Nearly one year after Huntington Beach eliminated Trabuco Hills from the playoffs, the Mustangs returned the favor.
Trabuco Hills forced Huntington Beach to play its up-tempo game, and Rob Warnick, who scored 18 of his 28 points in the first quarter, led the Mustangs to a 75-58 victory in a first-round Southern Section Division II-AA boys' basketball playoff game Tuesday at Trabuco Hills High.
Trabuco Hills (17-10) advanced to play at Ocean View, an 80-59 winner over Riverside Poly, in the second round Friday.
"(Warnick) scored 24 of our first 28 points," Trabuco Hills Coach Rainer Wulf said. "It was a great start for Rob, but our guys did a nice job of finding him."
Warnick scored 16 consecutive points, then Nick Punto (11 points, six assists) added a pair of three-pointers and Matt Grace had a basket to help the Mustangs break open a close game by outscoring Huntington Beach, 24-7, over a 5 1/2-minute span of the first half.
The outburst gave Trabuco Hills a 14-point lead with 4 minutes 32 seconds remaining in the second quarter and the Mustangs pushed the lead to 46-24 at halftime. Huntington Beach never got closer than 12 points in the second half.
The difference between last year's 81-69 loss to Huntington Beach and this year's victory?
"One word: Tony," Wulf said. "That's some big difference, huh?"
Tony Gonzalez, a two-time Times all-county selection, scored 30 points in the Oilers' second-round victory over Trabuco Hills last season. But now the muscular 6-foot-6, 230-pound forward does his dunking for Coach Todd Bozeman and California.
Without Gonzalez in the middle Huntington Beach had little to stop Warnick and the Mustangs.
Against Huntington Beach's match-up zone in the first half, Warnick, a 6-4 senior, scored from the high-post area by shooting over Oiler guards Zack Montgomery (5-11) and Jeff Fullbright (6-0).
Huntington Beach (12-13) mixed in its man-to-man defense in the second half, and it worked . . . for a while.
Matt Jones, who had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Clay Chilcott (10 points) helped the Oilers outscore Trabuco Hills, 12-2, the first 5:18 of the third quarter to close within 48-36.
After Trabuco Hills missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the quarter, the Mustangs adjusted and went inside to 6-5 senior Jon Paisley, who scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half.
"(Huntington Beach) had its last two games in the 40s so we wanted to push the ball up against them," Wulf said. "We knew they wouldn't be able to stay with us."
In other Division II-AA games:
Burbank 65, Dana Hills 61--Donald Meyers had 22 points for Dana Hills (11-14).
San Bernardino Cajon 78, Capistrano Valley 70--Greg Foster had 22 points for Capistrano Valley, which finished 15-12.
Cerritos Gahr 65, Garden Grove 50--Mike Campuzano had 23 points and Jason Levasseur added 13 for Garden Grove (14-12). Steve Smith had 17 points for Gahr (14-8), which advanced to play El Monte Arroyo (22-3) in the second round Friday.
Ocean View 80, Riverside Poly 59--Dan McDonald had 29 points and 15 rebounds and Ali Enriquez added 13 points for visiting Ocean View (18-10).
Mission Viejo 45, Whittier La Serna 41--Tyler Kalklosch had 14 points for the Diablos (15-10), who advanced to the second round, where they will play host to La Crescenta Crescenta Valley.
Woodbridge 75, La Verne Damien 47--Chris Burgess had 27 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots for visiting Woodbridge (18-9). The Warriors will play host to Agoura, an 84-73 winner over Oxnard, in the second round.