Santa Clara Surpasses Moorpark by Leaps and Bounds
If you don’t win the battles under the basket, it’s likely you won’t win on the scoreboard.
The Santa Clara High boys’ basketball team made that piece of worn wisdom painfully clear to Moorpark on Tuesday night, defeating the Musketeers, 76-51, at Moorpark High to claim sole possession of first place in the Frontier League.
Santa Clara senior guards Lukman Dotson and Adam Lopez scored 18 and 19 points, and the Saints simply muscled the Musketeers out of the way in pursuit of rebounds.
“We lost the game on the boards. Their second shots killed us,” Moorpark Coach Tim Bednar said. “We have athletic kids who have been going up and just snapping them down. We knew Santa Clara wouldn’t let us do that, but maybe we just haven’t had enough experience fighting for position.”
Moorpark’s top rebounder was sophomore center Kevin Lawrence with only four, though he led the Musketeers with 18 points.
Santa Clara (14-4, 4-0 in league play) scored the game’s first eight points and led, 17-9, at the end of the first quarter.
But the Saints suddenly began missing shots while Lawrence scored 10 in the second quarter to help forge a 24-24 tie several minutes before the half.
But Dotson and Lopez each hit three-point shots before halftime with Lopez’s coming two seconds before intermission for a 34-27 Saints’ lead.
“We were excited to have the momentum back going into the second half,” Lopez said. “We’d been flat but those shots gave us a big boost.”
The Musketeers (12-9, 3-1) pulled to within three points twice in the third quarter but trailed, 53-43, at its conclusion, having an answer for neither the inside strength of Saints’ forwards Skye Peterson and Jeff Lacefield nor the shooting and drives of Dotson and Lopez.
Lacefield finished with 15 points while teammate and guard Bryan Doyle scored 10 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.