Dana Hills finds finishing touch against San Clemente


SAN CLEMENTE – Dana Hills boys basketball coach Tom Desiano stressed the importance of finishing off an opponent to his team after it dropped three rather close games in the past week and a half.

One of those narrow losses came at the hands of San Clemente, which entered Friday's game undefeated in the Sea View League.

The Dolphins did the heartbreaking this time, as they defeated the Tritons, 67-57, at San Clemente.

"We talked about (finishing) all week and how we need to play 32 minutes," Desiano said. "The kids knew what they had to do after watching film and going through a couple tough practices."


SLIDESHOW: OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's basketball games


It appeared as if Dana Hills (17-7, 4-2) would never find itself in a position to finish off San Clemente. The Tritons stormed out to a 20-8 lead after the first quarter.

The Dolphins' top scorer, Cory Blau, was held scoreless in the opening quarter, but was a force the rest of the game.

In the second, Blau scored six points while teammate James Taylor added five to get Dana Hills within four points at the break.

Late in the third quarter, Blau and the Dolphins made their run. Trailing 38-34, Dana Hills used a 16-2 run to claim a lead they would never relinquish.

"We just tried to get the ball into our guys' hands where they could be successful," Desiano said of his team's third-quarter outburst.

San Clemente (14-10, 4-1) remained close throughout the fourth quarter, thanks to two 3-pointers from Sam Darnold, who had four in the game and scored 15 points. But Dana Hills stymied the threat with clutching shooting and free throws.

Blau finished with 21 points and was excited to leave with the win.

"It's nuts in here, but it's a lot of fun," Blau said. "This is what varsity basketball is all about."

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