Seahawks leave Jaguars behind

HUNTINGTON BEACH – The Ocean View team that started out against Segerstrom Friday hardly resembled the one that ended the key Golden West League boys' basketball game.

The Seahawks struggled early but made up for it by finishing with a flurry and routed the Jaguars, 96-58, at Ocean View.

Ocean View outscored Segerstrom 56-21, over the second and third quarters, to storm to a commanding lead. Friday's win completed a perfect first half of league play for the Seahawks, ranked second in CIF Southern Section Division 2AA. They are alone in first place at 5-0. They also won their 11th straight game to run their record to 17-3.

Segerstrom, which would have moved into a tie for first place had it defeated Ocean View, slipped to 3-2 in league.

Last year, Ocean View rallied late in the league season to forge a three-way tie for the GWL title with Segerstrom and Loara.

The Seahawks rolled past Loara, 74-33, a week ago.

Friday's game somewhat resembled Ocean View's victory earlier in the week over Huntington Beach. As in that 82-68 nonleague win at Huntington on Monday, the Seahawks struggled early against Segerstrom, but came up with a big second quarter to take control. They held leads of 14-6 and 16-9 in the first quarter but the Jaguars ended the quarter on a 14-3 run to take a 21-19 lead.

"We were frustrated with the way we came out," Ocean View co-head coach Tim Walsh said. "We weren't on the same page, at all. We wanted to establish [seven-foot center Conor Clifford] inside early in the game. We did that for a while but sometimes when we try to do that, we get stagnant on offense. That's what happened to us in that first quarter – we got stagnant."

Although Clifford did score 10 points in the opening quarter, he did pick up two fouls and sat out the second quarter. The Seahawks, however, were able to find their offensive flow midway through the quarter.

The score was tied, 27-27, but a pair of free throws by senior forward/guard Cristian Rivera with 5:18 left in the quarter, gave Ocean View the lead for good (29-27). The free throws started a quick, 7-0 spurt that turned into a 16-2 run to end the half. It put the Seahawks in front at intermission, 47-31.

The defensive play of senior guard/forward Travis Sparks-Jackson, who sparked the Seahawks in the second quarter, impressed Walsh.

"Travis came in off the bench and did a fantastic job," Walsh said. "People talk about our depth, and he's an example of that. He's our best defensive player and he did a great job on the defensive end in the quarter. He'd start on any other team. He comes off the bench and he doesn't complain, either. He just goes out and gets the job done."

Ocean View continued its torrid pace at the outset of the second half by scoring the first 11 points of the half to grab a 58-31 lead. The Seahawks went on to take a 75-42 lead through three quarters.

They took their first 40-point lead (87-47) when freshman guard Tyler Burch hit a three-point shot from the corner with 4:38 remaining. It was the first of three 40-point leads in the quarter.

Rivera had a standout game. His play also mirrored the Seahawks' slow start.

"I kind of jumped on him in the first quarter," Walsh said. "He wasn't playing well and he was stuck in a rut. You could see it was affecting him but boy, he really turned it around. He was attacking the rim at both ends of the court and those second and third quarters were about the best I've seen him play."

Rivera, one of three captains for Ocean View, went on to score 15 points by halftime. He finished with a game-high 27 points and was perfect from the floor, hitting all 11 of his shot attempts. He also registered eight rebounds and five assists and had four steals.

His work night was finished with 1:52 left in the third quarter, when he went to the bench for good.

Clifford, another team captain, finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Small scored 10 points, Burch was three for three from three-point range and had nine points.

Ocean View pulled its starters after three quarters and used its entire bench in the final eight minutes. In the fourth quarter, Seahawks sophomore guard Dillon Reise came up with a great stuff when he pinned a shot on a drive to the basket by Segerstrom guard Justyn Cry. The big block brought the Ocean View bench to its feet and it led to a three-point shot at the other end by senior guard Robbie Peyton. The electric sequence brought the score to 93-53 with just under two minutes to play.

Ocean View begins the second half of league play at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Westminster which improved to 3-2 in league on Friday by defeating Santa Ana, 48-30. The Seahawks defeated the Lions, 69-36, in a league opener on Jan. 6. Westminster played that game without leading scorer Josh Jesson (injury) but Walsh said Friday that the junior forward will be back in the Westminster line-up on Wednesday.

"It'll be a lot tougher game at their place with him [Jesson] back in the lineup," Walsh said.

Ocean View has scored 90 points or more in four games. The Seahawks have won five of their last six games by 31 or more points including a 62-point win on Jan. 11 over Orange (83-21).

michael.sciacca@latimes.com

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

 

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