2014-15 SEASON WRAP UP
MARCH 1, 2015 - As Triton Head Coach Marc Popovich explained to the media following the 61-59 playoff loss to Tustin which ended his team's season, if you'd told him after school that day that his all-league forward Sam Darnold would have an open 16 footer to tie the game at the buzzer, he'd take that every time.
History, in this most historical of Triton Basketball seasons, will show that the All-50 team member's shot came up just short. But not before the 50th Anniversary edition of the Tritons made lots of history of their own, culminating with what was really a teachable moment for what will be young San Clemente squads next year.
What if it didn't come down to one shot? What if there'd been one fewer foul? Or turnover? Or missed layup? Or missed free throw? Any of those could just as well have added to this year's legacy. And could do the same for future Triton seasons.
History will show that the 2014-15 Triton Varsity ended the season with a 19-8 record, the second most wins in school history. It won the South Coast League title with a perfect 8-0 record, the first undefeated league mark in school history.
The title also was San Clemente's second in three years, after the Tritons had gone 38 years between their first one in 1975 and their second in 2013. As part of that process, seniors Darnold and Nick Crankshaw and junior Cole Fotheringham became the only players in school history to win two varsity championships during their careers.
San Clemente's seventh consecutive CIF Playoff appearance, all during the tenure of Coach Popovich, was a school record. And the team had a 12-game winning streak before its season-ending loss.
In contrast to this year's senior laden lineup (there were 11 seniors on the 2014-15 varsity), the mantle will be turned over to a comparatively young squad in 2015-15.
As for those young Tritons, this year's Junior Varsity earned the program's best record at 21-3, as well as a share of the league championship.
The Triton Sophomores, at 14-7, also won a share of the league title. They ended the season by winning 12 of their final 15 games.
While the 15-8 Triton Frosh came up just a game short of first place, like the sophs, it recovered from a slow start by winning 14 of its last 17 games.
The Frosh B finished its season at 10-3, and joined the J.V. as the only Triton teams not to have a losing streak during the 2014-15 season.
Killer Schedule Adds to Mystique of Already Outstanding Season
March 7, 2015 - As remarkable as the Triton Varsity's 2014-15 season was, a post mortem analysis of the team's schedule shows the Tritons' accomplishments may be even more noteworthy than previously recognized.
Of the 23 California-based opponents played by San Clemente, 18 of them qualified for the CIF-Southern Section Playoffs. Two of the four out-of-state teams faced by the Tritons during a December tournament made it to their respective state's playoffs. In total, 20 of the Tritons' 27 opponents this season were playoff teams.
Foremost among these is Xaverian (Brooklyn), ranked second in the State of New York and at this writing preparing to play for the state title. Canyon (2AA) and Sonora (3AA) both won CIF Southern Section championships.
Corona del Mar lost in the 3A title game. Tustin (1AA), Tesoro (1A) and Esperanza (3A) all made it to the semifinals. All but three of the playoff teams faced by the Tritons this season went at least to the second round.
And a non-playoff team on the San Clemente schedule, rival Dana HIlls, whose fourth-place finish in the South Coast League kept it out of the postseason, posted a victory over 2AA finalist Elsinore.
Birmingham and Cameron Get Call