It was a championship game befitting the Coast Christmas tournament, where close, competitive games have become routine over the past five years.
Edison High School became the first school to win the 16-tournament twice with a 44-42 victory over Mission Viejo Saturday night at Estancia High.
Center Bill Martineau scored 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked four shots to lead Edison (11-3) to its second tournament championship this season. Edison also won the Santa Maria tournament title.
Edison took a 44-38 lead with 56 seconds remaining when guard Tom Tyler made two free throws, but the Chargers nearly self-destructed down the stretch.
Edison missed the front ends of four, one-and-one free throw opportunities, but Mission Viejo (8-4) failed to capitalize. Mission Viejo made only 17 of 55 shots.
“It was a hellacious defensive battle,” said Bob Minier, Mission Viejo’s coach. “You know that when you come to play against Edison.
“But I was very pleased with the way my kids played. A bounce goes our way here or there, and we might have won the game. It was a tough, tough, tough game.”
Martineau, who will attend UC Santa Barbara next fall, made 10 of 15 shots, hitting on short turnaround jumpers in the key or banking shots from the baseline. But he wasn’t happy with his performance.
“I didn’t play well tonight,” he said, “but it’s been a good year for us.”
Said Edison Coach Jon Borchert:"I would have liked to have been sharper and crisper, but that was our fourth game in five days. Our heart was in it, but we were tired.”
The five-day tournament took its toll on Edison’s most talented player, Brandon Jessie. The sophomore, scored only eight points and missed 11 shots. But Jessie was named the most valuable player of the tournament for his play in three earlier games.
“He’s been shooting over 50% all season, but it was obvious he was tired tonight,” Borchert said. “I still wouldn’t trade him for anyone else his age.”
In the third-place game:
Estancia 79, Los Alamitos 60--Estancia (8-4) outplayed and outhustled Los Alamitos to gain an upset.
Guard Augustin Heredia scored 26 points, including 10 consecutive free throws in the final quarter, to lead Estancia. Estancia made 26 of 35 free throws.
Los Alamitos (9-5) fell behind, 21-13, early in the second quarter when Paul McDaniels scored on a driving layin. Estancia extended its lead to 35-19 at halftime.
In the fifth-place game:
Corona del Mar 50, Irvine 47 (2 OT)--Guard Warren Johnson scored twice on baseline jump shots in the second overtime for Corona del Mar (7-6). John Molle, who led Irvine with 25 points, fouled out in the second overtime.
In the seventh-place game:
Tustin 71, Long Beach Jordan 69--Thomas Clayton had 20 points and David Beilstein had 18 to lead Tustin. Gentry Moor and Brian Reider each had 10 points for Tustin (11-2).