Accomplishing much more than its second tournament title of the year, the Triton Junior Varsity beat Trabuco Hills 43-34 to in the championship game of the Dana Hills Tournament. The win moves the J.V. to a program-best 11-1 for the season. Moreover, it avenges the team's only loss, suffered two weeks earlier at the El Toro Tournament. And, importantly, it gives San Clemente a championship performance in the basketball program's last game of 2014.
Employing a zone defense for much of the game to control the pace, Trabuco turned the contest into a defensive struggle, particularly with most of the Tritons typically sharp three-point shooters misfiring early. It was 18-17 in favor of San Clemente at the half.
Then the Triton shooters and defense heated up in the third quarter, staking San Clemente to a 10-point lead, which was cut to no fewer than five the rest of the game. The Tritons hit nine three-pointers in the game. They were led by Jake Cameron with 16. Isaac Rex added 11; Blake Birmingham, nine; and Aidan Butler, seven.
But an equal share of the credit goes to the San Clemente defense, which held the Mustangs to a season-low 34 points only a night after Trabuco had scored 69 in its semi-final victory over Sage Creek. Besides the aforementioned scorers, Dylan Hauser, Daniel Mircheff, Joey Spurgeon and James Van Ginkel helped hold Trabuco's own vaunted shooters to just two three-pointers. Trabuco only scored in double figures during one period, the fourth, when it notched 10. No Mustang player scored more than nine.
The Triton Junior Varsity finally gets to play at home at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 6, when it hosts Troy in San Clemente's home opener.
Matt Kerr's back-to-back three-pointers in the second quarter ignited the Triton Soph offense en route to a 52-45 win over Santa Margarita, giving San Clemente third place in the Laguna Hills Tournament. The Tritons (5-5) took control of the game in the second period with a 16-5 run.
San Clemente scoring was led by Trevor Ankrom with 12. Kerr wound up with nine points, as did Michael Moran. Luke Melby added eight; Hunter Knights and Jimmy Varos, five each; and Kai Hadsall, four. Unfortunately for the Tritons, Varos left the game early with a severely sprained wrist.
The Triton Sophs return to action at Troy in Fullerton on Tuesday, January 6.
Calin Chin and Calvin Pastel led the Triton Frosh B to a 48-30 win over Calvary Chapel at the Northwood Tournament in Irvine. The win moves San Clemente to 6-1 on the season. Chin had a stat-sheet filling 16 points, eight steals and five assists, while Pastel had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Fletcher Ames and Jack Boatman each had six points for the Tritons, with 10 and two rebounds, respectively. Levin Nelson added five; Sean Christl and Spencer Zibas, two each; and Brendan Walker, one.
The Frosh B return to action January 16 at El Toro..
A three-point over-time loss to Ambridge (PA) in the fourth-place game of the Cactus Jam Hoops Classic in Phoenix left the Triton Varsity at .500 for the season. San Clemente went 2-2 on the trip and is now 7-7 for the season.
Only five Tritons scored in the 53-50 loss to Ambrose, three of them in double figures. Gage Shelmidine had 15 points; Cade Griffin, 13; and Joe Mann, 11. The other two San Clemente scorers with Nick Crankshaw with eight and Scott Herrod with three. The team was only three of 12 on three-point attempts and five of 12 on free throws, either of which could have changed the outcome. Mann led the team with six rebounds, the same number of assists Crankshaw had for a team high.
The Triton Varsity returns to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 6, in its 2014-15 home opener against Troy.
Holding Trabuco Hills scoreless in the third quarter of the fifth-place game at the El Toro Frosh Tournament proved to be the difference in San Clemente's 36-24 victory. The Tritons scored 12 in the pivotal period, which wound up being the final margin of the game.
The freshmen have now won five out of their last six games, and with a 6-5 record are above .500 for the first time this season. They return to action on Tuesday, January 6, when they make their longest road trip of the season to Troy High School in Fullerton.
Against Trabuco, the Tritons were led by Branden Wilson's 17 points. They also go seven from Chris Kane, four from Nick Martino, three each from Ryan Cattich and Bryce Wilson, and two from Austin Whitsett.
