For a team that has had only two 45-minute practices with its entire squad, Santa Ana High School looked impressive Tuesday night in the second round of the Irvine World News boys' basketball tournament.
The Saints rolled to their sixth straight victory without a loss, downing Mission Viejo, 57-47, in UC Irvine's Crawford Hall. Santa Ana and Fountain Valley are the only undefeated teams in the county after top-ranked Marina was upset by Estancia, 63-62.
Santa Ana led wire-to-wire, extending its lead to 36-24 with 5:48 remaining in the third quarter after a steal and dunk by center Bobby Joyce. Joyce scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half and also had 10 rebounds.
"Considering we've had our team together for only five games, I'm real happy," said Greg Coombs, Santa Ana coach. "It's nice to have a start like this. Mission Viejo is a good ballclub, and we maintained a lead the whole game."
Mission Viejo (3-4) was meeting a top 10-ranked team for the fourth time in its past seven games. The Diablos previously lost to Marina by eight points, fifth-ranked Fountain Valley in four overtimes and Westminster by four points.
But the Diablos' only offensive threat against Santa Ana was reserve Jacob Forbes. Bruce Mathieson and Tom Tkach, the team's 6-foot 6-inch forwards, combined for only seven points against Santa Ana's pressure, man-to-man defense.
Scootie Lynwood, Santa Ana's talented point guard, added 12 points and ran the offense well. Lynwood sat out last season because of disciplinary problems, but his problems appear to be in the past.
"Scootie has a good attitude and has done everything we've asked," Coombs said. "I think he wants to prove himself. He has aspirations of going to college."
Santa Ana is enjoying the early success despite the absence of projected starting forward George Tuioti. Tuioti, a two-year member of the varsity team, never reported to the basketball team after a standout football season.
"He took the team picture with us and then I never heard another word from him," Coombs said. "I assume he's not playing, but you never know."
In other Irvine World News tournament games:
Capistrano Valley 64, Laguna Hills 58--Four of the Cougars' five starters scored in double figures as they improved to 5-1. Sophomore Scott McCorkle scored 19 points and had 11 rebounds, and seven-foot center Jim Waikle added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.
The Cougars sealed the victory by making 7 of 9 field goal attempts in the final quarter. Chris Sheff led the Hawks (4-2) with 20 points.
Paramount 61, University 52--The Trojans (4-3) fell behind by as many as 15 points but rallied to within three points, 46-43, with 3:04 remaining before Kris Korver and Ken Woods led Paramount (4-2) to the victory.
Dana Hills 54, Pacifica 53--The Dolphins outrebounded Pacifica, 54-53, and opened the second half with an 11-0 run on the scoreboard, but still had to fend off the three-point shot by Pacifica guard Dustin Bonham to clinch the victory. Bonham, who finished with 19 points, had the last second shot for winless Pacifica, but he couldn't get open for a three-pointer and was forced to drive for a layup, leaving the Mariners a point short. Dana Hills was led by center John Lloyd with 19 points.
Garey 59, Esperanza 57 (OT)--Garey (1-5) got its first victory in an overtime game against Esperanza (4-3). Garey was paced by center Marcus Austin's 22 points and guard Edwin Navarro's 17 points. Forward Rob Ney led Esperanza with 22 points.
Edison 62, Corona del Mar 54--Corona del Mar (5-2) took an 8-0 lead before Edison (4-3) went on a 13-1 run. Chip Hanlon led Edison with 17 points and 8 rebounds and Alvin Loftis scored 15 points to lead Edison. Corona del Mar's leading scorer was forward Matt Herrington with 14 points, followed by center Brian Spratt with 13.
Woodbridge 63, Artesia 51--Adam Keefe scored 33 points to lead Woodbridge (3-2) past Artesia. Artesia was paced by sophomore center Ed O'Bannon's 20 points.
Long Beach Wilson 70, Corona 67--Long Beach Wilson, paced by forward Jody Pruitt's 24 points, held off Corona, which outscored Wilson, 22-10, in the fourth quarter.
Savanna 79, Norco 37--Forward Tim Tillman led Savanna with 17 points and Justin Shinkle added 10. Savanna outscored Norco, 38-13, in the first half.
Saddleback 62, Cypress 57--Marlu Dottin led Saddleback with 25 points. Bond Weaver led Cypress with 19 points, followed by center Joe Pinkston with 14.
Kennedy 89, Costa Mesa 57--Guard Wendell Lauderdale and forward Jim Barker each scored 17 points as Kennedy easily handled Costa Mesa, outscoring the Mustangs, 48-24, in the first half. Paul Kos paced Costa Mesa with 23 points.
In the Tournament of Champions: