Tom McCluskey, Tustin High School's boys' basketball coach, expected a tough game against Estancia Friday night, and that's exactly what he got as the Tillers survived a furious fourth quarter to post a 62-58 Sea View League victory at Estancia.
With Tustin trailing, 50-47, and 1:42 left to play, senior forward LeSean London connected on the first of three consecutive three-point baskets for the Tillers (6-0, 18-3), giving Tustin a 56-52 lead with 1:08 to play.
Leo Parker, who was fouled as the last shot went in, then extended the lead to 58-52 with two free throws. The Eagles could get no closer than four points the rest of the way.
Estancia (2-4, 13-10) had built its biggest lead of the game, 45-40, on a Chris Rupsa basket with 5:50 to play, but Tustin came right back with two baskets by Brad Cantrell to stay close.
Rupsa paced the Eagles with 14 points, scoring 12 in the second half before fouling out with 5:30 to play.
"It's going to be like this the rest of the way for us," McCluskey said. "It's easy to get to the top of the standings, but it's much tougher staying there."
The Tillers have won 13 consecutive games, the longest current winning streak in the county. The Tillers defeated the Eagles, 47-39, January 13.
Parker led both teams with 19. London added 15 points and Cantrell had 13.
Corona del Mar 49, Newport Harbor 43--Newport Harbor made just 3 of 19 first-half field goals and lost to Corona del Mar despite a 24-point fourth quarter. The Sea Kings (12-8, 3-3) were led by Geoff Probst, who scored 14 points. Jim Geerlings (16 points) and Tyler Koon (11 rebounds) led the Sailors (13-9, 1-5).
Saddleback 98, University 68--Gylan Dottin scored 29 points, had 8 rebounds and 9 assists to lead host Saddleback (18-4, 5-1), which jumped out to a 26-12 lead after the first quarter and never trailed. Teammate Craig Marshall added 22 points. Steve Stolzoff led University (9-12, 1-5) with 26 points, including 3 three-point shots, and David Warren added 22 points.