Capistrano Valley High School got defensive Friday night in the semifinals of the 27th Orange Holiday Classic at the Hutton Sports Center in Orange.
The Cougars limited Laguna Beach to only three points in the third quarter and rolled to a 71-45 victory to advance to tonight's championship game against Santa Clara.
Laguna Beach (6-4) had averaged 65 points per game in upset victories over Ocean View and Long Beach Wilson, but Capistrano Valley's man-to-man defense contained the Artists' best weapon, the three-point shot.
Laguna Beach made only five of 22 three-point shots. The Artists' sharp-sooting guard, Darren Gravely, missed his first eight shots and finished with only 13 points.
Capistrano Valley (10-2) opened a 54-30 lead with 2 minutes 3 seconds remaining in the third quarter when guard Tom Airey made his third consecutive three-point shot. Airey finished with 19 points despite missing his first five three-point attempts.
Afterward, Capistrano Valley Coach Mark Thornton said he anticipated a physical game against Santa Clara.
"They hit the offensive boards strong, so we're going to have our hands full," Thornton said.
Santa Clara 55, Marina 49 (OT)--Guard Art Barron made a three-point shot with 18 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime, and then the Saints won it at the free-throw line.
Santa Clara (10-2) made all six of its free-throw attempts in the three-minute overtime period, and its defense forced Marina into three consecutive turnovers. Forward Steve Amar scored six of his game-high 21 points in overtime for Santa Clara.
Marina (8-4) trailed by five points with two minutes remaining, but the Vikings used an effective half-court trap that produced three straight turnovers. Guard Matt Keim's three-point shot with 34 seconds left pushed Marina ahead, 45-42.
"We got stuck with the ball in bad places in overtime," Marina Coach Steve Popovich said. "I have no complaints with our effort. They executed at the end and we didn't.
"We tried to zone them and make them shoot outside, but then we got killed on the boards. I thought the trap got us back into the game, and then the kid hits the three-pointer."
In consolation-round games:
Saddleback 58, Loara 46--Luis Estrella and Jason Register scored 17 points each for Saddleback, which plays Foothill at 12:10 p.m. today in the consolation round.
Kennedy 80, Orange Lutheran 50--Jeff Cummins scored 20 points and Jermaine Galloway added 19 for Kennedy, which led, 59-35, after three quarters.
Long Beach Wilson 56, Fountain Valley 46--Chris Rieff scored 16 points and Brooks Bowman had 13 for Fountain Valley in a losing effort.
Foothill 47, Washington Issaquah 44--Justin Bower scored 14 points and Jared Winger 13 for Foothill.
San Diego Morse 41, Laguna Hills 30--Aaron Cook was the only Laguna Hills player to score in double figures with 11 points.