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Wulfemeyer Helps Lead Santa Ana Past Saddleback

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Santa Ana, playing without leading scorer Chris Mattice, rallied to beat Saddleback, 74-70, in the final of the Santa Ana basketball tournament Wednesday in Santa Ana.

Mattice, a guard who is averaging 23 points, has missed the last five games after breaking his nose during a Dec. 18 game.

But freshman guard Mark Wulfemeyer took over the scoring duties against Saddleback, getting a season-high 24 points, including six three-pointers. He was eight of 11 from the field and six of nine on three-pointers.

Wulfemeyer made four consecutive three-pointers to help bring the Dons back from an 11-point deficit early in the second half, but freshman guard Carlos Romero finished off Saddleback.

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He broke a 67-67 tie with a three-point play to put Santa Ana ahead, 70-67, with 34 seconds left. He then stole the inbound pass, was fouled, and made both free throws.

Brian Chambers, who had the assist on Romero’s go-ahead basket, added two free throws with 11 seconds left.

“The good thing is we understood the idea of playing together with a little intensity,” Santa Ana Coach Ray Rodriguez said.

In the Fullerton women’s tournament:

Irvine Valley 67, Fullerton 55--Irvine Valley struggled for most of the first half against Fullerton’s one-three-one trap but finally broke through in the title game.

The Lasers (12-4) were down, 35-22, with 3:24 left in the first half but scored the final eight points of the first half and the first seven of the second half to take a 37-35 lead.

Irvine Valley pushed the lead to 52-41 when sophomore guard Phouangmaly Pravongviengkham made a pair of free throws with 8:09 to play.

“We knew we had to handle [their zone],” Irvine Valley Coach Julie Hanks said. “If we didn’t break it, we would have gotten blown out.”

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Fullerton (9-7) got as close as 54-50 when Chris Payne made a three-pointer with 5:35 to play. But Irvine Valley’s Jami Allred had a three-point play and made a 12-footer from the left corner to give the Lasers a 59-50 lead.

Pravongviengkham finished with 17 points and was selected as the tournament’s most valuable player. Allred, who had 14 and Lauren O’Hara, who had eight of her 10 in the second half, made the all-tournament team.

Payne, who had 20 points but only five in the second half, and Teresa Manning (14 points) made the all-tournament team for Fullerton.


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