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Mission Viejo avenges earlier loss to No. 3 El Toro
It got a bit precarious for Mission Viejo in the fourth quarter.
The Diablos' 19-point lead earlier in the quarter had dwindled to eight, and their best player, Evan Zeller, was on the bench with his left ankle elevated and covered by a large bag of ice. El Toro's dormant 3-point shooting game had come to life.
Mission Viejo made enough clutch free throws in the final minute to defeat El Toro, 66-60, in a South Coast League game in Mission Viejo's loud and packed gym Wednesday.
The Diablos avenged an earlier league loss to El Toro, which went into the game undefeated in South Coast play. Mission Viejo moved into first place, with its 5-1 record putting the Diablos one-half game ahead of 4-1 El Toro. Mission Viejo (21-2) is ranked No. 2 in Orange County and El Toro is No. 3.
El Toro (20-5 overall) put together an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter as Ryan Roberts, Cody White and Liam Skelly made 3-pointers to trim Mission Viejo's 53-34 lead to 53-45 with 2:57 remaining.
Mission Viejo responded with baskets by Darin Sutton and on a great bounce pass in the lane by Max Redfield to RJ Yoakum. El Toro's George Buaku converted a 3-point play and made two free throws to keep the Chargers in it. The Diablos put the game away in the final 30 seconds as Redfield and Yoakum made two free throws apiece.
Zeller, Orange County's second-leading scorer at 23 points a game, rolled his left ankle off of another player's with Mission Viejo ahead by nine points and 3:03 remaining in the third quarter.
"It's just a sprain," said Zeller, a 6-foot-3 senior. "I'll be back."
Sutton helped fill the scoring void with his game-high 20 points. He scored 10 in the second half. Zeller scored 12, Redfield added 11 points and Sage Stone scored 10 with eight rebounds.
Tanner Aguera led El Toro with 15 points. Cody White scored 13 points. Aguera and White made three 3-pointers apiece.
El Toro missed its first 13 3-point shots.
In the Orange League:
Century 44, Katella 41: Latif Ahmath led the host Centurions (8-16, 4-3).
In the Freeway League:
No. 10 Sunny Hills 67, Fullerton 46: Tim Ahn scored 12 points with four 3-pointers and Josh Danielis added 11 points to lead the host Lancers (19-6, 6-1).
Andre Quinn had 12 points and Dave Tsuda added 11 for Fullerton.
In the Sea View League:
Trabuco hills 56, Laguna Hills 50: Craig Mayar's 20 points paced the host Mustangs (13-7, 5-1).
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