With only five players getting on the scoreboard, the Triton Frosh B (5-1) suffered its first loss of the season against tournament host Northwood, 66-38. San Clemente wraps up the event at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, December 30, when it plays Calvary Chapel.
The Tritons were led by Fletcher Ames with 12 points. A trio of San Clemente players -- Calin Chin, Levi Nelson and Calvin Pastel -- each had eight. Jacki Boatman rounded out the scoring with a basket. San Clemente trailed 35-19 at the half, and never recovered.
Seeing a 21-18 halftime lead slip away during a third quarter in which it was outscored 13-6, the Triton Soph lost its Laguna Hills Tournament semifinal game to Mission Viejo, 45-41. Less than two weeks earlier, San Clemente beat the Diablos 46-42. The loss drops the Tritons into the tournament's third-place game to be played at 4 p.m. Tuesday, December 30.
Hurting San Clemente's cause was the fact that both of its leading post players, Luke Melby and Michael Moran, fouled out. Trevor Ankrom led Triton scorers with 13 points and was the only San Clemente player in double figures. Melby added eight; Kai Hadsall, seven; Jimmy Varos, five; Matt Kerr, four; and Hunter Knights and MIchael Moran, two each. Moran led the Tritons in rebounding with 10. Melby had six.
Trailing Tesoro 13-8 late in the first quarter of its Dana Hills Tournament semifinal matchup, the Triton Junior Varsity went on a 23-4 run over the next nine minutes to give it the cushion it needed to beat the Titans 52-47. San Clemente will face the winner of Sage Creek and Trabuco Hills for the championship at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 30.
By halftime, the Tritons led 34-25. From there, they had to withstand the Titan rally with starting point guard Blake Birmingham spending most of the time on the bench with foul trouble. Nonetheless, the sophomore led San Clemente with 15 points. Junior Jake Cameron joiined him in double figures with 12.
Other Triton scoring came from Aidan Butler with eight; Daniel Mircheff, six; Isaac Rex, five; Dylan Hauser, three; and Joey Spurgeon, two.
Coming back from a nine-point half-time deficit, the Triton Varsity advanced to the fourth-place game of the Cactus Jam Hoops Classic in Phoenix with a 51-45 win over Archbishop Spalding from Baltimore. San Clemente will face Ambridge (PA), a 65-59 winner over Ransom Everglades at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, December 30. Ambridge is located on the Ohio River, 15 miles outside of Pittsburgh.
Against Spalding, the Tritons trailed 27-18 at the half. But they closed the gap to a point, 35-34, going to the final period before outscoring Spalding 17-10 over final eight minutes.
Leading San Clemente scoring was Scott Herrod with his season high of 13 points. Also in double figures was Nick Crankshaw with 11 points. He also had team highs of seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Other Triton scoring came from Cade Griffin and Gage Shelmidine with eight each. Joe Mann added five; Cole Fotheringham, four; and Dillon Waikle, two.
With league play looming just more than two weeks away, the Triton Frosh beat South Coast League rival El Toro in a non-league game for the second time in nine days. The final score of the El Toro Tournament contest was 49-34.
After a competitive first quarter, from which the Tritons emerged with an 18-14 lead, San Clemente seized control of the game in the second quarter by holding El Toro to only four points to take a 29-18 halftime lead. The teams played even during the third period, then the Tritons padded their lead in the fourth.
San Clemente scoring was led by Branden Wilson with 13 points and Chris Kane with 11. It also got six from Austin Whitsett, five each from Bryce Wilson and Max Marshall, four from Nick Martino, three from Logan Dunnwald and two from Jacob Nemeth.
The Tritons wrap up the El Toro Tournament with an 11:20 a.m. game on Tuesday, December 30.
Every available Triton played and scored in the San Clemente Frosh B win over Crean Luthern, 71-35, at the Northwood Shootout in Irvine. The victory moves the team to 5-0 for the season. The Tritons return to action against the host team at 5:30 p.m. Monday, December 29.
Against Crean, San Clemente was paced by Calin Chin's 18 points and six assists. Right behind him were Fletcher Ames with 15 and Calvin Pastel with 14. Ames led the Tritons with seven rebounds, while Pastel was tops in steals with three. With a large lead at intermission, all three players were able to sit out the second half.
