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Servite Uses a 20-0 Streak to Crush San Marino, 52-22

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Servite rallied from an early deficit--5-4--and crushed San Marino, 52-22, Friday night in the first round of the Division III-A basketball playoffs at Servite.

And so goes another lopsided first-round game.

The second-seeded Friars, the defending state Division III champions, used a 20-0 run midway through the first and second quarters and cruised to Tuesday’s second round against Pacifica.

As for the mismatch?

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“I think this game was compensation for a good regular season,” Servite Coach Richard Smith said. “It’s a nice compliment for the Southern Section to make us the second seed.”

San Marino (6-18) led, 5-4, after a follow shot by Jeff Lesage with 5 minutes 18 seconds left in the first quarter.

Then things got ugly.

Real ugly.

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Servite (19-6) extended its defense to a half-court trap, forcing 10 turnovers to trigger the streak.

“We wanted to dictate the tempo of the game and we didn’t do that the first three or four times down the floor,” Smith said. “Our defense was definitely the difference tonight. Defense is the focal point of this team.

“Games like this are tough because you’re so used to playing twice a week, then you get a week break before (this) game. I think our guys got tired of me yelling at them in practice.”

Matt Kenney hit two three-pointers, and Adam Anderson scored three of his nine points during Servite’s first-half streak.

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San Marino’s Jeff Dietrich finally broke the scoreless string with two free throws with 1:58 left in the second quarter.

His free throws--San Marino’s only points of the second quarter--drew a standing ovation from the Servite student section.

Servite held San Marino to two-of-20 shooting in the first half, including zero for 12 in the second quarter. The Titans had twice as many turnovers (14) as points at halftime as Servite led, 29-7.

“We knew it was just a matter of time,” Smith said. “I know that the Adam Andersons, Eddie Rubios and Dan Coadys aren’t going to let us lose these games.

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“I didn’t give the guys a pep talk before the game. I told them, ‘This is your season now. We’re done yelling at you this season.’ ”

Servite led by as many as 33 in the second half, and Smith took out all of his starters by the end of the third quarter. Tony Tappan came off the bench to score four points in the fourth quarter for Servite.

Kenney and Eric Osterhues each scored 11 points to lead a balanced Servite attack. Anderson had nine points and Dan Coady added eight.

Lesage and Eric Walcha led San Marino with five points each.

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