Newport Harbor fizzles in Coyote Classic final

Boys’ Basketball

Sailors' slow start helps Villa Park cruise to victory in championship game.

December 08, 2012|By Barry Faulkner | By Barry Faulkner

BUENA PARK — Bob Torribio teaches history at Newport Harbor High. But in this his first season as the Sailors' boys' basketball coach, he is interested in rewriting his program's recent history.

Coming off four straight losing seasons, Torribio's Sailors forged a 4-0 start, the program's best since the 2005-06 season.

But that run came to and end in a 78-63 loss to Villa Park in the championship game of the Coyote Classic on Saturday at Buena Park High.

Now, Torribio is hoping recent history does not repeat itself.

Last season, Newport Harbor opened with three wins to reach the final of the Coyote Classic. A loss to Tesoro in the title game began a skid in which the Tars dropped 15 of their next 16 games on their way to a 6-17 record.


Torribio said his team lacked sufficient commitment to keep its winning streak alive.

"That's a good team," Torribio said of the Spartans (6-3), who have won six straight. "You come out flat and with a lack of energy against a good team and they are going to bury you. I think we learned that tonight. It's a good lesson for the future for us."

The lesson plan was simple for the Spartans, who held Newport to just one field goal in the first 4:35, during which time they seized a 12-2 lead. Villa Park expanded its cushion to 21-8, before settling for a 24-13 first-quarter bulge from which Newport could not recover.

The Sailors, who missed nine of their 14 first-quarter field-goal attempts, appeared listless at both ends.

"Last night's game [a frenetically paced 70-50 semifinal win against Buena Park that featured 56 combined turnovers] took a lot of energy," Torribio said. "We were hoping that in a championship game like this, we would be able to respond. But it looked like we weren't interested in the first quarter, and they just took it to us."

Villa Park made at least half of its field-goal tries in every quarter to finish 34 for 62 (54.8%). The Spartans first and only first-half turnover occurred in the final two minutes of the second quarter and their second was committed in the final seconds of the third period.

Newport Harbor was outscored only 36-35 after halftime, and earned praise from its coach for continuing to sprint uphill.

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