Saturday, February 4, 2012
Westchester 45, Capo Valley 42
By Blair Angulo
SANTA ANA -- Longtime Westchester coach Ed Azzam usually knows which buttons to press and, perhaps more important, when to press them.
Well, he pressed "press" on Saturday afternoon, and the scheme helped Westchester to a 45-42 win against streaking Capistrano Valley in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei.
The Comets (19-5), No. 14 in the ESPN Los Angeles prep basketball rankings, switched to a full-court press in the fourth quarter and quickly erased an eight-point deficit. They held Capistrano Valley (21-3) to a season-low in points.
The most important stop came in the waning moments. Westchester guard Jio Romano denied Aleks Lipovic a clean look in the final seconds, forcing Lipovic to give up the ball three times before a contested jump shot barely grazed the side of the rim.
South Coast League leader Capo Valley, ranked No. 16 by ESPN Los Angeles, had won nine straight.
Westchester shot only 35 percent (14 of 40), but still managed with intensity on defense. Je'ron Primus was the only Comets player to score in double digits with 15 but he only made three field goals. He was strong at the line, converting on eight of nine free throws.
Jonny Bates scored 17 and Lipovic 13 for the Cougars.