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Aliso Niguel shoots its way past Servite
LA HABRA — The Aliso Niguel boys basketball team’s comeback started with defense. It ended with offense — namely, shooting.
“We started defending better and communicating,” Wolverines coach Keith Barnett said. “And then the shots started falling.”
And falling, and falling, and falling …
Aliso Niguel caught fire Thursday in a 70-46 victory against Servite in the gold bracket quarterfinals of the North Orange County Championships at Sonora High. The Wolverines return to Sonora on Friday to play Mayfair of Lakewood in the semifinals at 6 p.m.
Mayfair defeated Troy, 58-56, earlier Thursday.
Servite took an early lead behind pairs of 3-pointers by guards Trevor Treinen and Louis Juego. In the midst of Aliso Niguel solidifying its man defense, swingman Mauricio Campos stole the Friars’ long-range mojo.
The 6-5 senior drained three 3-pointers as part of an 18-point first half. Campos scored 13 points in the second quarter, helping the Wolverines build a lead they would never relinquish.
"He got us back in the game,” Barnett said. “Everyone else sort of fed off him.”
Guards Scott Lynds and Christian Charles and forward Kai Sato all made 3-pointers in the third quarter to pace another 20-point quarter for Aliso Niguel. The Wolverines outscored the Friars, 42-19, over the second and third quarters.
It was the fifth time this season Aliso Niguel (8-1) had scored at least 70 points. Ten different Wolverines made shots, with six scoring at least six points.
“We have a lot of guys that can shoot the ball,” Barnett said. “The hardest thing when you got guys that can shoot the ball is to share the ball. We’re tough to guard when we’re sharing the ball.”
Servite (3-2) came in having beaten two top-10 county teams in the past week, including El Toro, which handed Aliso Niguel its lone defeat in the championship game of the Grizzly Invitational. Treinen scored a team-high 11 points for the Friars.
“They're a good open-shooting team,” Barnett said. “They came out really hot. I was pleased with my guys continuing to play through.”