Additional Triton scoring came from Sean Christl with eight; Levi Nelson, six; Jack Boatman and Brendan Walker, four each; and Spencer Zibas with two.
Early foul trouble on leading scorer Chris Kane slowed the Triton Frosh in a 56-49 loss to Foothill at the El Toro Tournament. The loss means San Clemente will not defend its back-to-back tourney championships, but instead will face the loser of El Toro and Tesoro in a consolation game at 11:20 a.m. Monday, December 29.
Kane nonetheless led Triton scoring with 11 points, as a late San Clemente rally came up short. The Tritons scored 20 points in the final eight minutes. Also in double figures were Max Marshall and Branden Wilson with 10 each. Other Triton scoring came from Austin Whitsett, eight; Bryce Wilson, five; Nick Martino, three; and Ryan Cattich, two.
A strong defensive performance in the second half helped give the Triton Soph a 67-45 win over Dana Hills in the second round of the Laguna Hills Tournament. After giving up 14 points in each of the first two quarters, San Clemente held the Dolphins to only 13 for the entire second half. The Tritons trailed 32-28 at halftime. SCHS will play Mission Viejo at 2:40 p.m. Monday in a semifinal matchup.
Against Dana, the Tritons got their second-consecutive strong performance from Michael Moran, whose double-double included game highs in points (17) and rebounds (16). Other San Clemente players in double figures were Trevor Ankrom with 16 anfd Kai Hadsall with 14.
Additional Triton scoring came from Luke Melby, seven; Matt Kerr and Jimmy Varos, four each; Kai Nguyen, two; and Hunter Knights, one.
Never really threatened, yet at the same time never really putting the game away, the Triton Junior Varsity opened the Dana Hills Tournament with a 52-43 win over the host's sophomore team. The win moves San Clemente into a 5:45 p.m. , December 29 semifinal game against the winner of El Toro and Tesoro.
While the Tritons outscored the Dolphins in every quarter but the third, which San Clemente lost 10-9, San Clemente was never able to put a sustained run together that would have given it a comfortable cushion. During the second quarter, the Tritons did go up by as much as 12, but hot Dana Hills three-point shooting helped the Dolphins cut the margin to only nine at the half.
The Tritons, normally very good three-point shooters themselves, struggled from long range. In fact, the only San Clemente player hot from the arc was junior Jake Cameron, who put up a team-high 17 points on four-of-six three-point shooting. On the other end of the court, the Dolphins made seven threes and were led by guard Troy Brown, who put up a game-high 28 points.
Other San Clemente scoring came from Blake Birmingham and Roberto Medrano, six each; Isaac Rex, five; Evan Banks, four; Joey Spurgeon and James VanGinkel, three each; and Ricardo Ashe, Aidan Butler, Chris Kane and Daniel Mircheff, two each.
Trailing from the outset and getting outscored in every quarter, the Triton Varsity lost to Brooklyn's Xaverian High School, 55-39, in its first game of bracket play at the Cactus Jam Hoops Classic in Phoenix. The loss drops San Clemente into the consolation bracket, where it will take on Archbishop Spalding from Severn, MD, a suburb of Baltimore, at 2:15 p.m. December 29. Spalding fell to Pennsylvania's Conestoga High School, 54-49, in the opening round.
Against Xaverian, only one Triton player, Cade Griffin, scored in double figures. He had 10 points. Leading scorer Nick Crankshaw was hampered by foul trouble and wound up with five points. Overall, San Clemente shot only 27 percent from the field.
Other Triton scoring came from Joe Mann, nine; Gage Shelmidine, six; Cole Fotheringham and Scott Herrod, three each; Dillon Waikle, two; and Jake Russell, one.
Rising with the sun for the long van ride to Phoenix to play in the Cactus Jam Hoops Classic, the Triton Varsity (6-5) showed few ill effects of the long day, storming by Thunderbird 76-60 to win a non-bracket exhibition game. San Clemente begins bracket play at 1:45 p.m. Saturday against Xaverian of New York.
Every available Triton played, and all but one scored in the win. San Clemente is playing the tournament without senior forward Sam Darnold, who is in San Antonio to participate in the Army All-American Bowl football game.
