No. 6 Mission Viejo sprints past Villa Park
MISSION VIEJO — Mission Viejo coach Troy Roelen said he wants his team to put a lot of points on the scoreboard this season.
The sixth-ranked Diablos did that in an 82-69 victory over Villa Park on Tuesday night in a Diablo Inferno tournament game at Mission Viejo High.
Mission Viejo benefitted from a balanced scoring attack as four players scored in double figures.
The Diabols were led by senior Evan Zeller, who scored a game-high 29 points, including four 3-pointers. Junior Chandler Hutchison contributed 17 points, Max Redfield added 15 and Sage Stone finished with 10.
Roelen said his team needs to continue to improve how it closes out games.
“If we get a little bit of a lead, we tend to become complacent,” he said. “We need to continue with our foot on the gas pedal.”
Mission Viejo got off to a strong start as it used a full-court, trapping defense to take an early 17-6 lead. The Diablos finished the quarter with a 22-11 advantage.
The main target of the trap was Villa Park’s Luke Selway, the Spartans' top returning player from last season. Selway ended up scoring 18 points, but most of them came once the game was out of reach.
“We wanted to wear him down,” Roelen said of their plan to stop Selway. “We wanted to take him out of it and make other guys make plays.”
The Diablos took a 41-25 lead into the break paced by 14 points from Zeller and 10 from Hutchison.
Mission Viejo came out on the attack again after the break, extending its lead to 25 points early in the third period.
Villa Park pulled within 13 points in the fourth, but a baseline dunk from Stone and a Zeller 3-pointer held off the Spartans.
Lamont Tyler, a 6-foot-10 junior center, finished with 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for Villa Park.
In another Diabo Inferno Tournament game:
JSerra 74, Santiago of Corona 60: Jamal Aytes scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Lions (2-0) past the Sharks (0-1).
JSerra used a 14-4 run over the last five minutes of the second quarter to distance themselves from Santiago. Dylan Osetkowski finished with a game-high 10 rebounds.