For a half, Servite's outside shooting kept the Friars even with second-ranked Tustin. But in the second half, Tustin's defense took control and turned a tight game into a blowout.
Tustin capped an unbeaten Golden West League campaign with a 67-45 boys' basketball victory Friday night at Servite in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Tustin's defense keyed a 13-1 run in the first four minutes of the third quarter after being tied, 24-24, at halftime. Servite went more than five minutes before it scored a field goal in the quarter.
It was the Tillers' 15th victory in a row. Their only loss has been to top-ranked Mater Dei.
Guard Doug Gottlieb led Tustin with 21 points and nine assists. Center David Lalazarian finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Raffi Lalazarian added 12 and held Servite forward David Downs to seven points.
Servite (17-8, 7-3) managed to stick with Tustin for a half, hitting seven three-pointers. A three-point bucket by guard Peter Martinelli at the end of the first half tied the score.
But Tustin (24-1, 10-0) changed its defense in the second half. Instead of double-teaming Downs, Tustin pressured the Friars' three-point shooting guards, who wilted.
"We were doubling down on Downs and their little guys were getting open and hitting their shots," Tustin Coach Andy Ground said. "But we decided not to double down as much in the second half and that was the difference."