Leading the way in double figures were guards Nick Crankshaw with 15 points and Gage Shelmidine and Cade Griffin with 11 each. Crankshaw and Griffin tied for team high in rebounds with five.
Other Triton scoring came from Vince Smetona, nine; Dillon Waikle, eight; Joe Mann, six; Riley Whimpey, four, Dean Licht and Shaughn Ritchie, three each; and Cole Fotheringham, James Paterson and Jake Russell, two each.
As the first team back in action after the holiday break, the Triton Sophs got the program headed in the right direction with a 35-28 win over Aliso Niguel at the Laguna Hills Tournament. The win moves the sophs into a semifinal game at 2:40 p.m. Monday against an opponent to be determined.
Against Aliso Niguel, the Tritons trailed early, 7-6, at the end of a quarter, but flipped the script for a one-point lead at the half. From there, San Clemente outscored the Wolverines by three in each of the final two quarters for the win.
The Tritons were led by Michael Moran, playing his best game so far this season with 15 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Jimmy Varos and Kai Hadsall each contributed seven points. Varos' came with five rebounds and five steals, while Hadsall pulled down three boards and two steals with two assists.
Trevor Ankrom, Hunter Knights and Luke Melby with two points each accounted for the remainder of Triton scoring. Ankrom led the team in rebounding with eight, and Melby matched Moran with seven boards.
With its offense misfiring after having seized a 17-14 first-quarter lead, the Triton Varsity lost is North Orange County/South Orange County Challenge game against Corona del Mar, 64-47. The Sea Kings' victory clinched the challenge for North Orange County with its seventh win in the 12-game event.
Perhaps looking ahead to its upcoming trip to Phoenix, it wasn't just the Triton offense that went missing in the final three quarters, as San Clemente never mounted an expected rally after it fell behind by nine at the half. By that time the Sea Kings' bench with 23 points had scored nearly as many as the Tritons' 26
There were few San Clemente rebounds, steals or assists over the final 24 minutes. Only Nick Crankshaw managed to put any kind of significant crooked numbers behind his name on the stat sheet. Besides leading the Tritons with 14 points, he had eight rebounds and four assists. Gage Shelmidine had six rebounds to go with his two points.
Other Triton scoring came from Sam Darnold, eight; Cole Fotheringham, seven; Cade Griffin, six; Scott Herrod and James Paterson, four each; and Joe Mann, two. San Clemente shot only 34 percent from the field in the game, including just 26 percent on three-pointers.
The Tritons travel to Phoenix on December 26 to take part in the Cactus Jam Hoops Classic, which runs through December 30.
All six Triton Varsity basketball players who competed for San Clemente's Sea View League Champion/CIF Finalist football team have earned All-Sea View League honors. Leading the way, as he did all season, was Triton Basketball forward/Triton Football quarterback Sam Darnold, who was named league most valuable player. The senior also was league MVP in basketball as a sophomore.
On the defensive side, Triton Basketball newcomer Riley Whimpey was named the league's co-defensive MVP. The senior basketball guard and football linebacker shared the honor with Trabuco Hills linebacker Colin Schooler.
Also earning all-league first team honors were junior basketball guard/football tight end Cole Fotheringham and senior basketball guard/football defensive back Jake Russell.
Second team honors went to senior basketball guard/football wide receiver Dean Licht and senior basketball center/football offensive lineman Shaughn Ritchie.
Click here for the full all-league list.
Teams Get Holiday Pause Before Final Tourneys: Varsity Faces CDM in Challenge, Then All Five Squads in Brackets
A pre-holiday lull, broken up somewhat by the Triton Varsity's participation on Tuesday in the North OC/South OC Challenge, will lead Triton Basketball into the second third of the season and its busiest week of the season, beginning December 26
In the Challenge, the Varsity (5-4) will take on Corona del Mar (5-3), which is coming off of a 66-55 loss to Los Angeles' Price High School, at 6 p.m. Tuesday at El Toro High School. San Clemente and CDM have not played a common opponent this season.
Then, after breaking for the holiday, the Triton Varsity is off bright and early (6 a.m.) December 26 for its longest road trip in years, to the Cactus Jam Hoops Classsic in Phoenix.
