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Mission Viejo receives max effort
MISSION VIEJO – Just because Max Redfield isn't on the football field, doesn't mean he can't take over a game.
The senior two-sport star sparked Mission Viejo's 67-59 victory over JSerra in a matchup in which the atmosphere felt more like a CIF championship game rather than an early-season boys basketball tournament.
Redfield scored or assisted on 15 consecutive Diablos points that spanned five minutes of the third and fourth quarters, helping Mission Viejo to a 15-point advantage in the Diablo Inferno game.
Redfield finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists, as well as a key block on a Jamal Aytes layup attempt with 32 seconds to play and the Diablos up just five.
"Max is an explosive athlete, and he struggled in the first half," Mission Viejo coach Troy Roelen said. "He plays with passion and he wills things to happen, and that's something you can't teach."
Roelen also pointed out that Redfield shot well from the free-throw line, a statement that was right on point. Redfield hit 9 of his 10 free-throw attempts on the evening.
Roelen said the energy of the student cheering section is something his Diablos turn into a positive.
"The last couple years our student body has been fantastic in getting behind us," he said. "Our guys really feed off of it and it's a nice environment."
As far as Mission Viejo's approach to stopping JSerra, Roelen said the Lions' attack starts with point guard Johnnie Vassar.
"We really wanted to contain (Vassar) and not allow penetration," he said.
"We wanted to contain him, rebound and win the free-throw battle."
Redfield didn't will the Diablos (4-0) to victory alone, however, as Mission Viejo leading scorer Evan Zeller finished with 21 points.
Despite Aytes playing limited first-half minutes due to early foul trouble, JSerra trailed by one, 25-24, heading into the break as Rex Pfleugar hit a corner 3-pointer to end the opening half.
Mission Viejo mounted a 15-point lead as the third quarter ended, but JSerra came back fighting in the fourth.
The Lions cut the Diablo lead to two with two minutes to play, but the Mission Viejo sank its foul shots down the stretch, putting an end to the JSerra comeback.
Devon Pflueger paced JSerra with 20 points. Aytes finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
In another Diablo Inferno Tournament game:
Dana Hills 60, Capistrano Valley 51: Cory Blau scored 19 points and Jack Clendenen added 17 for the Dolphins. Dana Hills used a 11-0 run to close out the third quarter, and took a 43-40 lead into the final period. The Dolphins outscored Capo Valley 17-11 in the fourth quarter to take the nine-point victory.