After scoring 24 points to lead Capistrano Valley High School to a 76-49 victory over Irvine for the Southern Section 5-A championship Saturday night, forward Scott McCorkle tried to put into words the importance of the occasion.
“Well, put it this way,” he said. “I’d rather have a win in a game like this than 50 points anytime.”
As it turned out, McCorkle, who played only 19 minutes, didn’t need to score many more points. But Capistrano Valley fans appreciated every shot he took, especially because many of them hit nothing but net.
McCorkle, a 6-foot-5 200-pound junior, finished the game making 10 of 16 field goals (63%), including all three of his three-point attempts. He also added five rebounds and two steals for the Cougars (24-4).
After scoring five points in the first quarter, on a fallaway bank shot followed by a three-pointer, McCorkle had accumulated two fouls and sat out the second quarter.
But in the third, with his team leading, 33-23, McCorkle came out in a groove, scoring 12 points to boost his team to a 59-37 advantage.
“After my foul trouble in the first quarter, I just told myself in the third quarter I had to give it my all,” McCorkle said.
McCorkle opened the quarter with a three-point swish and followed that with a jumper from 10 feet. Less than a minute later, he hit two consecutive jumpers, extending his team’s lead to 43-29.
With 3 minutes remaining in the quarter, McCorkle caught a pass from Chris Kostoff, drove the lane and looped in a one-hand reverse layup.
“When Scott came back in the third quarter, he was fresh and that helped us out a lot,” Kostoff said.
McCorkle opened the fourth quarter with a 10-foot turnaround jumper followed by a three-point swish to put his team up, 64-40.
At that point, McCorkle put a hold on his shooting, opting to run the break, trying to provide assists instead.
“In the third quarter, I thought I shot the ball pretty well, so I figured I’d be double-teamed a lot in the fourth,” McCorkle said. “Anyway, I don’t want to be a ball hog, and we have a lot of good players.”
As it turned out, none of the Cougars were able to score off McCorkle’s passes, despite his accuracy. After 2 minutes of trying to feed his teammates, McCorkle went back to shooting.
He scored his final basket on a fallaway jumper from 10 feet to give his team a 74-47 lead. After that, with 1:05 left in the game, McCorkle left the game to a standing ovation.
McCorkle, who averages 25 points a game, said he’ll remember Saturday’s game, but he looks forward to the immediate future--the state tournament starting Tuesday--and next season where he’ll share the court with his brother, sophomore forward Brett McCorkle.
Brett McCorkle played one minute Saturday night, but did not score.
“Next year, I just want to get back here and win it all again with my brother,” Scott McCorkle said.