Bobby Joyce, senior forward, scored 27 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead Santa Ana High School to an 83-74 victory over Santa Ana Valley in a Century League boys' basketball game Wednesday at Santa Ana Valley.
Santa Ana (22-3 overall, 9-0 in league) took an 11-4 lead four minutes into the first quarter and never relinquished it. Santa Ana Valley (13-10, 5-4) was able to pull within a point at the end of the first quarter, but Joyce scored nine points to the Falcons' one 1 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.
"The bottom line is that we won," said Greg Coombs, Santa Ana coach. "Our defense wasn't as good as it has been and Valley played well."
Santa Ana was able to maintain its lead, despite defensive lapses, because of the strong play of senior guard Scootie Lynwood, who finished with 15 points.
"The coach told us to play to win and not to try and impress our friends," Lynwood said. "Tonight I knew I had to score."
Lynwood exceeded his season average of 8.5 assists by handing out 15 Wednesday.
"(Lynwood) knows when to run and when to slow up. He understands tempo," said Jeff Bishop, Santa Ana Valley coach. "I rate him as the best (point guard) in the league."
Santa Ana Valley was led by senior guard Roshawn Lacy, who scored 22 points. Brett Beale, a senior forward, added 21.
"Santa Ana is not just a one-man team," Lacy said, referring to Joyce. "They have so many threats--and in a high school rivalry, even the bench plays well. (Willie) Lane and (Leo) Leon were key players in the game."
Lane and Leon started and had 11 points each. Both played harassing defense that limited the Falcons' ability to run. When Santa Ana Valley got the ball inside, Joyce (6-foot 7-inches) disrupted Valley's shooting.
"They made us change our shot," Lacy said.
"When (Santa Ana) is playing above the rim and we are playing below the rim, it becomes difficult," he said. "I think 75% of the game is rebounding, and they controlled the boards.
"We could have been blown out and I think it showed great heart for our players to finish within nine," Bishop said.
Dedric Bentley added 11 points for Valley, but was limited by foul trouble in both halves.
Santa Ana, which had clinched the Century League title before Wednesday's game, will end the regular season against Villa Park at home Friday.
"I think they (Saints) have the potential to go all the way," Bishop said.
Coombs was not as impressed with the victory.
"It shows what happens if we don't prepare," Coombs said. "We did not play that well, but we won."
Coombs said that complacency was not a problem, but the rivalry between the schools may have been.
"Sometimes when they play in front of their family and friends they will try too hard."
Foothill 69, El Modena 50--The Knights, who outscored the Vanguards, 22-5, in the third quarter, clinched the league's No. 2 seeding for the playoffs with the victory at Foothill. Greg Rieber, a senior forward, scored 26 points and had 7 rebounds to lead Foothill (14-7, 7-2).
Canyon 79, Villa Park 71 (3 OT)--Ralph Pacheco scored 11 of his 16 points in the overtimes to lead Canyon at Villa Park. Villa Park's Roger Branstine led all scorers with 23 points.