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BILL ALKOFER , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Villa Park's Evan Battey boxes out Cypress' Cameron Paige during Wednesday's game.

No. 5 Villa Park finds way past Cypress

STAFF WRITER

It was a typical home opener for Villa Park.

“For 20 years now we’ve not played well in our first game at home,” Villa Park coach Kevin Reynolds said. “The kids get too excited. They finally get to play in front of their home crowd, and for them it becomes more of a performance than a basketball game.”

The Spartans, ranked fifth in the Register’s Orange County top 10, performed well enough to beat Cypress, 59-52, in a nonleague game at Villa Park High.

Villa Park 6-foot-7 junior Evan Battey scored a game-high 20 points. He had 12 rebounds. Myles Franklin, a 6-4 junior guard, added 15 points.

Bread Belshe, a 6-4 senior forward, scored 18 points for Cypress (9-5). He is averaging 23 points a game. Noah Maschhaupt added 16 points.

RELATED: Villa Park's Batty making a sizable impact

Villa Park (11-4) did not shoot well. The Spartans were 22 for 63 from the floor, and some credit for that must go to Cypress’ energetic defense. Cypress was 21 for 44, shooting 12 for 20 in the second half after going 9 for 24 in the first half.

The Spartans never trailed. They had an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, a 26-21 lead at halftime and took a 43-37 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Cypress got within three points in the fourth quarter and never trailed by more than seven points in the final eight minutes. Every time the Centurions seemed ready to close the gap, Villa Park responded. Reserves Anthoni Avila and Imran Takhar made clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

In other nonleague games:

Trabuco Hills 65, El Toro 57: A one-sided third quarter was the difference for the victorious host Mustangs (10-7). Sahand Tabatabai scored 12 points, and Francis Nicdao added 11 for the Trabuco Hills.

Dawit Wilson scored 17 points and Omeed Kargozar contributed 16 for El Toro (12-5).

No. 7 JSerra 76, Orangewood Academy 53: Sebastian Much scored 28 points, and Alec Hickman chipped in 15 points for the visiting Lions (13-2). (See photos from this game.)

Phaquon Davis paced Orangewood (1-8) with 15 points.

Esperanza 43, Vista Murrieta 36: Kezie Okpala scored 21 points, Brendan Harrick added 12 points and Jared Obermeier had 10 points to provide all of the scoring for the visiting Aztecs (9-7).

Harrick, who transferred from Servite, became eligible this week after observing the 30-day sit-out period required for some transfers to become athletically eligible.

Canyon 61, Palos Verdes 59: Freshman AJ Perry scored 23 points with seven 3-pointers for the host Comanches (10-8).

Capistrano Valley Christian 74, Katella 37: Cameron Conley’s 20 points led the visiting Eagles (13-4).

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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