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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Capistrano Valley 46, Mission Viejo 43




MISSION VIEJO -- Aleks Lipovic knew his shot was true from the moment it left his hand. When the ball fell through the hoop, Lipovic had buried a 3-point basket as well as Mission Viejo's 18-game winning streak.

Capistrano Valley, ranked No. 16 in the ESPNLA top 20, scored a 46-43 boys' basketball victory over the defending South Coast League champion.

Lipovic's big shot came with 31 seconds remaining, and it capped a comeback in which Capo Valley had trailed, 42-34, after Mission's Michael Cramer scored on a follow with 7 minutes 6 seconds left in the game. From that point on, Mission scored only one point.

Capo Valley (18-2, 4-0) is now in the driver's seat the for South Coast League title as Mission (18-2, 3-1) dropped to second place. The teams will play again on Feb. 9 in the league finale.

Nick Thomas scored 10 points for Capo Valley, and Johnny Bates had eight, including a three-pointer that pulled the Cougars to within 42-41 with 4:17 left.

Evan Zeller scored a team-high 13 for Mission against a rare zone defense employed by Capo Valley. Sage Stone scored 10, and Cramer nine after scoring six in the first quarter.

Zeller had his drive to the basket blocked by Stephen Short with 14 seconds remaining, and Cramer's desperation three-pointer at the buzzer hit the front of the rim.

Mission Viejo had beaten Capo the last three meetings, dating to Jan. 22, 2010. The Diablos had lost their season-opener to Mater Dei but won 18 in row since.