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Brea continues deep playoff run
BREA – Jeff Sink and Brea Olinda are doing it again. The only difference is these cats are wild, not ladies.
The Brea Olinda boys basketball team continued its deepest playoff run in years with a 55-39 victory against Servite in the CIF-SS Division 3AAA quarterfinals on Tuesday. A raucous crowd punctuated what might be the Wildcats' final home game of the season by chanting "We love Sink!" just before the final horn.
"That is the greatest crowd I've ever seen (for the boys)," Sink said. "It goes back to my Ladycat days."
Brea Olinda (22-7), which finished fourth in the Century League, will travel to Simi Valley to face Marmonte League runner-up Royal on Friday.
Sink, who coached the Brea Olinda girls to multiple state and section titles before taking over the boys team last season, led the Wildcats past Servite with some plays out of his old playbook. They continually beat the Friars' superb matchup zone defense with well-timed cuts and an extra pass.
"(Mater Dei girls basketball coach) Kevin Kiernan ran a similar defense when he was at Troy and I had to prepare against it," Sink said. "We put in some special sets to make sure we got mismatches."
The Wildcats' other mismatch was junior guard Michael Turner, who scored a game-high 17 points and had a hand in everything else, including three resounding blocked shots.
The Wildcats led 14-5 at the end of the first quarter and 27-13 at halftime. Guard Jason Muehlhoff finished with 11 points, guard Matt Pace had 10 and guard Chandler Ramos had nine.
Servite guard Neil Pauu was the lone Friar to reach double figures with 16 points.
"We play good D," Sink said. "We have a lot of heart. We overachieved a little bit (this season), which is the dream of any coach, to have kids play over their heads."
The same could be said about a young Servite team that beat four teams in the county top 10 this season. Despite finishing fifth in the Trinity League, the Friars (17-13) won more games and advanced further in the playoffs than any Servite squad since 2006.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow but at the end of the day you have to look at all the good that’s been done this year,” fellow second-year coach John Morris said. “We’re building something. I think we put Servite basketball on the map.”
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