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.