After taking a 45-22 halftime lead, the Santa Clara High boys’ basketball team coasted to the Southern Section 2-A Division title over Orange Lutheran, 78-54, Saturday and prepared to face better teams in the state playoffs.
So who do the Saints play Thursday after a 78-51 first-round win over Sierra?
The same Orange Lutheran, which qualified for the state tournament as 2-A runner-up and beat El Cajon Christian, 72-64, in the first round.
Orange Lutheran (24-4) is led by center Pat Bagatourian, who at 6-foot-2 is considerable smaller than Santa Clara’s inside tandem of Bubba Burrage and John McGill.
Daryl Cole, a 6-4 junior forward, averages 22 points a game for Orange Lutheran, but he is outclassed by Santa Clara’s Shon Tarver, who averages 23.
In the first meeting, Santa Clara was able to exploit Luke Aucoin, Orange Lutheran’s freshman point guard. The Saints boast a senior guard tandem of Kasha Clemons and Art Santana.