Joyner keys Eagles' win

NEWPORT BEACH — Estancia High boys' basketball Coach Agustin Heredia has talked about needing a third scoring option.

On Monday night at Newport Harbor, the Eagles really didn't even have a second scoring option.

Senior guard Ray Holmes, the team's second-leading scorer, is still recovering from the flu. He played limited minutes Monday, leaving Estancia at decidedly less-than full strength for the nonleague tilt against the Sailors.

The Eagles proved resourceful, using a game-high 26 points from senior Davon Joyner and also getting sizable contributions from junior center Rashad Davis and sophomore guard Chad Fackler to hang on for a 49-46 victory.

Heredia said he was just glad to leave the Sailors' gym with an even record again, with the Eagles at 8-8. He was also glad that Fackler (eight points and eight rebounds) and Davis (seven points, 12 rebounds and two blocks) came to play.

"We had to get some guys to step up, and Rashad [did] definitely and Chad Fackler," Heredia said. "Chad had some big rebounds down the stretch. Rashad is slowly developing. The last three games, he has played well for us."

So has Joyner in the Eagles' three-game winning streak that started in their final two games at the Coast Classic. Joyner, averaging 16.9 points per game for the season, has bumped that average to 24.7 over the last three games.

Estancia needed every point to snap Newport Harbor's four-game winning streak. The Eagles led by as many as nine in the fourth quarter but the Sailors (6-7) and senior guard Carter Fortier slowly whittled at the lead.

Fortier all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter. The outburst was useful to Harbor after senior center Cody Caldwell provided nearly all the offense in the first three quarters, scoring 20 of his team's 25 points. Caldwell finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds.

"When we had our four-game winning streak, that was basically the recipe every game," Sailors Coach Larry Hirst said. "We'd stay close to teams and bring Carter in, and he was kind of like our instant offense."

Fortier provided five quick points with under two minutes left. His three-pointer, steal at midcourt and layup brought the Tars within 41-38. Davis' put-back made the Eagles' lead five again, but Sailors' senior guard Craig McKennon made a three-pointer with 55 seconds left to pull Harbor within 43-41.

The Sailors were five of 15 from beyond the arc.

"We had to pack in the zone a little bit," Heredia said. "In the first half they hurt us, and we talked about packing it in and making them beat us from the outside. Caldwell was kind of sneaking in there and getting the ball right in the middle."

Fackler split a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left, but the Sailors missed a potentially game-tying triple. The lead fluctuated between three to five points, Joyner's free throws with 15 seconds left putting Estancia up, 48-43.

Fortier nailed a three-pointer from the corner to bring the Sailors within two. After Holmes made one of two free throws with five seconds to go, the Sailors again had a chance to tie, but a three-pointer from the right wing was short at the buzzer.

Joyner said he remembers how Newport Harbor came into the Eagles' gym a year ago and won in overtime. The Eagles stepped up Monday when needed, making 19 of 24 free throws (79%), considerably better than the "in the 50s" percent Heredia said they usually shoot. They made 11 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter, when Joyner was seven of eight.

Newport Harbor was just nine of 18 from the line.

"Knowing it was at their place, the pressure was on," Joyner said. "The crowd was getting louder. We just had to face it … This is a game I wanted to win."


Estancia 49,

Newport Harbor 46


Est 8 – 10 – 9 – 22 – 49

NH 8 – 13 – 4 – 21 – 46

Est – Joyner 26, Fackler 9, Davis 7, Holmes 3, Umansky 2, Beck 2.

3-pt. goals – Joyner 2, Fackler 2.

NH – Caldwell 25, Fortier 11, McKennon 5, Robbs 3, Pickett 2.

3-pt. goals – Fortier 2, Caldwell 1, McKennon 1, Robbs 1.

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