Mission Viejo Evan Zeller dribbles around Knight's Tony Dawson in the first half of a first round boys CIF basketball playoff game in Mission Viejo on Friday.
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Balanced Mission Viejo says goodnight to Knight


MISSION VIEJO – Mission Viejo do-it-all guard Evan Zeller said the Diablos' success has been guided by the motto: "Get the ball to whoever is hot."

It seemed as if every Mission Viejo player caught fire Friday night in the Diablos' 75-42 victory over Knight of Palmdale in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1AA playoffs at Mission Viejo High.

Eleven Mission Viejo players scored in the victory, led by Zeller who finished with 15 points. The senior also added eight assists and seven rebounds.

Chandler Hutchison had 14 points, Max Redfield added 12 and Darin Sutton rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10.


OCVarsity Hot Shots1: Friday's basketball games


Diablos coach Troy Roelen said he liked the way his players shared the ball throughout this game.

"Our players don't care about stats; we care about winning," he said. "They've done a good job buying in to that.

"Some people say 'that's the guy,' but we have multiple guys."

As for matching up against Knight (17-8), Roelen said the Diablos had no video to study.

"I didn't know what to expect," he said. "I knew they had a post player (Vondel Faniel), and we had to keep the ball out of his hands."

Mission Viejo (25-3) relied on a 2-3 zone defense to keep Faniel from getting going, and it worked to perfection as the hard double teams forced the 6-foot-6 big man to kick the ball out. Faniel finished with only eight points.

Mission Viejo outscored Knight, 24-10, in the second quarter and 18-5 in the third quarter to take a 63-28 lead into the fourth quarter.

"We started to take some things away (defensively)," Roelen said of the Diablos' ability to take the commanding lead. "They got a little frazzled and we were able to get out in transition."

Mission Viejo moves on to face Orange Lutheran on Tuesday at Orange Lutheran.

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