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Boys' Basketball: Newport puts up fight, falls to Foothill

Sailors have unfortunate matchup against Knights, who are now 3-0 in Estancia Coast Classic.

December 28, 2012|By Andrew Shortall

COSTA MESA — Expectations weren't that the Newport Harbor boys' basketball team was going to be playing one of the top teams in the CIF Southern Section after dropping both its pool-play games of the Estancia Coast Classic Tournament.

While the Sailors were relegated to the tournament's silver division, they still found themselves squaring off with Foothill — the No. 9-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division I-AA which won both its pool-play games.

It looked like Newport Harbor, which came into the game ranked No. 11 in Division II-A, was outmatched when it found itself down 16 at halftime. The Sailors managed to put a scare into the Knights but nothing more, as Foothill saw it turn to a two-possession game before pulling away late for the 77-61 victory.

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"I really like the way we responded to the challenge," said Newport Harbor Coach Bob Torribio, whose team will face Long Beach Wilson in the division consolation game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. "We're still trying to figure out why the heck we're playing a fifth-ranked team in the county in a silver-division game, but I'm real proud of our effort and how our guys responded in the second half."

The answer is there was simply too many 2-0 teams — Foothill, Corona, Clovis West and Sunny Hills — out of pool play. The seedings for division play are determined by overall record, head-to-head results, total points allowed or a coin flip. Foothill just happened to give up the most points (163) out of those four teams in pool play.

The Sailors (7-7) and Knights (13-1) both got big boosts from their guards Nic Sargeant and Justin Davis. Davis recorded a game-high 32 points to accompany seven steals and four rebounds for Foothill, while Sargeant scored a team-high 22 points, grabbed five boards and two steals for Newport.

"That's a really good team," Sargeant said. "Usually we kind of let down in the second half, but I thought we played really hard and we beat them in the third quarter. Overall, it was a really good game for us."

Newport climbed back into contention thanks to strong starts to the third and fourth quarters. It cut its deficit to nine, 48-39, when it opened the third quarter with a 10-3 spurt after consecutive and-one plays from Zach Wade (13 points) and Robbie Rettig with 6:20 left in the third.

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