The team will play in an exhibition game at 4 p.m. that day against Arizona's Thunderbird High School. Bracket play will begin on the 27th against New York's Xaverian High Schoo. San Clemente's bracket features teams from eight different states.
Click here to view the Triton Varsity's Cactus Jam Hoops Classic Bracket.
Coming off the disappointment of the consolation championship of the El Toro Tournament, which included its only loss of the season, the Triton Junior Varsity (8-1) will open Dana Hills Tournament play at 3:15 p.m. December 27 against Dana Hills No. 2.
A Triton victory could set up a semifinal game against either Trabuco Hills, which handed the Tritons their only loss, or Sage Creek, whom the Tritons defeated in a hard-fought championship game at the Eagles-hosted tournament earlier this month.
Click here to view the Triton Junior Varsity's Dana Hills Tournament Bracket.
Just as the varsity tips off its December 26 game in Phoenix at 4 p.m., the Triton Soph (2-4) will be opening the Laguna Hills Tournament at St. Margaret's, probably without starting center Luke Melby, who twisted an ankle in the semifinal of last week's Fountain Valley Tournament.
Click here to view the Triton Soph's Laguna Hills Tournament Bracket.
On the freshman level, the Tritons (4-4), fresh off the consolation championship of the Laguna Hills Tournament, will be looking to defend the El Toro Tournament championship, which San Clemente won last year. They have a first-round bye, and will play the winner of Foothill and Capo Valley in a quarterfinal game at 12:40 p.m. December 27. The frosh are on a three-game winning streak, with their last loss coming by a single point to Capo Valley.
Click here to view the Triton Frosh's El Toro Tournament Bracket.
Traveling to Northwood in Irvine for its shootout-format event will be the Triton Frosh B, which is 4-0 so far this season with the Mission Viejo Tournament championship to its credit. The Frosh B will open the event at 2:15 p.m. December 27 against Crean Lutheran.
Click here to view the Triton Frosh B's Northwood Tournament Bracket.
In a game during which just about every possession represented a possible swing of the lead, San Clemente's varsity came up on the short end, 60-57, against Esperanza in the championship game of the Irvine World News Tournament.
The Tritons led 14-12 after the first period, then Esperanza flipped the score to go ahead 30-28 at the half. San Clemente cut the margin to a single point going to the fourth. But Esperanza outscored the Tritons 12-10 over the final eight minutes.
The loss came despite San Clemente getting four players into double figures, led by Nick Crankshaw's 18. Sam Darnold had 11, and Cade Griffin and Gage Shelmidine 10 each. The balance of Triton scoring came from Joe Mann with four, plus Cole Fotheringham and Scott Herrod with two each. San Clemente's cause was hurt by giving up 36 to one player, Esperanza's 6-5 senior guard Jarrett Brodbeck. Click here to read OC Varsity's coverage of the game>>>
As the only Triton team in action before Christmas, the varsity will face Corona del Mar at 6 p.m. Tuesday at El Toro High School in the North OC/South OC Challenge.
For the first seven minutes and 55 seconds of its 55-45 consolation championship victory over Aliso Niguel, the Triton Junior Varsity managed only three points. Fortunately, it had given up only eight before a Roberto Medrano three-pointer at the first quarter buzzer ignited San Clemente's offense.
From there, the Tritons went on a run that was 11-0, then 16-2 and 19-4. Eventually they built the lead to 22 at 46-24, before withstanding a Wolverine rally that cut the margin to six midway through the fourth quarter.
Benefiting San Clemente was the fact that its defense held Aliso to only 18 points through three quarters, though it gave up 16 during the Wolverines' attempted late comeback. Four Triton players scored as much or more in the game than Aliso Niguel's team did in any of the first three quarters: Evan Banks and Roberto Medrano with 11 each; Jake Cameron, nine; and Blake Birmingham, eight. Two others, Dylan Hauser and Daniel Mircheff with six each, scored as much or more in the game than Aliso scored in two of the first three quarters.
San Clemente had to do much of its closing out without starting point guard Birmingham, who was sidelined by a scratch on his nose that was difficult to stop from bleeding.
The junior varsity returns to action at 3:15 p.m. December 27 at the Dana Hills Tournament.