The most single-season wins in Newport Harbor High boys’ basketball history included just one CIF Southern Section playoff triumph.
The Sailors could not add a second Division 2AA playoff victory, falling at Temecula Valley 70-61 on Tuesday.
Newport Harbor (26-5) led after each of the first three quarters, though it saw the Golden Bears (25-5) close to within 51-49 heading into the final period.
Temecula Valley, which uses unceasing full-court pressure and an aggressive, up-tempo offensive style, chipped away until it could run away with the game. The hosts overcame three Sailors’ leads in the final seven minutes to advance to Thursday’s quarterfinal game at Valencia (23-6).
Kryztian Walton led the Golden Bears with 21 points and Raphael Allen added 18 and Nate Jacobsen 17.
“We knew that [Temecula Valley] just wears people down and we saw that tonight in the fourth quarter,” Newport Harbor coach Bob Torribio said. “That’s their game plan.”
Junior Robbie Spooner led the Sailors with 27 points, including a pair of three-pointers to add to his school single-season record.
“Robbie has been shooting the ball well for us all season,” Torribio said of Spooner, who was eight for 13 from the field in the first three quarters and finished with six rebounds.
Senior Dayne Chalmers had 13 points at halftime for the visitors, but was held scoreless in the second half. He led the Tars with 10 rebounds.
Senior Sam Barela had five assists to add to his school single-season record. He contributed three points.
Senior Will Harvey, who along with Chalmers and Barela completed a three-year varsity career that included a combined 63 wins — a total unsurpassed in school annals Torribio said — chipped in eight points. Harvey hit a pair of three-pointers in the fourth period, when the Sailors made just three of 12 shots.
Junior Ryan Miller added eight points off the bench for Newport Harbor, which used an 8-0 run late in the first quarter to take a 22-21 edge into the second period.
The Sailors scored the first nine points of the second quarter and held command late into the third. The Tars led 46-38 with 2:47 left in the third quarter, but Temecula Valley rallied to take a 52-51 lead early in the fourth period.
A Harvey three-pointer and a layup by sophomore Levi Darrow put Newport Harbor up 56-54 with 4:14 left. But the Sailors added just one more field goal, another Harvey three-pointer with 44 seconds left that halted a 10-0 run by the hosts.
“It was a heck of a year for us,” Torribio said. “It was a school record in wins by a great group of kids who were fun to be around. You can always ask for a better ending, but very few teams win their last game.”
Temecula Valley shot 31.9% from the field (23 of 72), while the Sailors were 22 for 53 for 41.5%. The Golden Bears had just four turnovers, including only one in the second half, when the Sailors committed nine of their 13 turnovers.
CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs
Temecula Valley 70, Newport Harbor 61
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Newport Harbor 22 – 14 – 15 – 10 — 61
Temecula Valley 21 – 9 – 19 – 21 — 70
NH – Spooner 27, Chalmers 13, Harvey 8, Miller 8, Barela 3, Darrow 2.
3-pt. goals – Spooner 2, Harvey 2, Miller 2, Chalmers 1, Barela 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.
TV – Walton 21, Allen 18, Jacobsen 17, Schaefer 9, O’Campo 3, Schultz 2.
3-pt. goals – Jacobsen 3, Allen 1.
Fouled out – None.