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Lancers Can Spell Victory

Division I-AA boys' basketball: Thousand Oaks lives by defensive words of wisdom to defeat Camarillo, 70-50.


CAMARILLO — To most people, they're phrases to forget, but at Thousand Oaks High they're words to live by.

Help-side defense. Fronting the low post. Assuming a defensive stance.

Thousand Oaks has its shooters, no doubt, but Tuesday night's victory was a case for the defense, a 70-50 decision over Camarillo in a second-round game of the Southern Section Division I-AA boys' basketball playoffs at Camarillo.

Ben Olson and Kyle Kegley grab the headlines by being an inside-outside scoring tandem, but the Lancers' catchy phrases spelled the end of Camarillo's season.

The Lancers forced 19 turnovers and held Camarillo to 18 of 48 shooting, including five of 22 in a pivotal first half, on the way to making the quarterfinals for the first time since 1991.

The Lancers meet Cajon, a 53-37 winner over Mission Viejo, on Friday at a site to be determined. They'll want to bring their defense.

"Defense is what we really pride ourselves on," Coach Rich Endres said. "We can shoot the ball, but our defense is what's going to win it for us."

Thousand Oaks (22-5) held Camarillo (15-14) to seven points on three of 15 shooting in the first quarter, though both teams had trouble gaining offensive momentum in the tightly called game. There were 45 fouls.

"In our league, they're probably not called," Endres said. "In their defense, I thought they called an equal game. It was just a lot tighter than we're used to."

Camarillo trailed at halftime, 30-17, perhaps creating a flashback to Friday's 16-point comeback against Quartz Hill.

Camarillo Coach Mike Prewitt even mentioned as much at halftime in an effort to rally his team.

But Thousand Oaks scored the first five points of the third quarter and were never threatened.

"Maybe I rode that horse too many times," Prewitt said.

Ian Caldwell scored 18 points for Camarillo, which had to win a third-place game against Pacific View League foe Channel Islands to qualify for the playoffs.

Thousand Oaks, on the other hand, continues to roll, winning for the 13th time in 14 games, a late-season loss to Simi Valley the only slip.

Kegley (26 points) and Olson (16 points) provided enough offense for the Lancers, who then turned it over to the defense.

"Last year, we were a good team, one or two points away from being a great team," Kegley said. "We were mostly juniors and sophomores last year. This year, we're a lot more experienced. We're trying to do the things that could turn this into a program."

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