Strong finish completes Aliso Niguel victory


LA HABRA – Aliso Niguel coach Keith Barnett was not always happy with his team’s effort on Tuesday night against Whittier Christian, but the Wolverines did enough to hold on to an early lead and pull away late.

After a third-quarter lull let the Heralds climb back into the game, the Wolverines tuned it on in the fourth quarter for a 59-48 victory at Sonora High in the 24-team North O.C. Championships.

“I think our guys got a little complacent, and Whittier Christian, they play all the way through … they just kept fighting,” Barnett said. “We just did not sustain good energy.”

Mauricio Campos led the Wolverines with 19 points and Scott Lynds added 18. Campos and Lynds each knocked down three 3-pointers.

“He is our leader,” Barnett said of Lynds who was aggressive slashing to the basket as well as shooting from beyond the arc. “By just how hard he plays and the effort he puts in it inspires his teammates to follow along.”

Blake Coleman’s 12 points on an efficient 5-of-9 shooting paced the Whittier Christian offense.

The Wolverines (6-1) never trailed, taking an early lead by frequently getting to the free-throw line.

Whittier Christian (4-4) drew within four points late in the third quarter, but after a Noah Evans free throw made it 38-34, the Heralds turned the ball over on their next three possessions and Aliso Niguel stretched the lead to eight at the end of the period.

Campos and Lynds hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter, giving the Wolverines a double-digit lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.

In another North O.C. Championships game:

Capistrano Valley 60, Lakewood 48: Jacob Short had 21 points and Josh Littlejohn added 19 as the Cougars (1-5) picked up their first victory of the season.

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