PREP BASKETBALL : Corona del Mar Stops Irvine in Overtime

Warren Johnson hit an outside jumper 30 seconds into overtime and Corona del Mar High School held on to take a 53-51 nonleague boys’ basketball victory at Irvine Wednesday.

Johnson’s basket was set up when Chris Pliha intercepted a pass after the Vaqueros had controlled the opening jump ball.

Corona del Mar (9-4) forced the overtime when Matt Herrington made a fallaway shot with 46 seconds left in regulation to tie the score at 51.

Irvine (14-2) had several chances to overcome the Sea King overtime lead. AfterIrvine’s Brian Allred missed a 3-point shot with 2:11 left, Johnson fouled Allred on a rebound.


But Allred missed the front end of a 1-and-1.

With 32 seconds remaining in overtime, the Vaqueros got another chance when Todd Trout rebounded a missed free throw by Herrington. Pliha, however, intercepted a pass by Jon Molle with 19 seconds left and was fouled by Molle’s brother, Ralph, in the process.

Pliha missed the front half of a 1-and-1, but Corona del Mar retained possession. With 4 seconds left, the Vaqueros got their final chance when Ralph Molle rebounded a missed free throw by Corona del Mar’s Wes Johnson, Warren’s twin brother.

After Irvine called a timeout, Allred missed a 3-point shot with Pliha grabbing the rebound to seal the Sea King victory.

Herrington finished the game with 17 points to lead Corona del Mar, with Warren Johnson and Bryan Spratt adding 14 points each. Jon Molle and Brian Molle each had 15 points and Todd Trout 13 for Irvine.

Corona del Mar got its first lead, 16-14, late in the first period when Warren Johnson hit a 3-point jumper.

Corona del Mar, which trailed Irvine, 23-22, with 3 minutes left in the half, outscored the Vaqueros, 9-2, to take a 31-25 halftime lead.

The Sea Kings extended their lead to 34-25 with 12 seconds gone in the third period on Herrington’s 3-point basket. The Vaqueros responded by scoring 11 unanswered points in the next 5 minutes to take a 36-34 lead. After Herrington tied the score, 36-36, with 58 seconds left in the period, the two teams exchanged baskets as the third quarter ended in a 38-38 tie.