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STEVEN GEORGES , CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
San Clemente's Gage Shelmidine takes a shot in the forth period as Downey's C.j. Smith reaches over to block the ball in for forth period of a CIF-SS Division 1AA boys basketball playoff game at Downey High.

San Clemente knocked out by hot-shooting Downey

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

DOWNEY – Downey defeated visiting San Clemente, 55-49, Friday with a barrage of shots from beyond the arc in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1AA boys basketball playoffs.

The Vikings nailed 11 3-pointers to get revenge against the Tritons, who knocked Downey out of the playoffs in the first round last season.

Downey (20-9) did not wait long to let it fly from the outside, jumping out to a 9-2 lead all on 3s. Downey stayed hot in the first quarter, sinking two more 3-pointers and taking an 18-12 lead into the quarter break.

“We needed to do a better job of limiting their dribble penetration,” said San Clemente coach Marc Popovich. “We had some weak close-outs early on. They got through our guys, got some open looks.”

In the second quarter, it began to look like Downey was going to bury San Clemente (21-7). San Clemente’s Jake Cameron hit two 3-pointers and made a layup to cut the Vikings’ lead to 29-22 with just more than two minutes remaining in the half.

Neither team scored in the remainder of the half, and the point differential remained at seven at the end of the third, as neither team was able to string together a run of any substance.

San Clemente turned back-to-back turnovers by Downey into points and cut the Vikings’ lead to 39-37 with more than five minutes remaining.

Downey’s Brian Chavez made a 3-pointer out of the team’s timeout, and he hit another one following a Tritons turnover to push the Vikings lead to 45-37.

San Clemente cut Downey’s lead down to four inside of three minutes, but Tyler Dees responded with his fifth 3-pointer. Dees finished with a game-high 22 points.

San Clemente has won back-to-back South Coast League titles and set a team record for wins this season.

“What this group has accomplished,” Popovich said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”


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