JSerra delivers from distance to top Santa Margarita


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – JSerra connected on 12 3-pointers, including five from Devon Pflueger (19 points), in posting a 75-51 Trinity League tory over Santa Margarita on Friday night at JSerra High.

"We really shot the ball well," JSerra coach Joedy Gardner said. "We try to stay disciplined when running our (offense), and I thought we did that tonight."

The Lions (11-4, 2-2) looked determined to put together a good performance in front of their standing-room-only crowd from the outset as they used a 16-0 run to take a 25-13 lead at the end of one quarter.

OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's basketball games

Santa Margarita (12-7, 0-4) rallied behind Joe Furstinger (17 points) in the second quarter, trimming the JSerra lead to 30-20.

That's the closest the Eagles would get for the remainder of the game as the Lions closed the half on an 11-2 run.

Gardner considered Friday's game a chance for his team to get "back in the hunt," and he asked his players to come out focused against Santa Margarita.

The "hunt" Gardner referred to is the one for the league championship, something that remains a tall order after the Lions dropped their first two league games to heavyweights Mater Dei and St. John Bosco.

"This was a big game for us," he said. "We're just so focused right now because we have to play the best."

As for specifics on what he believed the Lions needed to do in order to beat Santa Margarita, Gardner had a simple answer.

"Our key thing was to block out and rebound," he said. "We wanted to stay focused on our pressure, and enjoy and have a fun game."

JSerra succeeded in focusing on the pressure, forcing 20 turnovers.

Nine JSerra players scored in the victory. Johnnie Vassar had 16 and Jamal Aytes added 10.

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