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Sea Kings win by 30

High School Basketball

Despite sluggish start, Corona del Mar pours it on against under-manned Irvine in league opener

January 06, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Corona del Mar High's Blake Grable (10) goes for a layup past two Irvine High defenders.
Corona del Mar High's Blake Grable (10) goes for… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

CORONA DEL MAR — For the first 10 minutes of Corona del Mar High's Pacific Coast League opener Friday, Coach Ryan Schachter said it looked like his boys' basketball team was stuck in the mud.

The goal before the home contest against Irvine was for the Sea Kings to reach 70 points. At the pace they were going, half of that point total seemed more likely.

Then in a 47-second span, CdM no longer was in a mucky situation. The Sea Kings can thank Blake Grable for turning a one-point game into a rout.

The junior guard produced three three-point plays in a 47-second span in the second quarter. The Sea Kings never looked back, beating the Vaqueros, 64-34.

"Even though we won by 30, it doesn't feel like a 30-point win," Schachter said. "We had to grind it out."

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The Sea Kings' road to defending their league title won't be as smooth. It never really has been, even when CdM boasted the best talent in the league during Schachter's first five years at the school.

In his sixth season with the Sea Kings, Schachter views the league as a wide-open race. He lost five starters off last season's team, which reached the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs.

He's already scoreboard watching and it's only the first league game of the season.

Jason Simco, an assistant, showed him the score of University's home game against Woodbridge. The game was even at halftime before Woodbridge pulled out a 51-45 victory.

"We have Woodbridge on Tuesday," Schachter said. "It's going to be a tough league. No one is head and shoulders above anyone."

Schachter mentioned every team in the six-team league that can contend for a crown, except for the one CdM (9-6, 1-0 in league) faced Friday.

Irvine (8-10, 0-1) went into the evening without its best player, Mahesh Kumar, who is out for the season with a knee injury. The Vaqueros lost their top player last season in the season opener.

They were undermanned against CdM. Only eight players suited up. Well, only five get to play on the court, and the five that saw time in the first quarter hung with the Sea Kings.

"First quarter was really ugly, just both ways," said Schachter, whose team was tied at 11 with Irvine after eight minutes. "We were fouling a lot and it was a slow pace. We wanted to kind of speed it up a little."

The Sea Kings took off in the final five minutes of the second quarter.

They pushed the tempo and Grable began scoring in bunches.

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