When Capistrano Valley played Sunny Hills in a nonleague basketball game, there was more talk of football than basketball.

The game prompted a question: Which basketball team could get along without football players? The answer: Capistrano Valley. The Cougars won, 70-65, despite playing without Cam Bryant.

Bryant, a four-year starter in basketball, was missing because the Cougars were still in the Central Conference football playoffs, and he was a starting wide receiver.


Sunny Hills welcomed the return of 6-foot-4 forward Jim Karsatos, also one of the county’s top quarterbacks, and 6-6 forward Charlie McClelland, Karsatos’ favorite receiver.

McClelland played particularly well, scoring 26 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, but Karsatos made only three of 13 shots and finished with seven points.

Capistrano Valley, which raced to a 40-28 third-quarter lead, never missed Bryant. Lance Reed, a 6-8 center, had nine points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots, and Dan Dargan, a 6-1 guard, added 20 points and seven rebounds.


Mater Dei came within a point of having its 38-game winning streak ended.

LeRon Ellis made a free throw with 2:23 left to give Mater Dei a 53-50 lead in the final of the Tournament of Champions at Cal Poly Pomona.

Santa Monica cut it to one on a jump shot by Danny Price. Mater Dei could not score on its next possession, and Santa Monica had a chance to win.

Carrick DeHart, who had scored on a 40-foot shot at the buzzer as Santa Monica defeated Capistrano Valley in a semifinal, missed an 18-footer with six seconds to play.


Teammate Keith Harris got the rebound but missed a short follow, then grabbed a second rebound and apparently was fouled. But time had expired.

“I saw those two shots and thought it was over,” Mater Dei Coach Gary McKnight said. “After watching DeHart beat Capo Valley on that long shot, I was telling myself, ‘Oh, no, this is it.’ That was luck right there. I was scared when I heard that whistle.”

Referee Charles Hill did blow it to indicate a foul, but his officiating partner, Lee Phelps, ruled time had expired.



One-Two Punch: Six-foot-six Steve Marusich had 17 points and 6-4, 230-pound Blaine Patriquin added 10 as Servite defeated Valencia, 45-36, to win the Valencia tournament.

“We got it inside to Marusich and Patriquin in the second (half), and they went to work,” Servite Coach Richard Smith said. “That was it.”

Said Valencia Coach Ray Rodriguez: “They just banged us inside.”

Survivors: Loara survived a third-quarter charge by Magnolia to win the Garden Grove tournament title, 69-52.


“We fell apart,” Loara center Joey Guadio said. “We thought we had it won in the third quarter and we let up.”

Indeed, Loara let a 19-point lead slip to 10 during 45 seconds of the third quarter. But Loara went on a 15-8 run to seal the victory.

Tes Whitlock scored 18 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, as the Saxons pulled away. Whitlock was named the tournament’s most valuable player.