Just moments before his team opened its 1990-91 season, Mark Thornton, Capistrano Valley High School’s highly successful basketball coach, expressed some concern about his young squad.
“You know, this is the first time in 10 years that I don’t have an all-CIF (Southern Section) or all-league player returning,” he said. “This year is going to be interesting.”
Well, chalk one up for youth. Capistrano Valley breezed to an 89-49 nonleague victory over host Trabuco Hills Thursday night.
Capistrano Valley made 30 of 54 field goals through three quarters before Thornton emptied his bench with the Cougars ahead, 77-33.
How one-sided was it? Rival coaches Steve Keith of Irvine and Steve Popovich of Marina, future opponents for Capistrano Valley, left at halftime. But then, the game was all but over with 6 minutes 41 seconds remaining to play in the second quarter when guard Tom Airey made a three-point basket to push the Cougars ahead, 31-10.
Airey made six three-point baskets and finished with 22 points. Thornton said Airey made nine three-pointers in the team’s scrimmage with Edison last week. Center Brett McCorkle added 25 points.
“We’ve got some kids who can shoot,” Thornton said. “I thought McCorkle would surprise some people this year. He’s really improved.”