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ROSE PALMISANO, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Brea Olinda's Chandler Ramos gets fouled as he attempts a shot by Santiago's Javier Tornero in the first half Wednesday.

Sizzling Brea Olinda feasts on Santiago

OCVARSITY.COM

Only nachos and popcorn could stop them.

Brea Olinda ate up the competition Wednesday as the Wildcats beat Santiago, 76-41, in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA first-round playoff game at Santiago High.

Their momentum was interrupted only by a brief timeout needed to clean up some snacks accidentally spilled onto the court during the third quarter.

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All CIF-SS boys basketball playoff brackets

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When the Wildcats took the court in the first quarter, they were hot and ready. Matt Pace made back-to-back 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds and it was 6-0. Brea led by seven at the end of the quarter, by 25 at halftime and took a 31-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Brea basketball got another important victory earlier in the week. The Wildcats on Tuesday won the coin toss that made them the home team for their second-round game Friday against Murrieta Mesa of Murrieta.

Like Brea did Wednesday, Murrieta Mesa beat a league champion, Palm Springs, in another 3AAA first-round game.

Santiago won the Garden Grove League championship this season, the school's first league title in boys basketball since 1976. The Cavaliers finished 15-10.

The Wildcats improved to 20-7. They finished fourth in the seven-team Century League. The three teams that finished higher, Villa Park, Foothill and Canyon, are in the Orange County top 10.

"Playing better teams prepares you for big games like this," said Pace, who scored a game-high 16 points with four 3-pointers.

Brea coach Jeff Sink agreed.

"The Century League is so tough," he said. "Every game's a war. You don't get to relax but it does prepare you for the playoffs. Good coaches, good players ... it's a fun to be in that league, sort of."

Three other Wildcats scored in double figures. Michael Turner had 14 points, and Jason Muehlhoff and Vilius Vysniauskas added 12 apiece.

Francisco Franco led Santiago with 11 points. The Cavs' scoring leader this season was senior guard Alex Robertson, averaging 19 points a game. A fine defensive effort by Brea's Chandler Ramos limited Robertson to seven points.

Also in 3AAA:

Tustin 69, Cerritos 41: Deondre Bryant scored 21 points with 10 rebounds and Nick Hornsby scored 17 with 10 rebounds for the host Tillers (26-2).

In Division 3AA:

El Dorado 71, Gabrielino of San Gabriel 66: The visiting Golden Hawks (12-17) were led by Riley Kemmer's 20 points.

In Division 4AA:

JSerra 82, Whitney of Cerritos 35: Rex Pflueger's 21 points paced the visiting Lions (16-8).

In Division 5AA:

Brethren Christian 80, Public Safety Academy of San Bernardino 28: Caleb Keller's 27 points led the host Warriors (23-3) to their school-record 17th consecutive victory. The Warriors' 7-foot-5 center, Mamadou Ndiaye, sat out the game as a precaution because of a bruised bone in his foot.

In Division 6:

Bethel Baptist 54, Delphi Academy of Lake View Terrace 37: Kurtis Tran scored 22 points with 22 rebounds for the host Warriors (18-7).

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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