Blowouts are common in the first round of the Southern Section boys’ basketball playoffs, especially when one of the division’s best teams is playing.
That makes top-seeded El Toro’s 65-62 victory over Long Beach Cabrillo even more surprising. The Chargers won, but needed a big fourth quarter to pull out the victory on Friday.
El Toro got 20 points from Tanner Aguera, 16 from Ryan Roberts and 10 from Liam Skelly as it impvoed to 25-4 on the season.
But victory No. 25 wasn’t real similar to the other 24.
The Chargers trailed by eight points going into the fourth quarter, largely because they had dug into a 21-14 hole in the first quarter.
Both teams scored 16 in the second, and Cabrillo outscored El Toro, 17-16, in the third.
That set up the manic fourth-quarter comeback that kept one of Orange County’s best teams alive in the playoffs, and ended the season for Cabrillo (10-15), an at-large team from the Moore League.
The Chargers on Tuesday will play at Diamond Bar, a 64-50 winner over 16th-seeded Whittier California.
In other Division 1A first round games:
(5) San Clemente 71, Capistrano Valley 52—Jimmy Bankson deposited 30 points and Sam Darnold 15 for the Tritons (18-10). Capo Valley (18-10) got 20 points from Jacob Short and 13 from Jake Virnig. San Clemente on Tuesday will play at Long Beach Millikan, a 74-64 winner over Cerritos Gahr.
(6) Dana Hills 77, Glendale 37—Jack Sheffield scored 16 points and led three other teammates in double figures as the Dolphins (21-7) won in a walk. James Taylor added 14 points, Tim Fettig 12 and Hayden Fredrick 10. On Tuesday, Dana Hills will play at Troy, a 79-62 winner over 10th-seeded Montebello Schurr.
(7) Aliso Niguel 66, Katella 41—Mauricio Campos scored 15 and the Wolverines (20-9) had an easy time of it against the Knights. Aliso on Tuesday will play in the Santa Clarita Valley at 11th-seeded Valencia, a 76-57 winner over Arroyo Valley.
In Division 1AA, first round
(4) Mission Viejo 75, Palmdale Knight 42—Evan Zeller scored 15, Chandler Hutchison 14 and Max Redfield 12 for the Diablos (25-3). On Tuesday they will play at 13th-seeded Orange Lutheran, a 68-64 winner over Rialto Eisenhower.
Silverado 81, Los Alamitos 69—Wes Mittler scored 24 and junior Khalid Washington 17 for the Griffins (18-11).
Inglewood 72, Fountain Valley 43—Josh Armstrong led the Barons (20-7) with 16 points.
In Division 2A, first round
Newport Harbor 67, Jurupa Valley Patriot 62—Kevin Rakestraw scored 35 points and the visiting Sailors outscored the Warriors 25-14 in the fourth quarter to advance. The Sailors (14-13) on Tuesday will play host to top-seeded Westlake Village Westlake, an 88-44 winner over La Habra.
(5) Tesoro 62, Garden Grove 33—Conrad Snyder scored 20 and Tanner Lancona 18 for the Titans (19-9), who on Tuesday will play host to Citrus Hill, a 56-53 winner over 12-seeded Oak Hills.
In Division 3AA, second round
(5) Santa Margarita 76, Lakeside 60—The Eagles (14-1) will play 13th-seeded Diamond Ranch, which upset fourth-seeded Jurupa Valley at home, 53-52.
(3) Corona del Mar 53, Hoover 32—Kevin Fults and Max Stone scored 10 apiece for the Sea Kings (20-9), who on Tuesday will play sixth-seeded San Marcos, a 49-42 winner over El Dorado.
In Division 4AA, second round
(3) JSerra 65, Workman 38—Jamal Aytes scored 15 and Rex Pfleuger 10 for the Lions (17-8), who gave the City of Industry team its second loss of the season. Workman is 27-2. JSerra figures to have a tougher time of it in the quarterfinals where, by a quirk of league standings, it will face fourth-seeded Gardena Serra. Worse, the Lions will play the game on the road with the winner advancing to the semifinals against either Encino Crespi or second-seeded L.A. Price.
(8) Harvard-Westlake 73, Laguna Beach 60—After a one-sided first quarter in which the Breakers trailed, 19-12, Laguna Beach played the pretty even on the road in North Hollywood. Alec Wulff scored 29 and Cole Kessler 17 for Laguna Beach (22-7).
In Division 4A, second round
(8) St. Margaret’s 65, Nordhoff 62—Brent Cahill marshaled 16 points and Sager Moritzky 15 for the Tartans, who took a 47-38 lead into the fourth quarter. St. Margaret’s (20-8) on Tuesday will play at second-seeded Brentwood, a 70-31 winner over Santa Monica St. Monica Catholic.
In Division 5AA, second round
(6) Saddleback Valley Christian 59, L.A. Yeshiva 54—The Warriors (24-5) were down after one quarter, 22-13, but were tied going into the fourth and pulled out the victory. They will play in San Luis Obispo at third-seeded Mission Prep, a 57-49 winner over Claremont Webb.