Another Southern Section Division III-A playoff game, another blowout victory for the Chaminade High boys’ basketball team.
Sort of reminiscent of Mission League rival Harvard-Westlake’s playoff run the past two seasons, huh, Coach?.
“Oh, no,” Chaminade Coach Jeff Young said. “I’m not gonna make any comparisons.”
Chaminade starters were second to none Friday night, making 76% of their shots in a 92-60 victory over Cabrillo in a semifinal at Simi Valley High.
Top-seeded Chaminade (26-1), which has won 23 consecutive games, has won its three playoff games by an average margin of 34 points, leaving its coach a little in awe.
“I’m really starting to realize that they are a good team,” Young said.
“And I just hope everybody else recognizes that on Saturday too, no matter what happens.”
Chaminade, which has only a small schools division section title in 1971 to its credit, will face Bishop Montgomery in the section title game March 7 at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
The Eagles were hot from the outset against Cabrillo (14-12), making their first six shots and 10 of 11.
But no one had a hotter hand than senior forward Justin Stewart, who made all 14 of his shots and scored 28 points.
Stewart’s only miss was a free throw, trying to convert a three-point play to start the fourth quarter after being leveled by a defender under the basket.
Stewart, who also had three steals and four blocked shots, was seven of seven in the first half and had 10 of the Eagles’ 26 points in the fourth quarter.
“I saw a lot of openings where I could show more of my game,” said Stewart, who averages 8.9 points.
“They left shots open for me to take and I finally found the confidence I needed. It came at the right time.”
Fueling much of the Eagles’ firepower was junior point guard Cayce Cook, who had 12 assists. Cook, who also had four steals, finished with nine points.
Chaminade owned a 15-point lead at halftime, making 21 of 31 shots in the half.
Senior guard Justin Beach did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 13 of his 15 points
Cabrillo closed the deficit to 47-34 on a jumper by Steve Leininger early in the third quarter, but that was as close as the Conquistadores would get.
With freshman center Scott Borchart scoring eight of his 14 points in the third quarter, the Eagles built a 66-44 lead.
Chaminade, playing with mostly reserves in the fourth quarter, took a 90-55 lead on a short jumper by J.J. Todd.
Scott Long of Chaminade finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Cabrillo’s Jay Richardson, a 6-feet-7 senior center, had 20 points and Travis James added 10.