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ROD VEAL, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Irvine guard DJ Kim (10) and Kennedy's Chris Thompson trip over each other battling for a loose ball Thursday night in the Katella Klassic.

Second-half surge lifts Irvine past Kennedy

OCVARSITY.COM

The classic good-news, bad-news situation faced the Irvine boys basketball team at halftime of Thursday's pool play game against Kennedy in the Katella Klassic.

The bad: The Vaqueros had scored just 20 points and trailed by 13. The good: The second half was still to come.

Irvine would need every minute of the final 16 minutes to pull off a 51-50 victory over Kennedy.

Cameron Foster made one of two free throws to give Irvine the 51-50 lead. After a pair of missed free throws, Kennedy's Corey Richards launched a deep 3-point attempt that missed, allowing Irvine a chance to exhale.

The Vaqueros (8-7) improved to 2-0 in Pool A. The Vaqueros will conclude pool-play Friday night against Katella at 7:30. Kennedy (7-4) falls to 0-2 in pool play and will face Loara at 4:30 p.m.

Irvine outscored Kennedy, 31-17, in the second half.

"We picked up the energy in the third quarter," Foster said. "We started out pretty slow, but the closer we got and the more energy we picked up we got a lot more confident shooting the ball and we started talking more on defense.

Kennedy took a 33-20 lead into halftime. Early in the quarter, the lead increased to 15. Irvine went on a 13-4 run to cut the score to 43-40 late in the third.

Trailing 47-40 in the fourth, Irvine turned up its defensive pressure, forcing Kennedy into five consecutive turnovers. That helped the Vaqueros go on an 8-0 run for a 48-47 lead with 3:02 left.

"We made that big run and that got us back into it," Irvine coach Kris Klamberg said. "Guys started feeding off of that, momentum swings a little bit in our favor and then we find a way to get lucky and escape out of here with the win."

Jeffrey DeKlotz led Irvine with 17 points. Ryan Soltes had 12.

Terrance Blum led Kennedy with 18 and Chris Thompson added 12.

- DAMIAN CALHOUN

Northwood 58, Segerstrom 38: In only his third game with the Northwood basketball team since the finish of football season, senior guard Kevin Norman showed he can be a force on the court.

Norman was 7 of 7 shooting, including three 3-pointers, and scored a game-high 18 points to help lead Northwood to a convincing victory in a second-round game of the Century Elks Classic tournament at Century High.

"That's a plus to get 18 out of him because this is his third game since coming off of football," Northwood coach Tim O'Brien said.

"He's only had one practice and three games, but he's a game-changer like he was in football. He's very quick, and he gives us an added dimension, which is nice to have."

Northwood controlled the tempo from the start, switching from man-to-man to a 2-2-1 full-court press on defense, while methodically passing the ball around on offense to get quality open looks at the basket. The Timberwolves shot a solid 52 percent through the first three quarters before O'Brien emptied his bench with the game in complete control to start the fourth.

O'Brien said the game plan going into the game was to just get better.

"We just ran our stuff, and once we got a lead we just tried to be solid on defense and not give up any easy ones," he said. "Just play solid man-to-man and keep it really simple."

Northwood put together a 13-3 run in the first quarter and most importantly a 15-2 run in the third to separate itself from the Jaguars and take a 54-22 lead into the fourth.

Zach Pierce scored 15 points and added 12 rebounds and three blocks for the Timberwolves. Cole Murray scored nine points for Northwood.

Northwood will play Paramount on Friday at 6 p.m. in the semifinals.

Tony Ceja and Joshua Jogwe each scored 10 points to lead Segerstom, which was without starting point guard Damion Salgado because of a hip injury suffered in Wednesday's win over Saddleback.

- GREG WOODSON, For OCVarsity.com


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