Judging by its performance in the opening round of the Costa Mesa-Newport Harbor basketball tournament, it's quite likely that the only significant loss at Mater Dei High School this season will be around Coach Gary McKnight's waist.
The once rotund McKnight has lost 52 pounds in the past three months. On Tuesday night, he let his players "eat up" host Newport Harbor, 58-29, in the season opener for both.
The Monarchs used a stifling man-to-man defense to open an 18-0 lead and were never threatened. Newport Harbor missed its first 14 shots before Tyler Koon scored on a follow shot with 3:54 remaining in the first half.
McKnight has certainly had more talented teams in the past five seasons, but this year's edition plays hard, rebounds well and plays a tight defense. The methods may be a little different, but the results were the same for Orange County's best basketball program.