Donning throwback 1970s uniforms and warming up to music from 40 years ago, the Triton Junior Varsity was in Boogie Wonderland for three quarters before it had to regroup to secure its 67-49 victory over rival Dana Hills. San Clemente led by 26 mid-way through the third quarter, but the Dolphins rallied back to within 11 early in the fourth before the Tritons locked down the win.
Every available player played and scored for San Clemente. Matt Kerr led the way with 13 points, and was joined in double figures by Max Marshall with 11. Evan Banks added 9. Additional Triton scoring came from Kai Nguyen with 5, a quartet of players -- Jacob Nemeth, Kurt Crapo, James VanGinkel and Nick Martino with 4 each, Bryce Wilson and Jake Bang with 3 each, Dan Mircheff, Ricardo Ashe and Jimmy Varos with 2 each, and Austin Whitsett with 1.
San Clemente concluded the season in second place in the South Coast League with a record of 5-3, 18-8 overall.
In almost a mirror image to their meeting in the South Coast League opener, the Triton Soph closed out its 2015-16 season with a 62-43 win over rival Dana Hills. San Clemente defeated the Dolphins 64-38 in the opener. The Tritons finished second in the South Coast League at 6-2, 14-8 overall.
Calin Chin paced San Clemente with 19 points. Josh Walker also was in double figures with 15 points, and he made it a double-double with his team high 11 rebounds. A trio of players -- Ryan Cattich, Fletcher Ames and Michael McGreevy -- each had 6 points. Additional Triton scoring came from Spencer Zibas with 4, Robbie Young with 2 and Logan Dunnwald with 1.
Beating locals rival Dana Hills for the third time in three games, the Triton Frosh concluded its 2015-16 season with a 59-51 victory over Dolphins. San Clemente finished the season in second place in the South Coast League, 5-3, 14-10 overall.
The Tritons were paced by Jonah Harris with 14. Miguel Ashe also was in double figures with 11. Jay Baggs had 9, along with a team-high 7 rebounds. Additional San Clemente scoring came from a trio of players -- Nate Gerken, Mario Medrano and Anthony Smetona -- with 6 points each, Zeeshan Ihani with 3, and Jackson Bystry with 2.
For much of the 2015-16 season, junior Matt Kerr languished on the bench of the Triton Junior Varsity, wondering when he might see an opportunity to play more than clean-up minutes. He got the start in a non-league game at Tesoro and delivered a game-high 19 points, including a team season-high five three-pointers. But a defensive breakdown in the closing seconds cost San Clemente in a 54-53 loss.
With eight seconds remaining, the Tritons had a one-point lead and were shooting the front end of a one-and-one. The Tritons missed, and no one was deep on defense, allowing a Tesoro guard to run out for a sure layup, if not fouled. Tesoro made both free throws to ruin the game for the Tritons.
Max Marshall with 18 points and Evan Banks with 12 also were in double figures for San Clemente. Kurt Crapo and Ricardo Ashe each added 2 points.
The Tritons (17-8, 4-3) conclude their season at 5:30 p.m. Thursday when they host Dana Hills in a South Coast League contest.
One of the win-ningest classes in Triton Bas-ketball history will be honored during special pre-game ceremonies on Thursday. And that will be just the prelude to one of the biggest games in program history when Dana Hills (0-6, 9-16) visits Triton Gym for a 7 p.m. game.
With a win, San Clemente (18-6, 6-1), which has already clinched at least of share of its first back-to-back league championships in program history, will be undisputed champions. The Tritons have now won three of the last four league titles after previously going 35 years without one.
The seniors to be honored are David Breen, Aidan Butler, Jake Cameron, Cole Fotheringham, Dylan Hauser, James Paterson, Gage Shelmidine and Dillon Waikle.
And even before Thursday's big game, San Clemente will play for South County public school bragging rights when it travels to Tesoro on Tuesday. The Titans currently lead the Sea View League.
It should be noted that with wins over both Tesoro and Dana, the Triton Varsity will tie the school record for wins in a season with 20.
Following the season finale, Varsity Head Coach Marc Popovich will give his team a day off while they await next Sunday's announcements of the first-round pairings for the CIF 1AA Playoffs. The Tritons have qualified for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
Another benefit of a victory over Dana Hills would be the high likelihood that as an undisputed league champion San Clemente would be very likely to earn a first-round home game, which would be played in Triton Gym at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17.
The Triton Junior Varsity (4-3, 17-7) needs a win over Dana Hills on Thursday and some help from Mission Viejo and El Toro, if it is to win at least a share of its fifth consecutive league championship.
