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SOUTHERN SECTION BOYS’ BASKETBALL DIVISION I-AA PLAYOFFS : No Kost Nearly Costs Capistrano Valley

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A lethargic and sloppy Capistrano Valley team almost didn’t take advantage of what looked to be a favorable seeding Tuesday night in the opening round of the Division I-AA boys’ basketball playoffs.

The fourth-seeded Cougars, playing without leading scorer Corey Kost, could barely keep their eyes open early. Fortunately for the Cougars, they woke up in time to beat unseeded Leuzinger, 56-44.

Capistrano Valley (18-9) led by only six points with a minute left in the third quarter before the backcourt of David Sedgwick and Bryan Scoggin picked up the tempo and led the Cougars on a 10-4 run.

“We played well enough to win, but when you go up the ladder, you have to play better than we played,” Capistrano Valley Coach Mark Thornton said.

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The Cougars committed 16 turnovers, mostly while they were in their half-court offense, and never did open up the court. Scoggin said much of that had to do with the absence of Kost, who averages 17.8 points but was out with a sprained ankle he injured in practice Monday.

“We missed Corey a lot,” said Scoggin, who had nine points and five rebounds. “We never got out on the break. Corey’s a real good finisher and he’s usually good for 10 points a night in the open court.”

Said Thornton: “You take out your leading scorer and everything you worked on is out the window.”

Capistrano Valley also had problems with Leuzinger’s quickness and leaping ability. Leuzinger (13-13), an at-large entry from the Bay League, beat the Cougars to loose balls and blocked seven shots.

Leuzinger trailed 15-7, but was down only 24-20 at the half.

But in the third quarter Scoggin and Sedgwick began driving to the basket and either scoring or creating easy scoring opportunities for teammates. Sedgwick (eight points, 10 assists) sank a layup and hit a free throw to open the fourth quarter and give the Cougars their first double-digit lead at 47-36.

Leuzinger, which was led by Jemel Floyd’s 13 points and Wendell Robinson’s 12 points and six rebounds, never came closer than nine after that.

Scoggin said his team will have to pick up its level of play Friday night if it is to beat Long Beach Millikan (14-12), an 83-65 winner over San Gabriel Tuesday. Kost is expected to return for Friday’s game.

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“The papers were saying we got an easy draw, but that doesn’t mean anything unless you come out and prove it,” Scoggin said.

Todd Thornton led Capistrano Valley with 12 points, all on three-pointers. Eric Seiffert had 11 points and Ted Blinn added 10.


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