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Slow start hurts Eagles

Estancia falls behind by 20 points early on and loses to San Clemente, 61-45.

December 21, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
  • Estancia's Charlie Umansky, 20, drives around San Clemente's Brian Flahive for a layup Tuesday.
Estancia's Charlie Umansky, 20, drives around… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

COSTA MESA — One of Estancia High's top scorers sat for the first 12 minutes of a nonleague boys' basketball game Tuesday night. Davon Joyner violated a team rule the day before the Eagles hosted San Clemente.

"If you don't practice, you don't [start]," Coach Agustin Heredia said. "[Joyner] showed up [to practice]. He just didn't practice. He said he was hurt."

Joyner's absence from the starting lineup hurt the Eagles right away. They trailed, 12-0, in the first three and a half minutes, missing five shots and turning the ball over four times during the stretch.

Joyner, wearing his warm-ups, looked on from the middle of the bench. When he got his first chance to enter the game, the contest appeared over with the Tritons going up by as many as 20 points.

Estancia made a run in the second half, cutting the deficit to five points with 5:27 left to play. The comeback ended after the Eagles reverted to their sloppy play in the first half, allowing San Clemente to win, 61-45.

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"That's been us in a nutshell, just kind of slow starts," said Heredia, whose team went five of 21 from the floor in the first half. "We had it down to five there at the end. Silly turnovers there and we just kind of fell apart."

The Eagles (5-6) have until Monday to regroup. They return to the same gym for the 26th annual Estancia Coast Classic.

Estancia plays in the late game against Mercer Island of Washington at 7:45 p.m. The Eagles are playing a team coming off its first loss after Mercer Island started the season 5-0.

"If we don't improve, we're going to get our butts kicked," Heredia said. "[The Islanders are] pretty good.

"It's a tough [four-day, 16-team] tournament. The last two years we've only won one game."

Estancia is a relatively young team. Three sophomores started against San Clemente (6-5) and the Tritons took advantage of the inexperience.

San Clemente ran when it wanted, easily converting fast-break opportunities. At one point in the second quarter, Heredia yelled at his Eagles after they failed to get back on transition after a missed jumper.

Heredia quickly called a timeout after watching Hank Gillebaard burn the Eagles' defense with a layup. Gillebaard finished with a game-high 21 points, 16 coming in the first half.

Estancia slowed the senior guard down the rest of the way. Keeping Gillebaard in check allowed the Eagles to close out the third quarter on a 12-0 run.

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