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STEVEN GEORGES, FOR THE REGISTER
Tyler Strauss of Santa Margarita scores as he shoots over Neil Pauu of Servite during their game Wednesday night at Servite.
Check out Wednesday's Hot Shots slideshow to see all of the photos from this game.

Servite surprises Santa Margarita in Trinity opener

OCVARSITY.COM

ANAHEIM – Neil Pauu and his Servite teammates knew the odds.

“We’re not supposed to win this game,” Pauu said.

But crazy things can happen in a place they call “The Asylum.”

Servite, which was 0-10 in the Trinity League last year, did beat Santa Margarita, 51-43, in its home gym in the Trinity League opener for both teams Wednesday night.

The Friars (12-4 overall) never trailed. They took a 3-0 on Trevor Treinen’s 3-pointer, led by seven points at the end of the first quarter, by eight at halftime and carted a six-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Santa Margarita tied it, 36-36, in the fourth quarter on Joe Furstinger’s basketball off of an offensive rebound. Pauu and Eric Torres made back-to-back 3s, and Servite was back in control.

Servite was 11-18 overall last season. Last week, the Friars won the I-15 Tournament in the Inland Empire, their first basketball tournament victory since 2008.

“These kids believe in themselves,” Servite coach John Morris said. “We have a very balanced team.”

Pauu, a 6-foot-4 junior who was an All-Trinity League receiver for the Servite football team, scored a game-high 15 points.

Louis Juego, also a junior, scored 13 including a 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining that gave the Friars an 11-point lead that locked the game away and sent the spirited Servite student section into celebration mode.

It was not the only clutch 3 that Juego made. Following a Santa Margarita backcourt turnover with three seconds left in the third quarter, Pauu inbounded the ball to Juego who hoisted a 3-pointer that went in at the buzzer to give the Friars a 36-30 lead going into the final eight minutes.

Furstinger scored 13 points with 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. Tyler Strauss scored 13 with two 3-pointers for the Eagles, who missed 10 of their 15 free throws.

Wednesday’s game was the season debut for Santa Margarita 6-foot junior guard Devonte Klines. Klines, who scored eight points and was the quickest player on the floor, just completed the 30-day sit-out period he was required to observe after he transferred from Valley View of Moreno Valley.

Santa Margarita (12-4) plays at home against Mater Dei in a league game Friday. Servite is at Orange Lutheran for a league game Friday.


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