Los Angeles Preps: Vinny Soto

Padre Pio, with 19 students, defies the odds as No. 1 seed

February, 18, 2011
Padre PioMartin Henderson/For ESPNLA.comThis is basically the Padre Pio team. From left, Vinny Soto, Mark Washicko (11), coach Chuck Selway, Danny Soto (22), Kevin Crostic, Josh Martin (25) and Mark Odou.

FULLERTON -- There are 19 students in the high school. There are six players on the boys’ basketball team. And Padre Pio Academy defies the odds as the No. 1 seed in the Southern Section Division 6A playoffs.

The book says the Rebels should utilize a zone defense, but they run a man.

The book says they should run out of gas, but they always seem to have plenty in the tank.

The book, more often than not, also says that Padre Pio scores more points than its opponents.

That’s what it did on Friday in its first-round game at Eastside Christian. The Rebels, despite a poor job of shooting early on, scored a 60-33 victory over Pacific Lutheran, a team from the Mulholland League.

A freelance school in Garden Grove, Padre Pio (21-4) extended its winning streak to 15 games. It got 23 points and 21 rebounds from its one senior, Danny Soto, and 20 points—on four three-point baskets—from junior Matt Odou.

It also won with a defense that gives up just 37 points per game.

“We were way too rushed,” Soto said afterward. “We seemed to try to rush instead of slowing it down. I lost a lot of my shots earlier on.”

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