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Escoto leads Santa Ana by Garden Grove

FOR OCVARSITY.COM

FOUNTAIN VALLEY – Damian Escoto had a game-high 21 points, and Santa Ana defeated Garden Grove, 59-46, in a Garden Grove Tournament game Wednesday night at Los Amigos High.

Arturo Vega added 13 points for Santa Ana.

The Saints (3-6) jumped on the fastbreak to kick start their offense. Escoto scored six points in the first quarter as the Saints took a 10-7 lead after the first period.

The Argonauts (5-5) tried to buckle down on defense, flooding the paint with players to force the Saints to shoot from the outside. The Saints struggled in their half-court offense, but they were able to maintain their edge because of an influx of turnovers by the Argonauts.

Santa Ana never relinquished its early lead, but it was never appropriate to say that the Saints were in control. As the minutes passed, the turnovers piled up for both squads. Saints coach Fareed ElMasry said his team's up-tempo style was a calculated risk.

"We wanted to play the up-and-down game because we had more ball-handlers than them," said ElMasry of his team's game plan against the Argonauts. "We did have a lot of turnovers."

The Saints cleaned up their ball-control briefly in the third quarter. Santa Ana capitalized on a continuous flow of turnovers from the Argonauts' guards, going on a 14-2 run to extend their lead to 18.

The Argonauts made a run at the start of the fourth quarter, cutting the Saints' lead to 50-40. Garden Grove's ball protection issues prevented them from getting any closer.


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