In the parlance of basketball, Jim Waikle, Capistrano Valley High School’s 7-foot center, has been termed “a project” for the past two seasons by most coaches and scouts.
Wednesday night, Waikle went from project to player by blocking five shots, scoring six points and grabbing nine rebounds in the Cougars’ 58-52 win over Saddleback for the championship of the 23rd Orange Holiday tournament in Chapman College’s Hutton Sports Center.
Although the numbers may seem less than spectacular, Waikle’s presence altered the course of the game as Saddleback was repeatedly frustrated by Waikle any time the Roadrunners approached the Cougars’ basket.
“The big guy created problems,” said Pat Quinn, Saddleback coach. “With Malru (Dottin) sick, it didn’t help. Waikle forced us outside or made us alter our shots the whole game.”
Capistrano Valley (11-4) had little problem hitting its outside shots in the first half, opening a 33-15 lead as guard Charles Lockard made three three-point shots in the first quarter. Lockard finished with a career-high 31 points.
Saddleback (11-3) staged a frantic rally to cut Capistrano Valley’s lead to 34-28 at halftime. The Roadrunners got a big lift when guard Tony Agnew hit a 35-foot shot for three points at the buzzer.
The Roadrunners continued to rally in the second half and ultimately tied the score, 49-49, with 5:04 left after guard Craig Marshall made two free throws. But Lockard responded with two free throws and then a driving layup to push Capistrano Valley ahead, 53-49, and the Cougars held on.
“I thought the kids handled the pressure and kept their poise,” said Mark Thornton, Capistrano Valley coach. “Lockard has been a pretty good point guard the last two games.”
Lockard scored 15 points in the Cougars’ semifinal win over Lakewood.
Ten days ago, Saddleback beat Capistrano Valley, 48-42, in the Irvine World News Tournament but the Roadrunners never led in the rematch. Forward Gylan Dottin was shut out through the first half and didn’t score his first point until 4:09 remained in the third quarter. Marshall led Saddleback with 20 points.
In other tournament action:
Fountain Valley 64, Santa Clara 56--Forward Jim Borgquist made two three-point shots in the final quarter as the Barons (10-1) won the fifth-place game. Fountain Valley had four players--Kevin Anderson (14 points), Lewis Murdent (12), Tim Huke (11) and Borgquist (10) score in double figures.
Westminster 82, El Modena 62--Center Chris Tower scored 32 points as the Lions (6-6) won the consolation championship. Tower had 26 points at halftime, and he finished with 97 points in four games, tying him for fourth place for most points scored in the tournament with Brent Martin (Fountain Valley, 1984) and Bryant Walton (Saddleback, 1985).