Marina boys’ basketball shares Wave League title with Corona del Mar

Marina's Dylan Gomez holds off CdM defender Luke Mirhashemi for a layup.
Marina’s Dylan Gomez (2) holds off CdM defender Luke Mirhashemi (0) for a layup at Corona del Mar High on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Marina High boys’ basketball junior guard Dylan Gomez likes to shoot the three-pointer.

He’s good at it for the Vikings. The problem is, opponents know that too.

“The knock was, he could only shoot the ball,” Marina coach Nick Racklin said. “If they’re taking away the three, what else are you going to do? He was getting a little frustrated, so we had a heart to heart about, ‘Hey, if you’re going to play at the next level you have to go to the rim too.’”

Gomez has turned into a more dynamic player down the stretch for the Vikings.

Now he and his teammates can call themselves Wave League champions.

Marina's Barak Simon (1) drives between CdM's Jackson Harlan (23) and Nick Salmon (15) for a tough basket on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Gomez scored a game-high 21 points as the Vikings won 60-53 at Corona del Mar on Thursday night, forcing a shared league title with the Sea Kings.


Both Marina (21-7 overall) and CdM (22-6) finished 5-1 in league play. The Vikings won the coin flip to enter the CIF Southern Section Division 2A playoffs as the No. 1 designated team.

Gomez only made one three-pointer Thursday for Marina, ranked No. 8 in Division 2A. He got most of his points in other ways, including several drives to the basket.

“It’s the best feeling in the world to win with these guys,” Gomez said. “There’s no better feeling.”

Corona del Mar's Jackson Harlan turns and shoots during Wave League final against Marina.
Corona del Mar’s Jackson Harlan scores in the paint during the Wave League finale against Marina on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Junior point guard Barak Simon added 15 points for Marina, while junior Nick Yeager had 12 points on four makes from downtown.

The Vikings led through much of the contest but had to deal with adversity late. Two Vikings both fouled out within five seconds of each other with less than four minutes to go, and Marina nursing a 51-44 lead.

“It does me no good to argue it,” Racklin said. “We’ve played in so many close games against good teams in the last month and a half. Cognitively, we have experience in close games like this.”

Gomez pushed the lead back to double-digits in the final two minutes. He responded with a drive to the basket and another layup, assisted by Simon, off an out-of-bounds play.

Marina's Luke Pratali (13) goes up and under for a bank off the glass against CdM on Thursday.
Marina’s Luke Pratali (13) goes up and under for a bank off the glass against CdM on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Junior forward Jackson Harlan led CdM, ranked No. 5 in Division 2A, with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Maxwell Scott added 16 points.

CdM jumped out to a 21-2 lead in the teams’ first Wave League meeting at Marina and earned a 74-62 win. This time, coach Jason Simco said his team got out-worked.

“We’ve kind of hung our hat on the defensive rebounding all year.,” Simco said. “They just played with more urgency than us tonight. I thought we defended them pretty well in the first possession, but then you give up an offensive rebound and it leads to open threes.”

Still, Simco said he was proud of a 22-win regular season. The Sea Kings went 7-3 in Sunset Conference games.

“This [conference] is brutal,” he said. “It’s hard to keep 16-year-old young men engaged for 10 really hard games, but our group has really bought in and they’re playing hard … This program is headed in the right direction.”

Corona del Mar's Maxwell Scott (1) drives for a layup against Marina on Thursday night.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)


Wave League

Marina 60, Corona del Mar 53


Marina 12 - 22 - 9 - 17 — 60

CdM 11 - 15 - 14 - 13 — 53

M — D. Gomez 21, Simon 15, Yeager 12, Ryan O’Rourke 4, Vazquez 3, Pratali 3, Mozoguchi 2.

3-pt. goals — Yeager 4, D. Gomez 1.

Fouled out — O’Rourke, Pratali.

Technicals — None.

CdM — Harlan 18, Scott 16, Mirhashemi 6, Salmon 6, Wardy 3, K. Annett 2, B. Annett 2.

3-pt. goals — Salmon 2, Mirhashemi 1, Wardy 1.

Fouled out Salmon.

Technicals None.