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Ocean View boys’ basketball suffers narrow defeat at Garden Grove

Ocean View's Jeremiah Santiago (22) drives to the basket against Garden Grove in a Golden West League game on Tuesday.
Ocean View’s Jeremiah Santiago (22) drives to the basket against Garden Grove in a Golden West League game at Garden Grove High School on Tuesday.
(James Carbone)

The Omicron variant besieging prep sports at the moment kept the Ocean View High School boys’ basketball team off the court for three of its first four Golden West League games, played havoc with its practice schedule and slowed or sidelined key players.

That’s impacted the Seahawks’ rhythm and fitness, and it was apparent in Tuesday night’s 42-40 loss at Garden Grove, although head coach Steve Harris wasn’t about to make excuses.

Ocean View (10-7 overall, 1-1 in the Golden West League) shot poorly, turned the ball over too often and missed a 4-footer at the finish that would have forced overtime in a frustrating encounter that was beyond their means most of the way, but that frustration had as much or more to do with Garden Grove’s approach than the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact.

Garden Grove (11-7, 3-0) frustrated star 6-foot-5 forward Ramon “Chico” Lopez, who scored 11 of his 20 points in the second quarter as Ocean View rallied from an 11-point deficit. The Argonauts limited their visitors to 29.4% shooting and held them to their lowest point total of the season, equaling that from a 46-40 tournament loss to Garden Grove Pacifica a month earlier, some 23 points below the Seahawks’ average.

Ocean View's Ramon Lopez (33) is surrounded by Garden Grove defenders in a Golden West League game on Tuesday.
Ocean View’s Ramon Lopez (33) is surrounded by Garden Grove defenders in a Golden West League game on Tuesday.
(James Carbone)

“We’ve got three or four kids coming off COVID protocol, and they’re not in full condition yet, but you have to [give] Garden Grove all the credit in the world,” Harris said. “They did a great job of slowing us down. We’re usually a higher-scoring team, and we were forced to play their tempo, and obviously, we shot very, very poorly. Probably missed 20 shots inside the key.”

The Seahawks, who made just six of 26 shots in the first half and 15 of 51 all night, showed little life until falling behind 19-8 with barely more than three minutes to go in the first half. Harris called timeout, his third of the game, and it finally worked. They went on a 19-4 run — Lopez scoring their last 11 of the second quarter — to take a four-point lead about halfway through the third quarter.

Garden Grove surged again, going ahead on freshman Drue Anzai’s three-pointer late in the third quarter, then breaking a 30-30 tie on another Anzai bomb at the buzzer. The Argonauts pushed the lead to five on two Miguel Ortega free throws a minute and a half into the fourth quarter, and Ocean View again responded, sandwiching two Jeremiah Santiago baskets around a hard-fought bucket by Lopez for a 36-35 edge with 4:09 to go.

Anzai hit another three to put Garden Grove ahead, and then Ethan Mayfield — starting for ill Cole Kenrich — pulled the Seahawks even after a rebound, but they tallied just once in their final six possessions, on Santiago’s drive along the left baseline to make it 42-40.

Garden Grove's Vidal Jimenez (10) dribbles around Ocean View's Marco Cerda (10) in a Golden West League game on Tuesday.
Garden Grove’s Vidal Jimenez (10) dribbles around Ocean View’s Marco Cerda (10) in a Golden West League game on Tuesday.
(James Carbone)

Ocean View had two chances to pull even in the final minute. Lopez, above the arc, stumbled and lost the ball with about 10 seconds to go, but the Seahawks got the ball back when Ortega turned it over trying to drive the lane. They had 7.2 seconds to get the basket, but point guard Marco Cerda failed to hit an open Lopez on the wing, as the play was drawn, and instead fed Santiago on the left baseline. His 4-footer missed, and the buzzer sounded as Mayfield snared the rebound.

“I thought we were going to overtime in my head,” Harris said. “I was already preparing for overtime.”

It was an ugly game. Garden Grove shot just 34% and the teams combined for 31 turnovers, but the Argonauts’ five three-pointers made the difference.

“We played hard and we did what the game plan was supposed to be, which was take away [Lopez] because he’s a fantastic player,” said Argonauts coach Brian Girard, whose team shares the Golden West League lead with Segerstrom (7-13, 3-0), a 72-58 winner at Westminster and Ocean View’s foe at home Friday. “We just did our best.”

Lopez, who came in scoring 27.7 points per game, finished with six rebounds, three off his average. Mayfield pulled down nine rebounds, four on the offensive boards. Ortega, a force inside all night, led Garden Grove with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Ocean View coach Steve Harris instructs his team against Garden Grove in a Golden West League game on Tuesday.
Ocean View coach Steve Harris instructs his team against Garden Grove in a Golden West League game on Tuesday.
(James Carbone)

Golden West League

Garden Grove 42, Ocean View 40

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Ocean View 6 - 13 - 11 - 10 — 40

Garden Grove 9 - 12 - 12 - 9 — 42

OV — Lopez 20, Santiago 8, Guerrero 5, Mayfield 4, Smith-Sherry 2, Cerda 1.

3-pt. goals — None.

Technicals None.

Fouled out — None.

GG — M. Ortega 11, Anzai 9, I. Ortega 7, Mendoza 6, Scott 4, Jimenez 3, Abarca 2.

3-pt. goals — Anzai 3, I. Ortega 1, Jimenez 1.

Technicals — None.

Fouled out — None.

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