Crespi High School’s basketball team has no starter taller than 6-3, nobody listed as a center in its roster and no reserves Coach Paul Muff relies on in close games.
Yet, the Celts have one thing Alemany Coach Joe Anlauf says not too many teams have.
“Few people shoot as well as Crespi does,” Anlauf said. “That’s a given.”
Anlauf and his Indians found out just how deadly the Celts can be from the outside Tuesday night at Alemany. Crespi hit 12 of 19 field goal attempts and 15 of 18 free throws in the second half to run away from Alemany, 65-43, and clinch at least a tie of the Del Rey League championship.
Crespi is 9-1 in league (14-6 overall) and has a 2 1/2-game lead over St. Francis.
Muff isn’t about to let the Celts slack off even though they are guaranteed a spot in the Big 5 Division playoffs.
“We need the wins for a high seeding,” Muff said. “We feel we’re playing well. We feel we can be a factor in the playoffs.”
Crespi could surprise a few teams if its shots fall as they did against Alemany, which is 5-4 in league and 16-7 overall.
The Celts hit 11 of 24 shots in the first half in building up a 26-23 lead. With Brian Capp (25 points) and Joe Campanella (18 points) leading the way, Crespi sank six of its first nine shots in the third quarter and increased its lead to 39-27.
The margin steadily increased as Crespi made 14 of 17 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Alemany, which got 14 points each from David Djolakian and Fernando Lopez, was a miserable 27% (10 of 36) from the field in the second half.
Djolakian had 10 points in the first quarter, but only two in the second half. Crespi started the game playing man-to-man defense, but switched to a 1-3-1 zone midway through the first quarter.
Alemany had trouble getting the ball inside and encountered more problems when it couldn’t hit its outside shots.
That’s something Crespi had little trouble doing.
Santa Clara 74, Agoura 58
Basketball at Santa Clara High is a reflection of one man-coach Lou Cvijanovich.
He has 506 victories in 27 years at Santa Clara, the latest a convincing win over Agoura in the Chargers’ gym.
The heavy-set silver-haired Cvijanovich has had a winning record every season since he began coaching at the Oxnard parochial school in 1957 and has taken eight Southern Section titles.
This year’s team, ranked No. 1 in the 2-A Division, improved to 6-0 in the Frontier League and 20-3 overall.
“I don’t like to tank my teams against one another, but this is certainly one of the best,” Cvijanovich said.
Stacy Cvijanovich, the coach’s son, scored 24 points and had five steals for Santa Clara. He seems an extension on the floor of his father, setting the tempo with his ball handling and aggressive defense.
Stacey is the youngest of six Cvijanovich boys, five of whom have played for their father.
Santa Clara began sluggishly, and Agoura took an 18-16 first-quarter lead. After a loud scolding from Coach Cvijanovich, however, the Saints roared back to lead 40-29, at halftime. They never let up in the second half.
Agoura fell to 4-3 in league and 10-10 overall. Mike Corridori led the Chargers with 21 points and Donnie Rea had 15.
“Our strategy was to let Cvijanovich shoot,” Agoura Coach Bob LaBelle said. “Obviously, it didn’t work.”
Agoura has not beaten Santa Clara in LaBelle’s six-year tenure.
“We were lethargic at the start, but after changing the pattern of our offense to get Stacey better percentage shots, we turned it around,” Cvijanovich said.