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Estancia swats Mesa

Eagles get to ring the bell after beating their rivals, 64-42, in Orange Coast League finale Thursday.

February 10, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Don Leach / Daily…)

COSTA MESA — After pleading for a timeout from the sideline with less than three minutes left in the first half, Costa Mesa High Coach Bryan Rice got it a little too late.

Rice yelled toward the referees when Estancia took a two-point lead. No one heard him.

The lead then grew into double digits in just 43 seconds. The whistle finally blew for Rice.

The Mustangs never recovered and it cost them a share of second place in the Orange Coast League and the Battle for the Bell.

Estancia went into halftime on a 14-4 run and pulled away from its cross-town rival in the second half for a 64-42 road victory Thursday.

The Eagles secured second place in league in the regular-season finale and they rung the Bell for the fourth straight season.

The Mustangs (11-15, 5-5 in league) heard the Bell after suffering their worst league loss of the season. That is not how the third-place team in league wanted to return to the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA playoffs next week after missing the postseason last season.

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Coach Agustin Heredia smiled. The Eagles (16-11, 7-3) are heading into the Division IV-AA playoffs on a positive note.

"We won this game, which is important to the community and our kids," said Heredia, whose team swept the two-game series against Costa Mesa.

"It's good to go into the playoffs with a two-game winning streak."

Estancia closed out league play much better than last season, when they dropped their final two games, including one to Costa Mesa that gave the Mustangs their lone league victory.

The setbacks devastated the Eagles' league title hopes. They went into the first-round of the playoffs down, and that is how they finished.

Davon Joyner does not want Estancia to go one-and-out again. The 6-foot-4 senior led Estancia with 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two blocks.

Joyner ignited the team by scoring 11 points in the second quarter. That is when the Eagles took the Mustangs out of the game, outscoring them, 26-11, in eight minutes.

Estancia enjoyed a 30-19 lead at halftime. Shooting hurt Costa Mesa as it just converted five of 21 shots in the first half.

Eleven of those attempts came from behind the three-point line. Only one went in.

"They made shots and we didn't," said Rice, who saw two of his top shooters, Jordan Walden and Matthew Dimson, struggle with their shot. "I think Jordan missed his first [12] shots. He has an off night we're going to struggle.

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