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CdM responds well

BASKETBALL: Sea Kings head into Saturday’s big showdown with Santa Margarita with momentum after blowout victory.

December 19, 2007|By David Carrillo Peñaloza

CORONA DEL MAR — Early on in the season it seems Stefan Kaluz is not only jostling for position down low, but for a shot without receiving a shot to the back, arm, chest, or face.

Corona del Mar High boys’ basketball coach Ryan Schachter blames the overt physical play on his 6-foot-9 senior center’s size.

“He’s an easy target because he’s so big,” Schachter said. “I think a lot of times they [referee] for size and they think that the big guy can take the punishment. It’s really not fair. It is what it is. He’s used to it. He understands what’s going to happen.”

Recognizing is the key as the Sea Kings are beginning to take advantage of teams swarming the Brown University-bound Kaluz.

Swing the ball to the open man. That player in CdM’s home opener against Esperanza Tuesday night was Joe Eberhard. The 6-6 senior nailed three three-pointers in the opening quarter before finishing with a game-high 19 points in a 54-35 blowout win.

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For a home debut, Schachter said CdM (7-3) picked a good time to put together its best defensive outing of the season.

Next is a showdown with Santa Margarita (9-1), one of the premier programs in Orange County. The Sea Kings will play the Eagles at the North-South Challenge at El Toro High Saturday at 8 p.m.

“We didn’t want to go into the Santa Margarita game on a two-game losing streak,” said Schachter, whose team rebounded after losing to Vista Murrieta in the ninth-place game at the North Orange County Championships last weekend. “We’re going to have our hands full Saturday. [The Eagles] probably have the best player in Orange County in Klay Thompson.”

Thompson is a 6-6 senior guard headed for Washington State and the son of Mychal Thompson, the NBA’s top draft pick in 1978 and former Los Angeles Laker.

Concerns of defending a player the caliber of Klay Thompson weren’t an issue for the Sea Kings against Esperanza (7-4), which turned the ball over 16 times. After a poor shooting night in which Esperanza shot 32.6% from the floor, Coach Jason Pietsch counted the number of jumpers his team made outside of 15 feet.

“One,” he said. “We can’t put the ball in the hole. You can’t win games scoring 35 points on the varsity level.

“We had no answer for [Eberhard]. We made him look like a first-round NBA Draft [pick]. For some reason we couldn’t locate him on the floor.”

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