El Toro High School was at its fast-breaking best Tuesday night in a 96-71 nonconference victory over Huntington Beach in the Chargers' gymnasium.
El Toro (7-2) set a fast pace early, scoring 30 points in the opening eight minutes, and never let up. Forwards Khari Johnson and Eric Speaker combined for 22 points in the first quarter as the Chargers built a 30-10 lead.
Johnson scored his first of five dunks for a 20-6 lead, and then added a four-point play when it was ruled that he was intentionally fouled, to pad the lead to 24-6.
The Chargers made 11 of 14 field goals in the first quarter as Huntington Beach repeatedly failed to make the transition from offense to defense. The Chargers took advantage of Huntington Beach's defensive lapses for easy shots through most of the first half.
"I thought we played really well for the first 12 minutes and then got a little careless," said Tim Travers, El Toro coach. "We did a good job defending their shooters and beat a good team."
Travers expressed some concern before the game that his team might be looking ahead to a trip to Hawaii. The Chargers play in the Walter Wong tournament in Honolulu next week, departing on Christmas day.
"We had a great experience in the Tournament of Champions, and we're all looking forward to going to Hawaii," Travers said. "I just hope the players don't overlook this game."
El Toro could have headed for the boarding gate by the end of the third quarter. The Chargers had 71 points by then and the only question was whether they would score 100.
Johnson was the most impressive player on the floor. The 6-foot 6-inch senior led all scorers with 26 points and had 15 rebounds. He was also the recipient of two fine lob passes from Charger point guard Bret Johnson for two dunks.
"He's easily the most improved player on the team," Travers said. "He's become a real factor inside and his confidence is way up."
Huntington Beach (3-5) was playing its first game in 12 days and the Oilers were anything but sharp. Huntington Beach relies on the three-point shooting of guards Andy Thompson and Rich Hughes, but neither was a factor.
The Oilers made only 3 of 20 three-point shots, but then they weren't so hot from inside the three-point line, either. Huntington Beach finished 24 of 68 from the floor.