A second-half slump

COSTA MESA — Coach Agustin Heredia gave last-minute directions to his Estancia High boys' basketball team Wednesday night.

The words were relatively simple before the Eagles took the floor for the second half.

"Let's get a good start," Heredia said.

The Eagles missed out on that good start. Now they have dropped to the bronze division of the Estancia Coast Classic, their host tournament.

Marina pulled away in the second half for a 50-43 pool-play victory at Estancia High. The result was tough for the Eagles, who were the only one of four teams in their pool to go 0-2 in pool play.

Orange Coast League foe Laguna Beach won the pool to advance to the gold division. Marina and Corona are in the silver division while Estancia faces San Luis Obispo on Thursday at 1 p.m. in a bronze division semifinal game.

The Eagles (7-6) appeared to have the advantage early in the second half Wednesday. With the Eagles trailing, 22-20, they got one of Marina's top players, senior guard Jordon Adnams, in foul trouble.

Adnams picked up his third and fourth fouls in a 12-second span. First he was whistled on a charging foul drawn by Estancia's Chad Fackler, then he collected his fourth foul by hacking the Eagles' Ben Beck on a three-point attempt.

Adnams went to the bench with 6:08 left in the third quarter. Beck made two of three free throws to tie the score, but the Vikings (6-8) did not fold.

In less than four minutes, they went on a 12-0 run. By the time Marina junior Casey Hayes nailed a three-pointer, the score was 34-22 and Heredia was forced to call timeout.

"Lately I've been starting to play more guys," Marina first-year Coach Nick Racklin said. "Our starters go really hard. When they need a rest, I need to be able to put guys in there that are going to make plays, not just take up space. They did a good job tonight."

Estancia, with just eight players in uniform, had a smaller bench. The Eagles were still able to cut the lead to 37-29 after the third quarter.

But Adnams re-entered in the fourth quarter, when he scored seven of his team-high 13 points. The Vikings held off Estancia, even after a steal and layup by senior center Rashad Davis cut the lead to 44-38 with 2:30 remaining in the game.

A traveling call and a missed three-pointer stopped Estancia from further cutting into the lead with less than two minutes left.

As he has been all season for Estancia, Davis was a force inside. He finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks and two steals. But Racklin credited his post players, Adnams and senior Jordan Koontz, for helping limit Davis' touches in the second half.

"We did a good job fronting the post and having good weak-side help," Racklin said. "We've just been able to sort of learn how to talk to each other on the basketball court, which has been great for us. Extra communication and physical presence down low were good for us in stopping him. He still had 16 [points] ... he's a great player."

Senior guard Jazz Hill had nine points off the bench for Estancia, including a deep three-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer. Hill and sophomore Josh Mendoza (eight points) each hit twice from three-point range, while Fackler and Beck scored four points each.

J.J. James, a senior guard who leads Marina in scoring with 17 points per game, finished with 10 points Wednesday.

The Vikings also got sizable contributions from Josh Calkin and Michael Livingston, who scored nine points each.

Gold division semifinal games at the Coast Classic are JSerra against Sunny Hills at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by Mission Viejo against Laguna Beach at 7.


Twitter: @mjszabo


Coast Classic

Pool play

Marina 50, Estancia 43


Estancia 7 – 13 – 9 – 14 — 43

Marina 11 – 9 – 17 – 13 — 50

Est – Davis 16, Hill 9, Mendoza 8, Beck 4, Fackler 4, Harry 2.

3-pt. goals – Hill 2, Mendoza 2.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

Mar – Adnams 13, James 10, Culkin 9, Livingston 9, Hayes 3, Winks 3, Hodge 2, Funai 1.

3-pt. goals – Adnams 2, James 1, Hayes 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

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