Boys basketball: Eagles overwhelmed

Barry Faulkner

SANTA ANA - There is a fine line between knowing what to expect and

being fully prepared. The Estancia High boys basketball team learned the

difference Friday in a 58-44 nonleague loss at Century High.

"I told our kids all week that Century had a bunch of 5-foot-9, and

5-10 guys who were going to work their tails off for four quarters,"

Estancia Coach Chris Sorce, who had firsthand knowledge of the Century

approach, having coached in the program under esteemed veteran head man

Greg Coombs.

"I have all the respect in the world for what Greg does with his guys

and (the Centurions) showed why tonight. They're known for playing hard

and playing tough defense and, offensively, they execute to be

successful. If you look at their scores, they're always in every game,

whether they're playing the Lakers, or Estancia, or someone in between.

They play above their ability and (Coombs) gets the most out of his

players. That's why he has 300 (career) wins."

The Eagles were up to the challenge early, penetrating the Century

man-to-man defense to build a 15-4 lead with 3:02 left in the first

quarter.

But the hosts scored the final eight points of the period, en route to

a 13-0 run that gave them a 17-15 lead with 6:50 left before halftime.

A pair of Fernando Maldonado layups put the Eagles back on top, and

Jorge Prado's four-foot runner moments later pulled Estancia even, 21-21,

midway through the period.

But back-to-back Century three-pointers by David Sok spurred the hosts

(11-5) to a 31-27 halftime cushion.

Century opened the third quarter with two more three-pointers,

outscored the Eagles in the period, 12-4, then cruised home by hitting

seven free throws in the fourth quarter.

The loss extended the Eagles' losing streak to three as they head into

Wednesday's Pacific Coast League opener at Northwood.

Estancia (9-7), which had won seven straight before the recent swoon,

also figures to be without junior starting forward Lewis Bradshaw, who

missed Friday's game while on vacation and could sit out some league

games, as penalty for missing practices this week.

Bradshaw's absence, as well as injuries and other defections, left

Sorce with eight available bodies Friday, a fact compounded by frontline

foul trouble, including 6-7 junior center Joey Lindquist fouling out.

It might not have mattered who the Eagles had on the floor, however,

as the Centurions turned up the intensity and executed with precision

after falling behind early.

"You have to zone them and make them beat you from the outside," Sorce

said. "But, once they get ahead and pull you out of that zone, they can

carve you up."

Century reigned all five of its three-pointers over the Estancia zone

in a period of 9:41, spanning most of the second quarter and the start of

the third. Then, as predicted, the hosts sliced and diced the Eagles'

man-to-man scheme.

Conversely, the Eagles seemed to have more and more difficulty finding

shots against the Century defense, finishing with just 17 second-half

points. The visitors hit just 7 of 26 field-goal attempts (just less than

27%) after intermission.

Prado had a team-high 15 points and seven rebounds, while Lindquist

(11 points and seven boards) and Maldonado (10 points and nine rebounds)

also contributed for the Eagles (9-7).

Century's Ramon Mendoza, a 6-0 sophomore, led all scorers with 22

points and his 12 rebounds, combined with 13 boards and 13 points by 5-10

senior reserve Ivan Preciado, helped the hosts earn a 40-30 rebounding

advantage.

"They annihilated us on the boards," Sorce said.

NONLEAGUE

Century 58, Estancia 44

Score by Quarters

Estancia 15 12 4 13 - 44

Century 12 19 12 15 - 58

Estancia - Maldonado 10, Andersen 4, Lindquist 11, Prado 15, Snell 2,

Cachola 2, Valdes 0, Novak 0.

3-pt. goals - Prado 2.

Fouled out - Lindquist.

Technicals - none.

Century - Martinez 5, Sanchez 0, Mendoza 22, D. Sok 10, K. Sok 8,

Preciado 13.

3-pt. goals - D. Sok 3, K. Sok 1, Mendoza 1.

Fouled out - none.

Technicals - none.

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