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CHRISTINE COTTER, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Tustin Deondre Bryant scrambles for a loose ball in a 2012 Beach Bash Tournament game against Corona del Mar on Friday.
See more photos from this game in the OCVarsity Hot Shots slideshow.

Tustin takes 'charge' for a victory

OCVARSITY.COM

NEWPORT BEACH – It is a play a basketball coach loves to see his players make.

Tustin's Deondre Bryant absorbed a charge in the lane with three seconds to go, giving the Tillers possession to secure a 50-48 victory over Corona del Mar in the Beach Bash Tournament on Friday at Corona del Mar.

Bryant scored five seconds earlier on a layup that was set up by a nice bounce pass from Nick Hornsby, to give the Tillers a 49-48 lead. Xavier Powell made a free throw with one second remaining to provide the final margin.

Tustin (3-0) will play Santa Margarita (6-1) in the tournament championship game today at 5:30 p.m. at Corona del Mar High.

Corona del Mar (3-1) had taken a 48-47 lead with 20 seconds left when Max Stone converted a 3-point play.


OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's boys basketball games


Hornsby took the inbound pass, dribbled into the front court, drove the lane, drew two Corona del Mar defenders, faked a jump shot to send the defenders skyward and bounce-passed the ball to Bryant for the layup with eight seconds remaining. At the other end, Bryant took the charge.

"He's our warrior, our leader," Tustin coach Ringo Bossenmeyer said of Bryant, a 6-foot-6 senior who was an Empire League co-player of the year with Hornsby last season.

"Deondre hasn't been great the first couple of games, but he was good tonight."

So was Hornsby. A 6-6 senior who signed with Sacramento State, Hornsby scored a team-high 18 points with seven rebounds. Bryant scored 17 with eight rebounds, and Rob Nelsen had six rebounds for the Tillers.

Stone led Corona del Mar with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Drew Olson added 11 points for the Sea Kings.

Corona del Mar had a 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. Tustin led by one at halftime, but trailed by six going into the fourth.

With Corona del Mar's Blake Grable driving to the basket in those final seconds, Bryant had to make a quick decision — try for the shot block, or take the body shot.

"He had no player control," Bryant said, "so I was taking the charge all the way."

Corona del Mar double-teamed Hornsby all game, but the Tillers had difficulty getting the ball to open players until the Hornsby-to-Bryant winning exchange.

"They did that triangle-and-two on Hornsby, but we didn't handle it well," Bossenmeyer said. "Then Deondre stepped up and was big in clutch time."


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