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Thursday, February 23, 2012
O.C.: Boys' basketball playoffs


The second round of the Southern Section boys' basketball playoffs -- and in some cases the third -- is in the books. Here's a look at the most compelling news from Tuesday's games.

Biggest upset: Tesoro should be writing a paper on how to shock the world. Its football team upset Servite in the Southern Section Pac-5 football playoffs, and on Tuesday the basketball team followed suit with a 62-56 victory over second-seeded Canyon Country Canyon in Division 2AA. Jalen Bruce scored 17, Jed Abello 13 and and Tyler Lancona (14 rebounds) and Nick Pallas (12 rebounds) scored 11 apiece.

Worst disappointment: Hands down, Ocean View's exit in the second round of the Division 2AA playoffs was a monumental. The Sea Hawks, in their first season ever without Coach  Jim Harris -- who died last year after battling cancer -- but coached by Harris' son, Jimmy Harris, were the top-seeded team in the division. They had won 18 in a row, including a late-season victory over Mission Viejo that catapulted them into the No. 2 position in the Orange County Register top 10. They had not lost since Dec. 17 when 7-footer Conor Clifford was out with an injury. Until now. And it wasn't even close. Cristian Rivera scored 24, Kendall Small 13 and Clifford 11, but those efforts weren't enough against a Thousand Oaks team that made 11 of 12 shots from the three-point arc en route to an 82-66 home victory.

Best performance (in a loss): Second-seeded Sun Valley Village Christian had no answer for Mamadou Ndiaye, the 7-foot-5 center for Brethren Christian. Ndiaye scored 43 points in an 81-66 loss in the 5AA quarterfinals. No one else scored more than eight points.

Best comeback: Anaheim Canyon was down by 16 points in the second half but came back to tie the score in the final two minutes, but the magic of the comeback disappeared after that. Inglewood closed with a 10-0 run to score a 72-62 victory in the second round of Division 2AA. JoJo Ballestero led the fourth-seeded Comanches (21-8) with 22 points

Best backstory: Santa Margarita coach Jerry DeBusk announced that, after 20 seasons of coaching the Eagles, he was retiring when this campaign is complete. So facing the team that knocked Santa Margarita out of the playoffs in the first round last season -- and playing in the last home game of DeBusk's career (excluding a potential state playoff game) -- the Eagles scored a 61-51 victory. Wolfie Wood, one of only three seniors who was also playing his last home game, scored 25, including 10 in the fourth quarter. After winning only games in the Trinity League, Santa Margarita is in the Division 3A semifinals.

Best defense: Mater Dei may have held Palmdale to 41 points, and Mission Viejo and Capistrano Valley may have held Glendale and Walnut, respectively, to  a mere 39 points, but nobody came close to Yorba Linda. The Mustangs, in their second varsity season, went into Charter Oak and limited their opponent to 28 points in  45-28 victory in the 3AA quarterfinals. Yorba Linda held the Chargers to fewer than 10 points in each quarter, including just two points in the second, when extending a 12-9 lead to 25-11. Charter Oak didn't have a player score more than six points. Sharthak Mukhopadhyay was the only double-figure scorer with 15 points.