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Mission Viejo can't miss, surges past Canyon
MISSION VIEJO – The coach knew it was coming.
"Eventually," Troy Roelen said, "there's going to be a run in there somewhere."
What a run it was for Roelen's Mission Viejo boys basketball team. The Diablos made 16 of 19 shots in the third quarter in which they scored 35 points. Mission Viejo went on to beat Canyon, 87-65, on Saturday in the Orange County North/South Challenge at El Toro.
Mission Viejo (12-0) is ranked No. 2 in Orange County. The Diablos play in the Desert Heat Invitational in Palm Springs beginning Wednesday.
Diablos guard Evan Zeller scored 24 points, 12 in the third quarter. Zeller, a 6-foot-3 senior who scored a single-game career-high 50 points last week, is getting actively recruited by Ivy League schools, and UC Irvine has shown growing interest in recent weeks.
Mission Viejo had a four-point lead at halftime. The 35-point quarter pushed it to 16 points.
"We should do that more often," said Roelen, smiling, about the third quarter. "We have a tendency that when we get going, we really get going."
Zeller averaged 17 points a game last year, when he was selected All-Orange County third team. He is averaging 25 points this year.
"I'm taking good shots and getting my teammates involved," Zeller said. "For us to win, not only does my game have to be good, but my teammates' game has to be good, too."
Canyon (8-4) played without starting sophomore guard Anthony Ballestero, who has missed a week because of a broken arm. His older brother, senior guard Jo Jo Ballestero, has been one of Orange County's top 3-point shooters the past couple of seasons. He missed on all six of his 3-point shots Saturday, but did have eight assists.
Canyon was led by Devonte Parker's 15 points. Chandler Digman scored 14 for the Comanches, who play Westminster on Wednesday at 1:50 p.m. in a first-round game of the Orange Holiday Classic at Chapman University.
South teams won seven of the 11 games played over the two days of the North/South Challenge.
Also in the North/South Challenge:
Brea Olinda 65, Woodbridge 42: The Wildcats (8-2) took a large, early lead and maintained it to beat the Warriors.
It was a balanced scoring effort for Brea. Chandler Ramos scored a team-high 13 points, followed by 11 points from Michael Turner and 10 from Vilius Vysniauskas.
The Wildcats had a 19-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, an eight-point lead at halftime, and a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Brea produced a 25-point fourth quarter to keep Woodbridge from making a rally.
Brea coach Jeff Sink said it was a typical Wildcats victory, in that the team effort was good.
"We have to win by playing harder than the other team," Sink said. "When we maintain focus, we're hard to beat."
No. 9 El Toro 79, Los Alamitos 56: Cody White and Jake Lunardi scored 12 points apiece for the Chargers (11-2), and Ryan Roberts added 11 points. El Toro scored 29 points in the second quarter to create a 25-point halftime lead.
Laguna Beach 54, Corona del Mar 39: Alec Wulff's 22 points led the Breakers (8-5). Wulff made four 3-pointers. Cole Kesler scored 12 points for Laguna Beach.
Dana Hills 56, Marina 29: Cory Blau scored 15 points, James Taylor added 13 points with six rebounds and Jack Sheffield contributed 10 points for the Dolphins (9-4). Dana Hills outscored the Vikings, 21-0, in the second quarter.
Edison 50, Laguna Hills 49: A.J. Garrity's 14 points led the Chargers, who had an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Austin Williams paced Laguna Hills with 16 points.
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