Nick Marusich had 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead Servite High School to a 62-50 victory over Katella in a semifinal game of the Katella Tournament Tuesday.
The Friars (9-3) will face Gahr in the tournament final at 8 tonight. Gahr defeated Long Beach Millikan, 63-56, in an earlier semifinal.
Marusich, a 6-foot, 9-inch senior center, was Servite's main target and scored the Friars' first eight points in the first quarter, all from the inside.
Brian Kenney, a 6-1 senior guard, added 20 points and 9 rebounds for Servite, and sophomore Steve Marusich added 6 points and 4 blocked shots.
Sevite took a 16-10 first-quarter lead, primarily on the play of Marusich and an overall intensity level it held through the game.
"The basic difference was that we really worked on our desire, and our intensity was up all four quarters," said Thomas Hamilton, the Servite coach. "Also, we played a very tough defense tonight."
Servite's man-to-man kept most Katella players from scoring in the first half. The Knights suffered from sloppy play in the first quarter, making three turnovers in a five-minute period in which they did not score.
Katella's bright spot, Ian Donnelly, scored a game-high 29 points and had 13 rebounds. He made 4 of 6 three-point shots, all in the second half, but it wasn't nearly enough to compensate.
Katella suffered three more costly turnovers in the fourth quarter.
"Overall, it was a great team effort," Hamilton said. "And we plan no changes in tommorrow night's final. It'll be a matchup of the big men in the middle and more man-to-man defense as always."
In the consolation semifinals:
Bell 59, Rancho Alamitos 56--Tim Pavelec, junior forward, scored 18 points for Rancho Alamitos.
Luis Silva led Bell with a game-high 22 points.
Western 70, Thousand Oaks 61--Chris Bowen scored 25 points, and Joe Romero added 14 for Western.
The Pioneers play Bell at 5 today.
In the other semifinal:
Gahr 63, Milikan 56--Mark Charbonnet scored 22 points and Ed Martinez added 16 points to lead Gahr.