COSTA MESA — A lot is expected of senior Davon Joyner this season for the Estancia High boys’ basketball team.
So while not forcing shots, making the extra pass and not obstructing the offense with individual improvisation might all be on most coaches’ wish list, Eagles’ head man Agustin Heredia may not be as vigilant with such demands when it comes to his decorated scoring leader.
“We need him to score, too,” Heredia said after Joyner had just three second-half field-goal attempts in the Eagles’ 60-43 loss to Mercer Island of Washington in the first round of the Coast Classic on Monday at Estancia High.
Joyner, an All-Newport-Mesa Dream Team and first-team All-Orange Coast League performer as a junior who came in averaging 16.4 points this season, finished with 11 points. Included among those was a basket and two free throws during an 8-0 Estancia run that trimmed a 21-point deficit to 43-30 with 1:04 left in the third quarter.
But Mercer Island (6-1), countered with an 11-2 spurt of his own and pushed the advantage to 22, before settling in and advancing to tonight’s championship quarterfinal against JSerra.
Estancia (5-7) will face San Luis Obispo at 1:30 in a consolation quarterfinal.
Joyner had four steals, three rebounds and two assists. But with senior guard Ray Holmes (14.4 points per game coming in) sidelined due to illness, there was an additional scoring burden placed on the varsity veteran.
“If [scoring] is what we need him to do, he’ll do it all,” Heredia said of Joyner. “I think he enjoys that role. We want him to do that, but within the team structure, and he’s getting good about that.”
Senior Charlie Umansky had a team-high 14 points for Estancia, which received a season-high 10 points from 6-6 junior reserve Rashad Davis.
Davis, who had scored 25 points all season coming in, made five of seven field-goal attempts and also had a team-best five rebounds.
“We got [Davis] going a little bit,” Heredia said. “I think that was a bright spot.”
Davis added a blocked shot and a steal, helping supply production for a roster that had just eight players in uniform.
Heredia said sophomore Myles Williamson was also sick and another bench player was out of town.
Sophomore Ben Beck had eight points, four rebounds and two steals for the Eagles, who surrendered seven first-half three-pointers, including five in the second quarter, to submerge their hopes.
Mercer Island, which shot 58.3% from beyond the arc before intermission, made just one of six three-point tries in the final two periods.
“We couldn’t defend their threes in the first half,” Heredia said. “We dug a hole for ourselves and that was the end of it.”
Heredia said patience on offense and greater intensity on defense helped the Eagles get within 13.
“But we couldn’t sustain that effort and we just kind of fell apart,” Heredia said.
Estancia outscored the visitors, 26-25, in the second half.
Mercer Island posted a 40-18 rebounding advantage and had 13 offensive boards.
Estancia had just nine turnovers, two fewer than the Islanders.
Jeff Lindquist, a 6-3 junior, had 13 rebounds to go with 13 points for the winners, who received 14 points from senior guard Derek Newhof. Newhof made four three-pointers.
Junior Brian Miller had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Islanders.
Mercer Island 60, Estancia 43
SCORE BY QUARTERS
MI 12 – 23 – 13 – 12 — 60
Estancia 5 – 12 – 13 – 13 — 43
MI – Newhof 14, Lindquist 13, Miller 10, Cohn 8, Emanuels 7, Scott 5, Rasmussen 3.
3-pt. goals – Newhof 4, Cohn 2, Emanuels 1, Scott 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.
Estancia – Umansky 14, Joyner 11, Davis 10, Beck 8.
3-pt. goals – Umansky 2, Beck 1.
Fouled out – None.
Technicals – None.