But the positives that came out of these games may outweigh the losses as the season goes on.
San Clemente finally got its offense on track after scoring in single digits during the first quarter of a number of recent games. A factor in this may be the return of point guard Dylan Hauser, who had missed most of the early season with a back injury. In fact, the Tritons led both games at the quarter and half.
During the first game, a 67-53 loss to Trabuco Hills, San Clemente jumped out to a 22-18 lead after one period of play, with guard Chase Gutierrez hitting a three pointer just before the buzzer.
The Tritons built on the lead heading to the half, going up 38-32. But then Trabuco's defensive pressure and three-point shooting heated up, giving the Stallions a 46-41 lead at the three-quarter mark. San Clemente closed within three early in the fourth, but that's as close as they got.
Three players scored in double figures for the Tritons: Aidan Butler with 13; Donte Harrington, 11; and Hauser, 10. Butler also led in rebounds with 10, and Hauser had nine assists. Dillon Waikle scored 9; Andrew Frohner, 7; and Gutierrez, 3; and Katsandris, 3.
The theme was somewhat similar against El Toro in the second game, only 15 minutes later. The Tritons lost 62-54, but closed the gap significantly from a 69-44 loss to the Chargers earlier in the year.
And San Clemente led most of the way in this one, by as much as 18 mid-way through the
second period. It led 17-10 at the end of the first, and 33-25 at the half.
Again, a third-quarter opponent rally was a major factor. El Toro tied the game at 42 at the end of the third quarter, then took the lead for the first time on a three pointer on the opening possession of the fourth quarter.
In this one, Waikle with 16 led three Triton scorers in double figures. Butler added 12 and Hauser put up 11 to go with eight assists. The team also got 9 from Frohner, 6 from Katsandris, 4 from Harrington, 3 from Gutierrez, 2 from Brad Ross and 1 from Justin Kowalski.
San Clemente returns to Laguna Hills Tournament action at 4 p.m. Saturday against Santa Margarita Catholic.