No. 5 JSerra stays focused, knocks off Servite


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — JSerra boys basketball coach Joedy Gardner summed up the Lions' Trinity League game against Servite in five words: “It was an interesting night.”

Despite an array of senior night festivities, No. 5 JSerra (13-7, 3-5) was able to stay focused enough to beat the No. 10 Friars, 57-43, on Wednesday night at JSerra.

Gardner said that he used different first-half rotations to make sure that each senior got a generous amount of time on the court.

“We used three different rotations in the first half,” he said. “So it’s hard to get into any kind of rhythm when you do that.”

Having a good rhythm is something that is key against Servite (15-9, 4-4), which has taken down three top-10 teams this season.

“We beat them by 34 points at their place, but if they would have made shots it would have been a closer game,” he said. “We don’t ever overlook (coach) John (Morris), and we don’t ever overlook them.”

Senior forward Jamal Aytes, who finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, said the key to beating Servite is getting out in transition.

“We knew that we had to push the ball,” he said. “Get a lot of transition breaks and get  back on defense.”

JSerra opened up a 44-24 lead with 6:42 to play in the game, but Servite wouldn't go away. The Friars went on a quick 7-0 run to bring the lead down to 13 with five minutes to play.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Ege Nurulke and Rex Pflueger pushed the JSerra lead to 16 with just under three minutes to play, ending the Servite threat.

Fourteen JSerra players saw action, with 11 of them contributing in the scoring department.

Trevor Treinen led the Friars with 12 points, all of which came from behind the arc.

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