Corona del Mar High may have moved to the Surf League this year, but the old Pacific Coast League member has not forgotten about its past rival.
The Sea Kings traveled to Beckman for a nonleague boys’ basketball game on Wednesday night, and even with the re-leaguing having taken place, the game seemed to mean just as much to the Patriots.
Senior power forward Aaman Soma had 18 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, leading Beckman to a 55-44 win over the visiting Sea Kings.
“CdM was always a tough matchup when they were in our league,” Soma said. “We got a chance to play them, even though they’re not in our league anymore, and really wanted this win.”
Sea Kings coach Ryan Schachter knew that his team would be facing a tough matchup with the length of the Patriots (5-2). He hoped that his team would be able keep Beckman’s post players off the glass, but that is something that no team has been able to do yet against Beckman.
“We put a 6-4 guy [Soma] out there with a giant wingspan who can really get a lot of rebounds,” Patriots coach John Goins said. “He got a lot of offensive boards today. It helps out. We’ve outrebounded every team so far this year.”
Soma has benefited from teams having to key in on senior guard Dylan Thoerner, whom Schachter called the best returning player in the Pacific Coast League.
In addition to the battle of the boards, Schachter made defending Thoerner the other key to the game for the Sea Kings (1-1). Thoerner was limited to 14 points and nine rebounds, but he scored the first five points of the second half in a critical stretch.
Beckman opened the second half on a 9-0 run, taking its lead to 38-25.
Luke Fajardo and Jared Shintani, a pair of 5-foot-6 point guards, helped the Patriots break down CdM’s box-and-one defense, displaying tremendous speed with the basketball.
“We always look in transition first,” Goins said. “I have no problem taking an early shot if it’s something at the rim or a wide-open three.
“My little ball-handlers, they’re a tough guard. People can’t get that low on them.”
The Sea Kings led 13-12 after the first quarter, but the Patriots attacked in transition in the second quarter to take the lead.
Soma had seven points, four rebounds and three steals in the second quarter alone, helping Beckman take a 29-25 advantage into the halftime locker room.
Jack Stone and Matt Olson each had 12 points to lead the Sea Kings, but CdM struggled to find sustained offense. Stone hit a three-pointer with 2:28 left in the first quarter, which was CdM’s only connection from distance for the game.
“I thought they did a good job of staying home, keeping us in front, but I thought we had some really good looks, too,” Schachter said. “I felt like we were always a couple of shots away from being right there. We just couldn’t knock any down.”
Schachter came away pleased with the effort of Scott Truninger. The 6-foot-5 center had nine rebounds and a blocked shot.
“I thought he did a great job in there,” Schachter said. “He rebounded well. He was physical. He’s got to be a little quicker to the ball, but for the most part, I’m happy with the energy that he provided on the boards.”
Juniors John Humphreys and Ethan Garbers did not dress for CdM on Wednesday night. Schachter said that both players could use a break to recover physically and mentally after the grind of a long football season that saw the duo lead their team to the CIF Southern Section Division 4 championship game on Nov. 24 .
Schachter added that Garbers could return next week when the Sea Kings host the CdM Beach Bash, with Humphreys (knee) being given a chance to return the week after.
Goins wants the nonleague games between CdM and Beckman to become a regular occurrence.
“I’m happy that [Schachter] still wants to keep the games going because they’re always good, and they always run their stuff well,” Goins said. “They’re good kids to play against. They work hard, but they’re nice guys.”
The Sea Kings will remain on the road for their next game on Saturday, when they take on Portola (3-2) at 1 p.m.
Beckman 55, Corona del Mar 44
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Corona del Mar 13 – 12 – 9 – 10 — 44
Beckman 10 – 19 – 16 – 10 — 55
CdM – Olson 12, Stone 12, J. Hamilton 8, A. Garza 4, Schim 4, Truninger 2, J. Garza 1, A. Hamilton 1.
3-pt. goals – Stone 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – Stone.
B – Soma 18, Thoerner 14, Bozzo 8, Khandhadia 7, Fajardo 4, Feldman 4.
3-pt. goals – Soma 2, Thoerner 1, Khandhadia 1.
Fouled out – None.