By Dan Albano, OC Varsity
JSerra’s No. 3-ranked boys basketball team flashed its potential at the Jim Harris Memorial Tournament of Champions on Friday night.
The Lions looked so balanced and deep in a 90-48 semifinal victory against No. 10 and host Ocean View, Coach Joedy Gardner might need to fast forward his expectations.
“I’m on a five-year plan,” said Gardner, in his fourth season. “We’re getting better. We’ve got some new faces that are getting used to each other. Our chemistry is getting better.”
Sophomore Rex Pflueger scored a game-high 20 points to lead five Lions (6-1) in double-figures.
JSerra’s inside-duo of Jamal Aytes and Dylan Osetkowski both added 16 points while Devon Pflueger and point guard Johnnie Vassar chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Rex Pflueger, Osetkowski and Vassar will be back next season, but they were part of an impressive blend against Ocean View.
“That was probably one of our best games we’ve played this year because we put 32 minutes together,” Gardner said. “We’ve been really struggling playing about 15, 16, 17 minutes and then going through those lapses, and those craters that we don’t like to go into.”
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By Steve Fryer, OC Varsity
JSerra was strong in the first quarter and strong in the fourth.
In between, the Lions did not play so well.
JSerra had an 18-point lead in the first quarter and fell behind in the third before a game-concluding roll brought the Lions a 77-66 victory over Clovis West in a second-round game of the Jim Harris Memorial Tournament of Champions at Ocean View High.
“We played well in the first quarter,” JSerra coach Joedy Gardner said. “But we lost our concentration in the second quarter. Defensively, we picked it up in the second half.”
JSerra’s victory set up an attractive semifinal Friday night in the tournament. The Lions (5-1) play Ocean View (2-1) at 7:30 p.m. In the other semifinal, it’s a matchup of state-ranked teams, as Mater Dei (3-0, No. 6 in California) plays No. 13 Compton (5-1) at 9 p.m.
The Lions jumped to a 9-0 lead and took a 29-11 advantage into the second quarter. They made 12 of 18 first-quarter shots.
Things went the way of Clovis West (2-3) in the second, as the Golden Eagles outscored the Lions by 17 to trail 39-38 at halftime.