J.V. Coach Oscar Montecinos says its not out of the question for the league's junior varsity champion(s) to wind up with three losses in what he described as a very evenly matched league.
Friday's hard-fought, double-overtime loss by the Triton Soph at Aliso Niguel, likely means San Clemente (5-2, 13-7) will not be defending its championship in that division. Both of San Clemente's league losses have been to Aliso, both times by just three points.
Both the soph and frosh will host Tesoro and travel to Dana.
After being held to only two points in the opening quarter, the Triton Frosh trailed Aliso Niguel by 15 and never got much closer in a 49-29 South Coast League loss. San Clemente falls to 4-3 in league, 13-9 overall. The deficit was 20 at halftime, which the Tritons managed to whittle down to a dozen at one point in third quarter. But that's as close as it got as the Wolverines rebuilt their lead.
Jay Baggs was the only San Clemente player in double figures with 11 points. The team also got 7 from Mario Medrano, six from both Nate Gerken and Miguel Ashe, 5 from Anthony Smetona and 2 from Andrew Herbert.
The Tritons host Tesoro in a non-league game at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
With leading scorer Anthony Smetona out of action, Mario Medrano stepped up for the Triton Frosh by scoring a season-high 20 points, but it wasn't enough for the Triton Frosh (4-2, 13-8) to hold off El Toro in a 55-51 loss. San Clemente had a seven-point lead, 33-24, at the half. It still led 40-38 entering the fourth period, but the Chargers outscored the Tritons 17-11 down the stretch.
Joining Medrano in double figures was Zeeshan Ihani with 15 points. Jay Baggs and Nate Gerken each added 5, while Miguel Ashe contributed 4 and Jonah Harris 2. Baggs and Harris each had a team-high nine rebounds.
The Triton Frosh return to South Coast League action on Friday when they travel to Aliso Niguel for a 4 p.m. game.
Whether it was El Toro's defense or a cold shooting night by the Triton Varsity, the difference between the teams' first league meeting 19 days ago and this one was that San Clemente only scored 56 points, compared to the 70 it put up against the Chargers on January 15. El Toro scored 59, similar to the 57 it had in the earlier game, in sending the Tritons (5-1, 17-6) to their first South Coast League loss of the season and first regular-season home loss in more than two years. San Clemente remains in first place, one game ahead of both El Toro and Aliso Niguel, which it hosts on Friday.
The Tritons shot only 39 percent against El Toro, their worst shooting performance of the season. Despite that, midway through the second quarter it appeared as if San Clemente might be preparing to put that game away, up nine points with possession of the ball. But El Toro closed the gap to 24-21 at the half as part of a 21-6 scoring run that saw the Chargers take control of the game in the third quarter.
El Toro led by as many as 12, and by nine with four minutes left in the game. That's when the Tritons started a late rally that came up short when Gage Shelmdine's desperation attempt at a game-tying three-pointer was off line.
The loss squandered senior James Paterson's season-high of 17 points. Shelmidine with 11 and Cole Fotheringham with 10 also were in double figures Addtional San Clemente scoring came from Jake Cameron, 9; Blake Birmingham, 5; Isaac Rex, 2; and Dillon Waikle 2. Waikle was hampered by foul trouble that saw him spend much of the game on the bench. He fouled out in the fourth period.
With offense tough to come by, the Triton Junior Varsity took it any way it could in pulling out a 33-28 victory over El Toro. Evan Banks banked in a three-pointer in the final minute to give San Clemente the lead after the team had rallied back from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit mainly by connecting at the free throw line.
Prior to the fourth quarter, the Tritons were 0-6 at the line. But the team connected on 9 of 13 free throws in the final period, first to close the gap, then to lock up the win.
Banks was the only player on either team in double figure with 11 points. Nick Martino added 6, including four of the big fourth-quarter free throws. Daniel Mircheff and Jacob Nemeth each had 4 points, while Austin Whitsett, Kurt Crapo, Ricardo Ashe and Max Marshall each had 2.
The Triton Junior Varsity (4-2, 17-6) remains tied for first place in the South Coast League as it host Aliso Niguel at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Three players were in double figures as the Triton Soph scored a season-high en route to a 72-44 victory over El Toro. The win moves the sophs to 5-1 in the South Coast League and 13-6 overall. Calin Chin had 18 points, while Robbie Young and Josh Walker each had 16. Walker added a game-high 11 rebounds.
San Clemente blew open a close game during the third quarter in which it held the Charger to only four points, while scoring 21 of their own. Additional Triton scoring came from Curtis Whimpey with 6; MIchael McGreevy, 5; Ryan Cattich, 3; and Sean Christl, Jordan Woods, Logan Dunnwald and Jack Boatman with 2 each.
