In CdM’s way of getting past a pesky opponent in the quarterfinals of the La Quinta Tournament was a jam Wednesday.
The tempo caused both teams to combine for 31 points at halftime. The Sea Kings scored more by themselves in the first half of their season opener. When the Barons played defense, they crowded the middle, taking CdM 6-foot-9 center Stefan Kaluz out of the game.
Adam Brakeville had enough as he sparked CdM at the start of the second half. The new Sea King went on his own 7-0 run, matching the team’s first-quarter output in a little more than a minute’s time to give CdM a cushion en route to a 48-39 victory at La Quinta High.
“Without him we’d be in serious trouble,” said CdM Coach Ryan Schachter of the 6-6 Brakeville, who finished with nine points. “No one really brought their A game. It was very ugly.”
So repulsive that Fountain Valley guard Artie O’Keefe said the Sea Kings, the defending CIF Southern Section Division III-A champions, began bickering.
O’Keefe played a major part in that by scoring a team-high 12 points. No other player scored in double figures for Fountain Valley, which finished in fourth place in the competitive Sunset League last year.
“They were getting mad at each other,” said O’Keefe, who made five of eight shots from the floor. “They’re just tall. The fact that they won CIF last year, I don’t really look at that [as something intimidating].”
The Sea Kings (2-0) looked nothing like title contenders, even in the 16-team tournament to Schachter. He’ll take an ugly win as the Sea Kings advance to play El Toro (4-0) Friday in the semifinals at 8 p.m at La Quinta.
But Schachter said if the Sea Kings shoot 25% percent from the floor like they did in the first half Wednesday, the game matching up the defending Pacific Coast League champ against the defending Sea View League champ won’t be close.