ANAHEIM -- This one was over seemingly before it started.
Joe Stein made sure of it. So did his teammate Julian Harrell.
The talented tandem from Los Angeles Loyola High played well from the opening whistle of Saturday's Southern Section Division 1A boys' basketball title game until the final buzzer sounded in a 74-58 victory over Capistrano Valley at Anaheim Convention Center.
“Those two guys, Joe and Julian, they are about as good as it gets,'' Loyola coach Jamal Adams said. “We're talking about competitive kids who don't like to lose.''
That much was apparent from the beginning as Stein scored seven points in the first quarter for the top-seeded Cubs (24-5). The senior was not finished, far from it. He added another five points in the second quarter to give Loyola a 39-22 advantage at intermission.
“We had some good spacing out on the floor and that opened things up for me,'' Stein said. “If I get a good look at the basket, I'm going to knock down shots.''
The Cougars (24-7) limited Stein's effectiveness in the second half. Harrell, however, proved to be a problem for Capo in his own right, particularly in the third quarter. He scored on a variety of driving layups and free throws to help maintain a 14-point lead.
Capistrano Valley attempted to mount a rally in the fourth quarter and actually cut the deficit to nine points following a Stephen Short layup.
Stein and Harrell took over down the stretch though and the lead ballooned back to 15 points before the two headed to the bench for good.
“We were feeding off each other,'' Harrell said.
Stein finished with a game-high 23 points. Not to be outdone, Harrell added 18 points. The junior wing also had 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Teammate Parker Jackson-Cartwright, a wide-eyed freshman, played well and finished with seven points, six rebounds and five assists.
Short had 16 points. Nick Thomas added 19 for the Cougars.
Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.