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Rough start, but CdM battles back to win
NEWPORT BEACH — The city had been waiting for this one, Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar renewing their boys basketball rivalry Friday for the first time in nearly three years.
The Sea Kings wanted it maybe a bit too much early on.
"I think our guys were just really emotional to start the game," said Corona del Mar coach Ryan Schachter, his team falling behind by 11 in the first quarter. "I think the emotions got the best of them."
The Sea Kings spent the next three quarters getting the best of Newport Harbor, registering a 64-54 nonleague victory in front of a packed crowd at Corona del Mar High. It was Corona del Mar's fifth consecutive victory in the series.
"It's always nice," Schachter said of beating the Sailors. "Lot of emotions."
Corona del Mar guard Max Stone helped calm his team down, draining two 3-pointers in the second quarter. The Sea Kings repositioned wing Blake Grable to the high post after halftime and continued their offensive turnaround. Grable had 12 points, all in the second half.
"That made a world of difference," Schachter said. "Blake carved that zone apart."
Corona del Mar went on a 17-2 run to begin the third quarter, building a 40-35 lead. Stone made two more 3-pointers during the onslaught, finishing with five 3-pointers and a game-high 19 points. Guard Bo St. Geme scored 14 points, including six in the fourth quarter.
Corona del Mar (7-4) outscored Newport Harbor (7-4), 41-23, in the second half.
"They started knocking down some shots and we didn't respond," Newport Harbor coach Bob Torribio said. "That was a good league game for us. I'm very proud of our effort."
Newport Harbor 7-foot center Kevin Rakestraw dominated early on, but was held to a field goal in the second half. He finished with 13 points. Forward Brian Robbs and guard Zach Wade each had 10.
"We tried to back off the drive and not help so much," Schachter said. "Our guys were just really anxious, so we were over-helping and giving up layups and open shots."
It was the teams' first meeting since January of 2010. Schachter said the brief hiatus was the result of schedule conflicts with the Sailors' previous coaching regime.
"It's back on the schedule. Hopefully we'll keep it back on," Schachter said.