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CdM handles Sage Hill

Sea Kings top Lightning Monday to add to their wins against Newport Harbor and Estancia.

January 23, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • [CDM's Melanie De Arakal drives to the basket as Sage Hill's Maggie Danner defends.] *** []
[CDM's Melanie De Arakal drives to the basket as… (DON LEACH, unknown )

NEWPORT COAST — Corona del Mar High Coach Mark Decker spent a few minutes talking to Sage Hill School's former coach before the girls' basketball game on Monday.

When Decker began coaching the Sea Kings five years ago, Lou Silverman was one of the first coaches he met. Since Silverman is no longer leading the Lightning, it was time for Decker to say hi to Sage Hill's new coach.

The new coach's style reminded Decker of Silverman. Taylor Cohen coached under Silverman last season and Decker figured the Lightning would play CdM tough.

They definitely did in the second half.

Sage Hill cut into CdM's 16-point halftime lead, getting as close as two points early in the fourth quarter. Decker called a timeout, hoping to slow down the Lightning and get his team back on track.

The three-point play proved to be the answer for CdM in the fourth quarter. The Sea Kings knocked down three shots from behind the arc and converted one at the free-throw line to defeat Sage Hill, 53-41.

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The last time Decker's Sea Kings played at Sage Hill was four seasons ago and they left the gym with a nonleague loss. They avoided a setback this time around, three days before the Sea Kings open the second part of Pacific Coast League play.

"We regrouped, which was really good," said Decker, whose team shot 54% from the field in the fourth quarter. "We picked it up on defense, stopped giving them easy shots. We hit some big shots."

The clutch three-point plays came in less than a two-minute stretch in the final quarter.

Jordan Meyers nailed the first three-pointer for CdM, followed by Melanie de Arakal, then Maddy Camarillo at the charity stripe. The trio pushed the Sea Kings' lead to double digits with less than four minutes left to play.

The Sea Kings (10-11) began to look forward to league play, which resumes Thursday at Irvine. With five leagues contests left, CdM is in a three-way tie for fourth place and three games back of the second-place Vaqueros.

"We talked … about getting back to our defensive mentality and that's our strength, [along with] getting out and running," said Decker, whose Sea Kings are 1-4 in league, their only win coming at home against Beckman. "We're capable of doing that against everybody in league. We just have to do it more consistently."

The kind of defensive effort Decker wants out of CdM in league is the one it displayed in the first half at Sage Hill (5-11).

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