Trailing 23-10 at the half and repeatedly succumbing to Santa Margarita's defensive pressure, San Clemente found a spark in the third quarter, led largely by forward Aidan Butler. Playing perhaps his best game as a Triton, Butler seemed to be everywhere – rebounding, making steals and scoring. He even played point guard for several possessions, bringing the ball up court against pressure defense.
Butler scored eight of his 11 total points in the third, as the Tritons closed to within one, 27-26.
In the fourth, leading scorer Dillon Waikle kept San Clemente in it, hitting nine of his team-high 13 points during the period. His 10 rebounds also gave him the sophomore's first double-double of the season.
But the team couldn't close the deal. With possesion and down three with nine seconds remaining, the Tritons didn't get off a three-point attempt.
Other than Butler and Waikle, San Clemente's scoring came from Andrew Frohner, 5; Brad Ross, 3; and two each from Lukas Katsandris, Justin Kowalski and Bennett Secrest.