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.