away from home. We had our chances."
Oceanside 40, La Jolla 36--Oceanside (20-4), the two-time defending San Diego Section 2-A champion, advanced to the semifinals after its win at La Jolla (13-6).
Using a control game, the Pirates built a 24-16 halftime lead. However, the Vikings, led by guards Yancy Brown and Tim Sneed, rallied to tie it in the fourth quarter.
But whereas La Jolla's guards were able to hit from outside, its forwards could not penetrate against Oceanside's Okland Salavea, who had 15 rebounds and held the Vikings' inside players to three points.
Junior Seau of Oceanside led all scorers with 17 points. Brown had 13 and Sneed had 12 for La Jolla.