By his own admission, Crespi High's sandy-haired junior Ken Lynch, who lives in Malibu, played the first quarter of Friday night's game like he had a surfboard strapped to his back.
Lynch, a two-year starter, scored all of two points in the first quarter against Loyola, ranked No. 9 in the Southern Section 5-A Division. The waters were a little smoother in the second quarter when Lynch had five points.
The 6-foot, 4-inch forward did some fancy footwork in the third period, hanging 11 of his game-high 22 points on the Cubs as Crespi upset Loyola, 65-58, in a Del Rey League game at Crespi.
With Crespi holding a 26-25 lead at the half, Lynch keyed an 8-0, third-period run with a variety of inside moves, including a finger roll that had Crespi Coach Paul Muff on his feet.
"How many did he have?" Muff asked. "I don't think he ever had a better second half in his life."
It was arguably the game of his life. Lynch's 22 points tied a season high and he also had 10 rebounds.
"He should be playing football," Muff said of Lynch's less-than-delicate style. "He is our most physical player."
Neither Crespi (13-11, 5-6 in league play) nor Loyola (17-5, 8-2) looked like playoff teams in the first half when the ball was turned over 20 times. In the second half, however, the Celts made a move behind Lynch, who had 11 of Crespi's 19 points in the quarter as Crespi took a 45-40 lead into the fourth.
"I guess I was more worried about picking up fouls or something in the first quarter," Lynch said. "I just said, 'I gotta get going here.' "
Crespi went on an 8-2 spurt to open the fourth quarter, but Loyola cut the Celts' lead to 55-49 with 3:30 remaining on a basket by senior forward George Jones, who finished with a team-high 19 points.
Crespi went into a stall, forcing Loyola to begin fouling. Crespi made only 6 of 13 free throws in the quarter, but they made the right ones.
"They tried to let us back in it," Loyola Coach Bill Thomason said. "But it seemed like they always made the first free throw and missed the second one."
The Celts made the front end of their last five one-and-one opportunities to seal the win. Loyola was never closer than five points.
Mike Tilkian and Pat Brady each scored 11 points for Crespi. Teammate John Davis had 8 points and 10 rebounds.
The win gave Crespi a 5-1 league record at home, but the Celts are 0-5 on the road.