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Tesoro's group effort delivers victory over Trabuco Hills

STAFF WRITER

MISSION VIEJO – In order for Tesoro’s boys basketball team to knot up the Sea View League standings, everyone was going to have to do his part.

On Wednesday night at Trabuco Hills, Stephen Melanson stepped up late in the fourth quarter, grabbing a pair of offensive rebounds that allowed the Titans to not only cling to a three-point lead, but take nearly a minute off the clock.

His efforts also forced the Mustangs to foul. Trevor Jones and Chandler White each hit a pair of free throws as the Titans held on for a 61-56 win at Trabuco Hills High.

The win forced a tie between the two schools atop the league standings at 4-2. Capistrano Valley is right behind at 3-2.

“Our guards flew in on offensive rebounds, it was gritty stuff,” Titans coach Steve Garrett said. “These guys really stepped it up. (Trabuco Hills) is playing so well within their structure and we took it away just enough.”

White, who missed all of December because of an injury, showcased his offensive skillset against the Mustangs, scoring a game-high 19 points on a mixture of driving layups and jumpers.

Both teams created offense with ball movement, but the Titans (13-10, 4-2) forced Trabuco Hills into tough shots early. Tesoro held a 29-22 lead at halftime.

Devon Modster scored seven of his 14 points in the third quarter and Isaiah Mahmud hit a corner 3-pointer as the Titans stretched the lead to 42-32, but the Mustangs battled back.

Zack Mowers hit a pair of 3-pointers and Francis Nicdao continuously used his midrange jumper to keep Trabuco Hills close.

“Offensively, I thought we played well, I was impressed with our effort,” Mustangs coach Sean Sullens said. “Our problem was defense. In order to finish a possession, you have to get a defensive rebound and we did not do that very successfully tonight.”

Early in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs (15-9, 4-2) pulled to within one point, but Modster kept them at bay with a pair of baskets.

The Titans led 57-54 with 1:38 remaining. Melanson’s offensive rebounds allowed the Titans to take off more than a minute of that time.

Nicdao finished with 15 points for the Mustangs. Quentin Watts added 12 points.

With games against San Juan Hills and Laguna Hils, Tesoro puts itself in good position for a split of the Sea View League title. Trabuco Hills still has to contend with Capistrano Valley in its season finale, Feb. 11.


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