Lancona's fast start sparks Tesoro victory
LAS FLORES – Tesoro boys basketball coach Steve Garrett said he told senior forward Tanner Lancona to be more aggressive because he felt that San Clemente had no one who could stop him.
He was right.
The 6-foot-8 Washington State-bound Lancona finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Titans' 77-62 nonleague victory over San Clemente on Wednesday night at Tesoro.
"I wanted Lancona to get it going to see if they had any answers," Garrett said. "He has got to come out and be more aggressive. He's our key guy."
The Titans (17-6) jumped out to a 9-2 lead behind seven quick points from Lancona, and they got some more breathing room against San Clemente (14-9) with an even stronger second quarter. Tesoro outscored the Tritons, 23-13, in the quarter to take a 43-28 lead into the break.
Garrett said the good first half was helped by his team's pressure defense.
"I thought our first group did a good job defensively with our press," he said. "We wanted to force our will on them early."
While the San Clemente defense had its hands full with Lancona inside, the Tritons' Jack Spreen took advantage to score 15 points, all from behind the 3-point line, and senior guard Austin Channer contributed 18 points.
Tesoro took its foot off the gas pedal momentarily toward the end of the third quarter, letting San Clemente climb within 57-45 on a basket from Brock Eissman.
But Lancona hit a corner jumper and got fouled as he threw down a two-handed dunk through the middle of the lane, converting the three-point play, and giving Tesoro a 62-47 lead.
The Tritons' final charge was finished at that point.
Eissman led San Clemente with 17 points, and Cody Bean finished with 14.
Tesoro returns to South Coast League play Friday night with a home game against Aliso Niguel.
San Clemente takes on Dana Hills in a Sea View League game Friday night at San Clemente.