What a year for the Santa Margarita Catholic boys' basketball team. New coach, great start, zero wins in the Trinity League.
But given the opportunity in the playoffs to face someone outside of the Mater Deis, JSerras and Orange Lutherans, the Eagles flew just fine.
Santa Margarita defeated Century, 59-26, in the first round of the Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs on Wednesday.
Santa Margarita (13-14) under former college coach Jeff Reinert, hadn't won since Dec. 22, a span of 10 league games and one nonleague game. Four league losses were by six points or fewer, and another was by eight points.
Joe Furstinger led Santa Margarita with 18 points and 15 rebounds as the Eagles outscored Century (10-18) in the second quarter, 20-4, to seize control of the contest.
Devonte Klines added 11 points for SMCHS.
In Other Division 3AA games:
Corona del Mar 84, Rancho Alamitos 41—The third-ranked Sea Kings (19-9) had no problem advancing to the second round.
Leuzinger 71, San Juan Hills 54—The Stallions (7-23) didn't have nearly enough horsepower to hang with top-seeded Leuzinger, which opened a 21-6 lead in the first quarter and then essentially held it the rest of the way. Vince McFadden scored 20 and Isaiah Barnes 11 for SJC.
In Division 3A:
Ocean View 78, Laguna Hills 53—Fourth-seeded Ocean View had no problem against the visiting Hawks (5-18), who got 14 points from Austin Williams and 11 from Jordan Johnson.
In Division 4AA:
JSerra 82, Whitney 35—The third-seeded Lions (17-8) opened a 39-11 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Rex Pfleuger scored 21 and Johnnie Vassar 11 for JSerra, which will host a second-round game against Pioneer Workman, a 60-53 winner over Cerritos Valley Christian.
Laguna Beach 66, L.A. Salesian 33—The Breakers (23-6) allowed only 12 points in the second half to eliminate any chance of a comeback by visiting Salesian. Laguna Beach was led by Noah Blanton and Cole Kesler, who scored 20 and 19 respectively; Alec Wulff added 15. Seeded No. 9, the Breakers will play at eight-seeded North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake in the second round on Friday. H-W defeated Templeton, 77-48. Laguna Beach won its 12th in a row and 15th in 16 games.
In Division 4A:
Santa Monica Crossroads 67, Sage Hill 46—An at-large team from the Academy League, Sage Hill finished 8-12.
St. Margaret's defeated California City—Four players scored in double figures, led by Brian Murphy's 14 points for the Tartans.
In Division 5AA:
Saddleback Valley Christian 79, Arrowhead Christian 29—Sixth-seeded SVC (23-5) opened a 50-19 lead in the first half, and held Arrowhead to one point in the fourth quarter.