The Triton Soph returns to action at 5:30 p.m. Friday
El Toro and Aliso Niguel visit Triton Gym this week, standing between the Triton Varsity and historic milestones for the team and its players.
Wins against El Toro (16-7,3-2) on Wednesday and Aliso Niguel (11-11, 3-1) on Friday would give San Clemente the 2016 South Coast League championship, its first back-to-back titles in school history.
And even if the team were to lose to El Toro, a win against Aliso would still give it no worse than a tie for the championship
The games will be played in Triton Gym, where its varsity has not lose a regular-season home game in more than two years.
El Toro was the consensus pre-season pick to win the South Coast League.
And second-place Aliso Niguel has adopted a hard-nosed defensive philosophy since the beginning of league play that has seeen the Wolverines hold everyone except San Clemente to an average of only 38.5 points per game.
San Clemente won 73-55 at Aliso on January 27. It also won 70-57 at El Toro on January 15.
The Tritons have won their five league games to date by double digits, with an average margin of 14.4 points.
A championship also would bring personal milestones to several Triton players. Cole Fotheringham, in his fourth year on the varsity, would become the first player in school history to win three varsity league championships.
In addition, teammates James Paterson, Gage Shelmidine and Dillon Waikle would join an elite group of players who have won two titles at the school.
The Triton Junior Varsity (16-6, 3-2), also in first place and trying to hold on for its fifth-consecutive league title, will be at home against the Chargers and Wolverines.
The sophomore team (12-6, 4-1) remains in pursuit of its own title repeat, but it will have to do so on the road at El Toro and Aliso. San Clemente beat El Toro, 47-44, in their first sophomore meeting. The Tritons, however, lost to Aliso Niguel, 44-41.
So will the Triton Frosh (13-7, 4-1) as it tries to add its own championship to the mix. In their first league meetings, the freshmen beat El Toro, 59-58, but lost to Aliso Niguel, 47-44.
The Triton Frosh B has not previously played Aliso, but it did post a 40-37 victrory over El Toro on January 15. Its games are both away with 7 p.m. tips.
Utilizing mostly a guard-oriented lineup to combat Mission Viejo's zone defense, the Triton Soph jumped out to a 25-16 first-quarter lead and never looked back en route to a 61-47 South Coast League victory. Four players scored in double figures in San Clemente's first of four consecutive league away games to wrap up the season. The Tritons are 4-1 in league, 12-6 overall.
Against Mission Viejo, they got 14 point from Calin Chin, 13 from Ryan Cattich, 12 from Robbie Young and 10 from Curtis Whimpey. Logan Dunnwald added 7 points, while four players scored 2 each: Michael McGreevy, Jordan Woods, Spencer Zibas and Josh Walker. Jack Boatman chipped in a point.
The sophomores return to league play on Wednesday when they travel to El Toro for a 5:30 p.m. game.
Rallying from a seven-point halftime deficit by holding Mission Viejo to only 13 second-half points, the Triton Frosh moved to 4-1 in South Coast League play, 13-7 overall, with a 41-34 victory. San Clemente scored as many points in third quarter as it allowed in the entire second half. The game was tied going into the fourth period, during which the Tritons outscored the Diablos 14-7.
Anthony Smetona led San Clemente's scoring with 15 points. Miguel Ashe added 8; Nate Gerken, 6; and Jay Baggs, 4. Four players had two points each for the Tritons: Mario Medrano, Cole Selby, Zeeshan Ihani and Jonah Harris. Baggs was the leading rebounder with 11, while Ashe had 8 and Smetona 7.
The Triton Frosh return to South Coast League play on Wednesday when they travel to El Toro for a 4 p.m. game.
With a 74-56 victory over visiting Mission Viejo, the Triton Varsity moved to 5-0 in league, 17-5 overall, assuring itself of no worse than third place in the South Coast League and guaranteeing a seventh-consecutive CIF Playoff berth. First place San Clemente controls its fate in league with three SCL games remaining, all of them at home, where the team has not lost a regular-season game in more than two years. The Tritons also have remaining a non-league Coast View Conference crossover game at Tesoro.
Against Mission Viejo, the game took on a similar character to the January 13 contest at Mission Viejo in which the Diablos hung with San Clemente for the first half before defensive adjustments helped the Tritons pull away in the second. This time, the game was tied 31-31 at intermission. But the aforementioned adjustments helped San Clemente outscore Mission Viejo 42-25 in the second half.
On a night on which the Tritons' leading league scorer, Cole Fotheringham, was hampered by early foul trouble, Gage Shelmidine with 23 points and Dillon Waikle with 20 led San Clemente scorers. Shelmidine, who usually does his scoring on drives to the basket and free throws, hit an uncharacteristic for him four three-pointers. Waikle made five of them.
