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KEVIN SULLIVAN, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Foothill's Kyle Lawson, left, celebrates with Josh Reed, center, and Connor Stevens during the Knights' 61-51 victory over Villa Park Friday night in Santa Ana.
See more photos from this game in the OCVarsity Hot Shots slideshow.

Foothill adjusts attitude, avenges loss to Villa Park

OCVARSITY.COM

Foothill got serious about not taking itself so seriously.

"This time," Foothill guard Justin Davis said, "we actually didn't come in thinking, 'We're Foothill and nobody can beat us.'"

Having lost to Villa Park three weeks ago, Foothill's attitude adjustment helped the Knights get revenge via a 61-51 victory over the Spartans on Friday in a Century League boys basketball game at Foothill's gym that housed an active group of student supporters from both schools.

Foothill's victory created a tie for first place in the league. The Knights and Villa Park are 7-1.

Davis, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, scored a game-high 18 points. Sophomore Eric Patton, recently back from a fractured hand, scored 15 points, 11 in the third quarter, with six rebounds. Junior forward Jacob Dean added 10 points for the Knights.

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SLIDESHOW: OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's basketball games

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Villa Park 6-10 junior Lamont Tyler scored 17 points, his season average, with nine rebounds. Luke Selway scored 12 points and Kevin Olsen added 11 for the Spartans.

Villa Park's victory over Foothill on Jan. 2 placed the Spartans in the Orange County top 10. They are No.7 in the county, and No.3 in CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA. Foothill is No. 8 in the county, and No. 9 in Division 1AA.

Foothill got off to a strong start. The Knights took a 10-0 lead, and carried a 16-9 advantage into the second quarter. Villa Park rallied in the second quarter. The Spartans' Casey Hershfield made back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute, and Foothill's lead was reduced to two, 25-23, going into halftime.

Patton's big third quarter led the Foothill to a 22-8 scoring advantage in the third quarter, and the Knights were ahead by 16 going into the final eight minutes.

The Spartans got no closer than the final 10-point margin in the fourth quarter.

The recent return of Patton and starting senior forward Steven Browne from injury has improved Foothill's outlook, too.

"It's good to get our guys back," Davis said. "Now we feel good and we're getting ready for a good run."

In the Trinity League:

Servite 38, No. 2 Orange Lutheran 37: Travis Neil Pauu scored 15 points, Louis Juego added 12 and Travis Waller made two clutch free throws with 18 seconds remaining for the host Friars (15-8, 3-4).

Payton Banks, an All-County senior guard for the Lancers (16-4, 3-3) played only a few minutes because of illness, according to Lutheran coach Chris Nordstrom.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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