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Marina boys’ basketball beats rival Huntington Beach in Wave League opener

Marina's Kylle Magdangal shoots a layup against Huntington Beach's Kyle Bennett, left, and Tyler Mangold.
Marina’s Kylle Magdangal shoots a layup on Huntington Beach’s Kyle Bennett, left, and Tyler Mangold during a Wave League game at Marina High School on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The Marina High boys’ basketball team returned to full strength just in time for its Wave League opener Friday night against visiting rival Huntington Beach.

Coach Nick Racklin said that senior guard Kenji Duremdes returned Thursday from his native country, the Philippines. Duremdes had to go back on Dec. 10 to renew a six-month tourist visa, but his return was delayed.

“Our team missed him,” said senior point guard Kylle Magdangal, Duremdes’ half-brother. “He missed a lot of practices and stuff. He just played his heart out this game.”

Magdangal also took the opportunity to step his game up in the first “Oil vs. Water” rivalry game.

He scored a season-high 20 points as Marina cruised in the second half of a 73-48 victory.

Huntington Beach's Cole Steiner and Marina's Bohdi Armstrong battle for a loose ball during Friday's game.
Huntington Beach’s Cole Steiner and Marina’s Bohdi Armstrong battle for a loose ball during a Wave League game at Marina High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Marina (14-5, 1-0 in league) has high hopes for this season, coming off an appearance in the CIF Southern Section Division 3A title game last spring. The Vikings are currently ranked No. 14 in Division 2AA.

Senior guards Eric Hodgkins and Robert Aguirre each added 14 points for Marina on Friday night. Hodgkins couldn’t get it going from downtown, missing all four of his three-point tries, but he was six of seven on two-point attempts.

“When he’s not shooting well, he gets it going toward the rim,” Racklin said. “He’s good at that. But hey, if it’s not Rob, then it’s Eric. If it’s not Eric, then it’s Bodhi. They take turns. Bodhi Armstrong led us in scoring probably eight or nine times this year, just because everyone was worried about the other guys.”

Armstrong scored nine points on Friday, on a trio of three-pointers, and Duremdes had eight points.

Marina's Michael Carabine goes up for a shot against Huntington Beach's Aaron Heller during Friday's game.
Marina’s Michael Carabine goes up for a shot against Huntington Beach’s Aaron Heller during a Wave League game at Marina High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Huntington Beach (4-15, 0-2) kept it close in the first half. The Oilers trailed just 32-29 at halftime, and pulled within one on a basket by Jackson Pizarro early in the third quarter.

But Marina went on a 21-7 run that extended most of the rest of the quarter. Magdangal, who likes to drive and kick, did the finishing himself during the spurt with four layups.

“We got out in transition in the second half,” Aguirre said. “That’s what kind of got us going. In the first half, we were kind of stagnant, but I think the press really helped us out a lot when we got up. We got a lot of turnovers off of it.”

Junior guard Luke Kumaric led Huntington Beach with 13 points, but the Oilers’ third-quarter draught was familiar to third-year head coach Tino Zaragoza. He said his young team sometimes has confidence issues.

Marina's Kenji Duremdes, left, celebrates with Dylan Gomez after beating Huntington Beach in Friday's Wave League game.
Marina’s Kenji Duremdes, left, celebrates with Dylan Gomez after beating Huntington Beach in a Wave League game at Marina High on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“We just have these slumps of four to five minutes where we just can’t score,” said Zaragoza, who played basketball at Northwood High and Vanguard University. “In that time, they just blow [the lead] up to 10 or 12 [points]. It’s tough coming back. That’s been our biggest bugaboo all year, those four our five minutes where we just can’t score the ball.

“Our defense suffers and our offense suffers. We can’t score, and our defense starts to slack off. Good teams like Marina, they’re going to put it on you, and that’s what they did.”

Both teams had makeup games scheduled Saturday due to COVID-19 postponements. Huntington Beach played at Edison, while Marina played at Los Alamitos in another Sunset Conference crossover game.

The Vikings, who last won league in 2019, hope to take the Wave League title away from defending champion Fountain Valley. The teams now play both of their league games in the same week, Jan. 25 at Marina and Jan. 28 at Fountain Valley.

“We’ve got those two games circled on our calendar for sure,” Racklin said.

Marina's Robert Aguirre, center, cheers for his teammates during Friday night's game.
Marina’s Robert Aguirre, center, cheers for his teammates during a Wave League game against Huntington Beach on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Wave League

Marina 73, Huntington Beach 48

SCORE BY QUARTERS

H. Beach 16 –13 – 11 – 8 — 48

Marina 16 – 16 – 21 – 20 — 73

HB – Kumaric 13, Pizzaro 8, Heller 7, Mangold 5, Thralls 5, Bennett 4, Via 4, Alapag 2.

3-pt. goals – Pizarro 2, Heller 2, Kumaric 1, Mangold 1, Thralls 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

M – Magdangal 20, Aguirre 14, Hodgkins 14, Armstrong 9, Duremdes 8, Gomez 4, Carabine 4.

3-pt. goals – Armstrong 3, Aguirre 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

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