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Zeller, Redfield help Mission Viejo thwart Tesoro
LAS FLORES – It's nice to have the best athlete on the court on your team.
Max Redfield kept driving to the basket and scoring for Mission Viejo, which survived a great comeback effort by Tesoro on Friday night. Mission Viejo won, 90-80, in the South Coast League boys basketball game at Tesoro.
Mission Viejo had a 21-point lead early in the third quarter. But Tesoro reserve guard Jack Spreen scored six of Tesoro's 19 points in that third quarter and Mission Viejo's lead was reduced to 15 going into the final quarter.
Tesoro's Tanner Lancona then got it going. Having struggled through the first three quarters, Lancona made five 3-pointers in the fourth to lead a Titans charge that made it 75-72 with 2:12 to go.
Redfield responded. He scored on a drive, was fouled and made the free throw. Redfield converted a Tesoro turnover into a layup and it was 80-72 with 1:27 remaining.
Mission Viejo's Evan Zeller made six free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.
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Mission Viejo (19-2 overall), ranked No. 4 in Orange County, is 3-1 in league, one game behind league-leading El Toro, which beat Mission Viejo last week.
Redfield's first sport is football. He was the Register's Orange County football defensive player of the year for the 2012 season, and he committed to Notre Dame. Redfield, who scored nine points in the fourth quarter, is not the first football player who has provided excellence to Mission Viejo basketball.
"I've been lucky enough to have Jed and Mark," said Mission Viejo coach Troy Roelen, referring to Jed Collins and Mark Sanchez, who played football and basketball at Mission Viejo and now are in the NFL. "And I've got another one like that in Max who sealed it away there and does what he does."
Zeller finished with a game-high 32 points. Redfield scored 20 and had eight rebounds.
Lancona, a 6-foot-9 senior who signed with Washington State, scored 23 points. He played through a foot injury to score 19 points in the fourth quarter. Tesoro's Conrad Snyder, a junior guard who is one of the more high-energy players in the county, scored 22 points, 11 during the Titans' fourth-quarter rally.
"They're capable of coming back like that," Roelen said of the Titans (16-6, 1-3).
Redfield is looking forward to the Diablos' game against El Toro on Jan. 30 at Mission Viejo.
"We've been waiting for that game since the last one ended," Redfield said. "We didn't play our best game against them. We can't wait to get them at home."
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