It was a game that delivered big-name high school athletes (Capistrano Valley's Todd Marinovich, El Toro's Bret Johnson), one really big player (Capistrano Valley's 7-foot center, Jim Waikle) and 2,200 people wedged into an El Toro gymnasium designed to hold 2,000.
And yet no one did as much to shape Capistrano Valley's 76-54 South Coast League victory over El Toro Friday as a mild-mannered Capistrano Valley guard by the name of Charles Lockard.
It was Lockard who led Capistrano Valley surges in the third and fourth quarter. It was Lockard, along with Marinovich, who was instrumental in continually breaking El Toro's second-half press.
Lockard went on to score 13 points in the fourth quarter, when Capistrano Valley outscored El Toro, 29-14. He had 20 points in the second half and finished with 30.
"Charles played a perfect game," said Mark Thornton, Capistrano Valley coach.
Capistrano Valley (18-4, 6-0) led, 28-23, at halftime. It was a first half distinguished by miscues and missed shots. Capistrano Valley went some three minutes in the second half without scoring a point. El Toro missed five of eight free throw attempts.
Smack dab in the middle of it was a fight involving Marinovich and El Toro's Cory Wayland that came about after both dived for a loose ball. Benches emptied, but no blows were thrown and no players were ejected.
El Toro (15-5, 4-2) started the second half with a press that had its immediate ill effects. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they were the most affected.
When Capistrano Valley wasn't using Marinovich (12 points) to throw over the press, Lockard was dribbling through it. In back-to-back sequences, Marinovich threw half-court bullets to Lockard who, the first time, dribbled at the basket, faked to Waikle, then made a layup. The next time, Lockard did pass to Waikle (13 points), who dunked the ball.
"We had the right type of personnel to handle their press," Thornton said. "Everyone knows Todd can pass. And he's a lot more effective at hitting the open man when the other team isn't allowed to tackle him."
Lockard seemed less impressed with his team's ability to break the El Toro pressure.
"It really wasn't much of a press, if you ask me," he said.
Waikle's dunk gave Capistrano Valley a 45-35 lead with 2:40 left in the third quarter.
El Toro cut the lead down to five, 48-43, with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter. But Capistrano Valley went on a 15-4 surge in the next three minutes, Lockard scoring eight. Of those eight, six came on three-point shots. Lockard made four three-point shots in the game.
El Toro was led by Bret Johnson who had 20 points.
Mission Viejo 82, San Clemente 51--Bruce Mathison scored 17 points and Vince Merk 16 to lead Mission Viejo at San Clemente. Mission Viejo (10-10, 3-3) led, 34-25, at the half. San Clemente is 2-16 overall, 0-6 in league play.