With South Coast League rivals Capistrano Valley High School and Mission Viejo high schools playing in front of a standing room only crowd Friday night in Diablo Gym, there figured to be a lot of action.
There was, but most of it took place off the court as three technical fouls, one fistfight and an ejection highlighted Capistrano Valley's 62-54 victory over Mission Viejo.
The tension between both teams detracted from an otherwise excellent basketball game, but one of the technical fouls accounted for the game's difference.
Capistrano Valley (3-1, 12-7) led 44-43 with five minutes remaining, when Mission Viejo's Richard Brown fouled Todd Kostoff. Jeff Herdman of Mission Viejo picked up the basketball and bounced it toward one of the officials. The official turned his head, however, and the ball glanced off his shoulder and hit him in the face.
Herdman was called for a technical foul, and Kostoff made three straight free throws, including the technical. Capistrano Valley also was given the ball and Todd Marinovich quickly made a jump shot.
The result was a five-point play that took only 10 seconds off the clock and gave the Cougars a 49-43 lead.
Mission Viejo (2-2, 13-5) was unable to get any closer, and as Diablo players began to foul, the game intensified.
After Herdman fouled Marinovich with less than a minute remaining, Capistrano Valley's Scott McCullough and Mission Viejo's Todd Matthews began exchanging punches on the court. Players from both benches rushed onto the court and the game was temporarily halted.
When play resumed, the officials called Herdman for an intentional foul, but did not eject either McCullough or Matthews.
"He (McCullough) shoved me in the face and I punched him," Matthews said.
Thirty seconds later, Herdman was ejected after committing an intentional foul against Capistrano Valley's Charles Lockard.
"The referees did not have the courage to make the calls earlier in the game and they let the game get out of hand," said Bob Minier, Mission Viejo coach.
Kostoff and Lockard each scored 17 points for the Cougars. Herdman scored 17 points and Matthews added 14 for Mission Viejo.
El Toro 70, Irvine 69--Bret Johnson's 20-foot jump shot with two seconds left lifted the Chargers past the Vaqueros.
Johnson, who led El Toro (3-1) with 22 points, made the winning basket after the Chargers rebounded Chris Black's missed free throw.
El Toro led by 10, 65-55, with three minutes left, but Irvine rallied to close to within one, 68-67, with 18 seconds left. Irvine (3-1, 11-9) took the lead when Pat Travers, El Toro coach, was called for a technical because he stood up to call a timeout. Herring, who ended with 32 points, made the two free throws to give the Vaqueros a 69-68 lead, but Johnson's final shot proved to be the difference.
Dana Hills 66, San Clemente 47--Chris Delfs scored 9 of his 13 points in the first quarter at Dana Hills, as Dana Hills took an early lead and simply kept building on it.