Pacifica has no answer for Mira Costa's surge


MANHATTAN BEACH – Mira Costa turned up the defense late in the second quarter and pulled away from Pacifica en route to a 71-52 nonleague victory at Mira Costa High on Friday night.

Pacifica (6-3) held a 17-15 edge after one quarter, and trailed 25-23 midway through the second quarter when the surge began.

Jordan Fleck and Henry Kampa were the only Mariners to score in the period as Mira Costa grabbed a 35-25 halftime lead. The Mustangs came out strong in the third, and held Pacifica to a 3-pointer by Serge Nasari with 6:17 to go and a Fleck jumper four minutes later.

OCVarsity Hot Shots: Friday's basketball games

"I thought they ramped up their defense in the second half quite a bit," said Pacifica coach Dave Friedman. "The first half, I thought they weren't as physical with us, and it allowed us to get some good looks.

"So whatever (Mira Costa coach Jeff Amaral) said to them at halftime, they played a really physical brand of basketball, which I warned my guys about."

Trailing 56-30 after three quarters, Pacifica got as close as 15 in the fourth. Nasari scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the period.

"I was proud of the group. Serge had a great fourth quarter," Friedman said. "I was proud of the fight we had in us. I told them, 'You are down big, this can go from 26 to 60 or you could make this a game.' "

“This was good for us, I told the team,” added Friedman, who coached Mira Costa for six years, including all four seasons Amaral was a Mustang. “This was like a playoff, on the road against a quality team on a Friday night.

"I was proud that we went on the road, and had a lead at the end of the first quarter, and that it was a competitive game at the end of the first half.”

Fleck and Kampa added eight points each for Pacifica. Oliver Mausner led the Mustangs (8-3) with 20 points while Kevin Kim added 15.

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