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Determined Aliso Niguel plays shutdown defense

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ALISO VIEJO – It took El Toro’s boys basketball team nearly seven minutes to get on the scoreboard Friday against Aliso Niguel. The rest of the game wasn’t much easier for the Chargers.

The Wolverines played tenacious defense the entire game en route to a 58-44 win that kept them undefeated in the South Coast League.

“We came out with a purpose tonight,” Aliso Niguel coach Keith Barnett said. “We set the tone defensively and frustrated them early.”

The Wolverines (10-10, 3-0) began the game with a 19-2 run. The backcourt trio of Lucas Parks, Christian Lee and Nick Chapman forced turnovers, which led to fast-break points for Aliso.

The Wolverdines went into halftime leading, 31-13.

El Toro (15-7, 2-2) found ways to score after halftime. Dawit Wilson scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half, including five 3-pointers.

“When he gets going, he can shoot the ball really well,” Barnett said. “He’s a tremendous player; I love watching him play.”

The Chargers cut their deficit to eight near the end of the third.

With momentum in El Toro’s favor, Dylan Dickerson made back-to-back 3-pointers to push Aliso’s lead to 16 points.

“He’s a great shooter with a shooter’s mentality,” Barnett said. “He missed a couple early, and I just told him to keep shooting. He made a couple of big ones for us to put the game away.”

Wilson scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Chargers in the game, but Aliso made 7 of 8 free throws to maintain a comfortable lead.

The Wolverines host first-place San Clemente on Wednesday.


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