Ronnie Harris of Aliso Niguel draws a shooting foul as Taj Ashmeade of Katella reaches in during a first round CIF-SS playoff boys basketball game Friday night at Katella.
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Experienced Aliso Viejo overwhelms Katella


ANAHEIM – Aliso Niguel entered its CIF-SS Division 1A first-round boys basketball contest vs. host Katella on Friday as the third-place team in the South Coast League.

Only Mission Viejo, ranked No. 2 in the county, and No. 4 El Toro finished above the Wolverines in league.

The Knights went in as the second-place team in the Orange League.

Aliso Niguel's experience against the best teams in the county was evident in its 66-41 victory over the Knights at Katella High.


OCVarsity Hot Shots 1: Friday's basketball games


Mauricio Campos scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Jake Smith scored 10 with seven rebounds to lead the Wolverines (20-9).

Taj Ashmeade scored 12 to lead Katella (13-15)

The Wolverines took advantage of their height under the basket and created turnovers by double-teaming the player with the ball.

"We try to create chaos and make them uncomfortable," Aliso Niguel coach Keith Barnett said.

Although the Wolverines didn't shoot as well they could have from the outside, according to Barnett, they still hit seven 3-pointers.

A pair of 3-pointers from Campos and another from Scott Lynds in a short spurt in the third quarter helped the Wolverines take a 25-point lead heading into the fourth.

Katella's Adam Tafoya opened the game with a 3-pointer followed by baskets from Angel Garduno and Junior Ajawara to get the Knights to a 7-2 lead.

But the Wolverines responded with a 14-2 run to take a 16-9 lead after the first. Katella also had three starters with two fouls each before the quarter even ended.

Aliso Niguel opened the second on a 6-0 run to go up by 12 before Kevin Solorio's 3-pointer ended the scoring drought for the Knights.

Jose Rodriguez's 3-pointer got the Knights within eight early in the second, but Aliso Niguel closed the quarter on a 12-5 and had full control by halftime.

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