Fotheringham wound up with 7 points, while Jake Cameron had 7 and Blake Birmingham 6. James Paterson, Joey Spurgeon and Isaac Rex each contributed 2 points. Overall, the Tritons made 12 three-pointers.
San Clemente returns to South Coast League action at 7 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts pre-season favorite El Toro, which currently sits in third place in league.
Scoring eight of his season-high 12 points during a fourth-quarter rally that saw the Triton Junior Varsity blow open a closely contested game, Ricardo Ashe led San Clemente to a 49-39 win over Mission Viejo. The victory kept the Tritons (16-6, 3-2) in a tie for first place in the tightly contested South Coast League, where every J.V. team has proven to be a championship contender.
San Clemente led by two points going into the fourth quarter of the contest in which the teams repeatedly exchanged the lead, with neither having a margin of more than three points through the second and third periods. But Ashe and Evan Banks, who led the Tritons with 16 points, helped San Clemente put the game away in the fourth. It outscored the Diablos 17-9 in the final period. Interestingly, the Tritons only scored 18 during the entire first half. The late rally was punctuated by a rare three-pointer from Banks, who normally operates in the post.
The Tritons also got four points from Jacob Nemeth and two each from Kurt Crapo and James VanGinkel.
San Clemente's J.V. returns to South Coast League play on Wednesday, hoping to avenge a three-point January 15 loss, when it hosts El Toro.
In both the second and third quarters of its South Coast League game at Aliso Niguel, the Triton Junior Varsity had a seven-point lead and the ball, appearing to be on the verge of pulling away for good. Both times, Aliso answered with momentum-changing three-point plays, including a mid-court shot at the halftime buzzer. Ultimately, the inability to capitalize cost San Clemente both the game and a share of first place in league after a 51-50 loss.
The Tritons (15-6, 2-2) are left to look home with their championship hopes. They play the entire second half of league at home, and could regain at least a share of the title, if they go undefeated.
In the loss, San Clemente squandered a rarity for it, three players in double figures. Max Marshall had 16; Evan Banks, 14; and Daniel Mircheff, 13. Jimmy Varos added 4, while James VanGinkel had 2 and Kurt Crapo 1.
The Tritons return to South Coast League play at 5:30 p.m. Friday when they host Mission Viejo.
A three-point lead with a minute to play slipped away for the Triton Soph, while Aliso Niguel scored on an and-one layup with 5.9 seconds remaining to knock San Clemente out of first place in the South Coast League. San Clemente (11-6, 3-1) will try to regroup when it travels to Mission Viejo on Friday.
Calin Chin led the Tritons with 14 points. Josh Walker joined him in double figures with 12. Curtis Whimpey had 8, while Fletcher Ames and Ryan Cattich each added 3. Walker made it a double-double with 14 rebounds. Ames grabbed 9 boards.
Despite scoring only two points in the second quarter, the Triton Frosh managed to stay in the game against Aliso Niguel,ultimately losing 47-44 after entering the fourth period tied. The second quarter offensive outage left San Clemente trailing 23-17 at the half, but the Tritons rallied in the third period to pull even going to the fourth. The loss drops San Clemente to 3-1 in league, 12-7 overall.
Anthony Smetona led Triton scorers with 18. Jonah Harris and Mario Medrano each added 6; Jay Baggs and Zeeshan Ihani, 5 each; and Miguel Ashe, 4.
San Clemente returns to action Friday when it travels to Mission Viejo for a South Coast League matchup. In their previous meeting at San Clemente, the Tritons prevailed 49-46 in overtime.
Falling out of first place in the South Coast League, the Triton Junior varsity lost at El Toro 43-40. The final tilt in a see-saw battle went toward the Chargers, as San Clemente (15-4, 2-1) was unable to convert on three attempts to tie the game in the closing seconds. The loss squandered the fourth consecutive 20-plus points performance by forward Evan Banks, who finished with 22, and endangered the Tritons' quest for a fifth straight league championship.
San Clemente and El Toro meet again on February 3. A prior contest between the two teams, on December 26 in the Dana Hills Tournament, went to the Tritons, 42-40.
This time, San Clemente led 13-10 after the first period, then trailed by a point at the half. The Tritons seized a four-point lead going to the fourth quarter, but were unable to hold on. Max Marshall joined Banks in double figures with 11 points. Additional San Clemente scoring came from Kurt Crapo with 3, while Frankie Lewis and Jacob Nemeth each had 2.
The Tritons next have a non-league contest at home against San Juan Hills at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.