Lincoln, Christian take losses in OC two-step
A pair of Eastern League teams took their shows on the road up I-5 Saturday, and both returned with losses.
But in the case of one of the teams - Lincoln - their performance should open eyes around the rest of the league.
The Hornets lost 85-78 in a double-overtime thriller to Mission Viejo in a nonleague matchup, while El Cajon Christian, which scored an upset win over league co-favorite Hoover Friday, was badly outplayed in an 83-51 loss to Moorpark in the first game of the BSN Showcase at Pacifica Christian.
That game, which took place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, saw the Patriots start off hot and lead 10-3 halfway through the first quarter. It was all Moorpark from there, as the Musketeers used a full-court press (off of misses and makes alike) to disrupt Christian's offense and turn turnovers into easy transition baskets.
Luke Fenske (33 points, 8-12 3pfg) and Samson Hall (25 points, 9 rebounds) outscored the Patriots by themselves.
Christian got a solid game from 6-4 junior wing Patrick Perez (13 points, 15 rebounds), but the Patriots turned the ball over 24 times (Perez had a team-high five turnovers) and shot 21-54 from the field.
One bright spot for the Patriots was 5-11 sophomore guard Quentin Givens, who came off the bench and scored 10 points on 3-5 shooting, and zero turnovers, looking comfortable handling the ball for the most part against the Musketeers pressure.
I stuck around for a very high-level second game of the BSN Showcase between West Ranch and Fairmont Prep of Anaheim. The Huskies led throughout the game, but West Ranch forced overtime on a three from 6-3 junior guard Jaqari Miles from the top of the key, and then won the game at the buzzer in OT when 6-5 sophomore James Evans hit a three off the right baseline on an out-of-bounds play.
After that, I headed to Mission Viejo, where the San Diego team put up a much better fight in a game that they controlled late into the fourth quarter.
6-3 sophomore Kyelin King starred for the Hornets, scoring a game-high 33 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Hornets push their lead to 17 points in the 3rd.
But the Diablos battled back, and, trailing 67-61 in the game's final 90 seconds, got consecutive triples from 5-9 junior guard Isaiah Tolmaire to force overtime. In the first overtime, Lincoln appeared poised to win the game again, but this time, 5-10 senior guard Zach Small hit a three just before the buzzer to tie the game at 76.
Mission Viejo outscored Lincoln 9-2 in the final overtime to seal the victory. Tolmaire scored 32 points and Small added 20 for the Diablos.
Lincoln also got an excellent first half from 5-8 junior sharpshooter Manny Barnett, who erupted for 13 of his 17 points in the second quarter. 6-2 sophomore guard Derrion Manson added 12 points and 5 assists.
King, who scored 46 points earlier this year in a game against Madison, is rapidly becoming not only one of the best sophomores in San Diego, but arguably one of Southern California's best scorers in the 2024 class.