The Corona del Mar High boys’ basketball team had its hands full with Cal State Northridge commit Festus Ndumanya.
The Sea Kings tried to contain the 6-foot-7 senior, but that opened other lanes for Ndumanya’s Capistrano Valley Christian teammates.
The Eagles erased a double-digit deficit in the second half and went on to win 62-53 in Monday’s first game of the Coach Mike’s Long Shot Challenge at CdM.
Ndumanya had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the second-place team from the San Joaquin League. Sea Kings coach Ryan Schachter deployed a trio of big men — senior Jack Garza and juniors John Humphreys and Ethan Garbers — to slow him down.
“He’s a man-child,” Schachter said of Ndumanya, who scored 12 points in the second half. “We spent so much energy consumed on him [that] their other guys did a great job beating us. Obviously, he’s going to get his, but I thought we did a great job, considering, on Festus.”
The Sea Kings (17-7) doubled Ndumanya early and often, forcing him into two turnovers in the first quarter. Threes by Jack Stone and Jake Hamilton, plus a highlight dunk by Humphreys, staked the Sea Kings to a 15-9 lead after the opening quarter against the No. 6-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division 3A poll.
Fouls started mounting for CdM, which shares the top spot in the Surf League, in the second quarter. Both Garza and Garbers earned two apiece, forcing Humphreys — typically a wing — to moonlight inside against Ndumanya.
Humphreys, a wide receiver in football with offers from Notre Dame, USC and Stanford, started heating up from deep. He drained four straight three-pointers to push the Sea Kings’ lead to 33-22 at halftime.
“He’s a capable shooter,” Schachter said of Humphreys, who finished with 19 points and five rebounds. “We hit shots in the first half, and you get a lead that way.”
The 6-foot-5 Humphreys was only one of three Sea Kings who scored in the first half. The other two were Stone and Hamilton.
The Eagles (19-6) utilized the Petronis brothers — Riely and Blaine — to chip away at the lead. The pair combined for 23 points, with Blaine Petronis leading the way with 14.
Their constant drives, plus the imposing presence from Ndumanya, got Capistrano Valley Christian into the bonus before the fourth quarter. CdM’s 11-point halftime lead almost completely evaporated, as Eagles guard Luke Powell hit a runner at the buzzer to draw within 43-42.
Meanwhile, the Sea Kings’ shots stopped falling.
“They did a great job in the second half of speeding us up, getting us out of our comfort zone on offense and capitalizing on our turnovers and bad shots and went the other way in transition,” Schachter said.
Powell sank another layup to give the Eagles their first lead early in the fourth quarter. After that, the referees called a tight period, assessing a combined 14 fouls the rest of the way.
Down 54-51 with two minutes left, Garza lofted a rare open three-pointer, but it rattled out. After Ndumanya and Blaine Petronis both split one-and-one situations, Stone missed another three at the top of the key.
Garbers and Garza fouled out from there, and the Eagles coasted to their fifth straight victory.
Stone, who finished with 13 points, was the only other CdM player in double figures.
The game was one of four held at CdM as part of the Coach Mike’s Long Shot Challenge. Mike Molina, a Chapman University men’s basketball assistant coach and Costa Mesa alumnus, started the event. Molina fought testicular cancer like his late friend, Jeff Long.
The proceeds from the showcase will go toward the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“I’m always glad we can do this and help [Molina],” said Schachter, whose Sea Kings have a first-place showdown in league play at Edison on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
In their next game, the Sea Kings won’t have to deal with someone with Ndumanya’s size.
Coach Mike’s Long Shot Challenge
Capistrano Valley Christian 62, Corona del Mar 53
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Capistrano Valley Christian 9 –13– 20 – 20 — 62
Corona del Mar 15 – 18 – 10 – 10 — 53
CVC – Ndumanya 19, B. Petronis 14, R. Petronis 9, Powell 9, Rapp 6, Gybe 3, Powers 2.
3-pt. goals – Rapp 2, Gybe 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.
CdM – Humphreys 19, Stone 13, Hamilton 6, Garza 6, Garbers 5, Olson 2, Schimmelpfennig 2.
3-pt. goals – Humphreys 4, Hamilton 2, Garza 1, Stone 1.
Fouled out – Garbers, Garza.