DANA POINT — The Pacifica Christian boys basketball team was physically dominant in a 76-56 win over Dana Hills in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs at Dana Hills High on Friday.
The Tritons had 42 rebounds compared to 18 for the Dolphins. Pacifica Christian also played a full-court press defense for much of the game, forcing 17 turnovers.
Dana Hills (19-9) was held in single digits in the second and third quarters because of the Tritons’ pressure defense. During that span, the Dolphins missed 10 consecutive 3-point attempts.
“They’re a really good drive-and-kick team and shoot well on transitions, so we knew they were going to take shots,” Pacifica Christian coach Jeff Berokoff said. “We just kept putting our hands up and making sure they feel us when they get the ball. I thought our defense was excellent tonight against a great shooting team.”
At the other end of the court, Pacifica Christian was able to drive and get the ball inside with ease. The Tritons had over 30 points in the paint and made 28 free throws.
EJ Spillman led Pacifica Christian’s offense with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The second year has scholarship offers from Pepperdine and Fordham, among others.
“He’s got some of the biggest feet around,” Berokoff said. “He was in color all day. He’s so good and dodgy and has a great touch on the edge.”
Logan Stewart also had a double-double for the Tritons with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Sarge Deal had 12 points and Alex Stewart added 11.
The Tritons host Sonora in Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Berokoff played for coach Mike Murphy at Sonora. Berokoff won three Freeway League championships there as a player and holds the school records for points in a season (601) and points per game (24).
“Coach Murphy is one of the best coaches in the country,” Berokoff said. “It’s going to be really great to see him and hug him. I’m glad at least one of us can win and move on.”
Pacifica Christian was able to hold the county’s top scorer, Dana Hills’ Collin Haugh, to just six points in the first three quarters. Haugh finished with 19 points.
Niki Grguric had 12 points for the Dolphins and Dennis Powers had 11.
Dana Hills won the Sea View League Championship this season, her first championship title since 2014.
“I’m very proud of this group, it’s one of the more resilient groups I’ve had,” said Tom Desiano, Dana Hills coach. “They (Pacifica Christian) were bigger, stronger, faster and well trained. There are no excuses. My hat is off to them and I am sure they will go far.”
The two teams already had playoff history and recently played in the Division 4AA Quarterfinals. Pacifica Christian won that game 50-31 and reached the championship game that year.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/10/pacifica-christian-boys-basketball-dominates-in-playoff-win-over-dana-hills/ Pacifica Christian Boys Basketball Dominates In Playoff Victory Over Dana Hills – Orange County Register