Servite stuns another O.C. top-10 team


ANAHEIM - A wild – and controversial – final few seconds, two charged up student bodies and a host of clutch shots by both teams made the Servite-Canyon matchup about as exciting as it gets for a boys basketball game in December.

In a game that was up for grabs until the final buzzer, Servite came away with a 53-52 victory over No. 7 Canyon in a pool play game of the North O.C. Championships at Canyon High on Wednesday.

“This is crazy … It was just a great game,” Servite coach John Morris said.

The Friars, who have now defeated two top-10 teams this season, will take on Aliso Niguel in a quarterfinal at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Sonora High.

“I told the kids we’ve got nothing to lose,” said Morris, whose team defeated then-No. 6 El Toro on Dec. 5. “Our goal is to put Servite basketball on the map.”

A layup by Travis Walker gave the Friars (3-1) a 53-50 lead with 1:20 remaining in the game.

The Comanches (5-2) responded with a layup from Chandler Dignam make the score 53-52.

Servite then missed with just under 30 seconds left but Canyon couldn’t convert on several attempts in a frenzied sequence under the basket with time winding down.

The contest came down to the final 2.7 seconds with Canyon inbounding the ball from their end of the court.

Servite stole the inbound pass and ran out the clock.

However, it appeared that the Friars might have kicked the ball on the inbound pass, but no call was made.

“That’s a terrible no-call,” Canyon coach Nate Harrison said.

Canyon led for most of the contest until a basket by Louis Juego gave the Friars a 51-50 lead with 1:50 left.

It appeared as though Canyon might pull away when Jo Jo Ballestero, who led all scorers with 17 points, hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to help the Comanches build a 10-point lead.

But Jake Rivera hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to pull Servite closer.

Trevor Treinen led the Friars with 12 points.

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