June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Big second half lifts Newport Harbor past San Juan Hills in Santa Ana Tourney semifinals

Newport Harbor players, including No. 11 Jack Berry, get ready to exchange handshakes with San Juan Hills players after the game. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Newport Harbor High School’s boys basketball put came through with a big second half and made some key shots in the final quarter to defeat San Juan Hills 47-43 in the semifinals of the Santa Ana Varsity Tournament Friday night at Santa Ana.

Newport Harbor moves into the finals Saturday at 6:30 p.m. vs. Dana Hills. Dana Hills defeated San Clemente 59-57 in the second semifinal. San Juan Hills, the defending tournament champion, will play in the third place game at 5 p.m. vs. San Clemente.

Newport Harbor was able to overcome a 20-17 halftime deficit.

“Great experience for our guys,” said Newport Harbor Coach Robert Torribio. “We’re a pretty old team, all of a sudden, when you look on the floor, we have a lot of guys back from last year who had a lot of fun and they’re coming out in what I feel is a really good tournament and we’re having fun and playing hard.

“It’s a hard game playing against such a well coached team like San Juan Hills, and what a great program they run, you’re going to have a hard time taking a lead against them if you can’t make a layup or make an open shot. Second half, we made a couple open shots and we made a couple contested lay-ups and I think that was the difference in the end.”

Jack Berry led Newport Harbor (3-0) with 24 points and he made 7 of 8 free throws in the third quarter to help the Sailors take a one-point lead going into the final stanza.

A 3-pointer by Berry put the Sailors ahead 44-38 with 3:10 left and they were able to hold off a late charge by San Juan Hills.

“Jack Berry is solid, he’s a tremendous basketball player, tremendous athlete and great kid and he’s a basketball playing, he loves hooping,” Torribio said. “Riggs Guy just defends and plays hard for us and Dash Bastedo not getting frustrated and playing hard all night and guarding Mason (Hodges), who I think is a really good basketball player so to keep him in check, I know he got his …. but I thought we slowed him down just enough to get a lead and then maintain it.”

Bastedo was also strong on the boards, grabbing 14 rebounds.

Hodges led San Juan Hills with 19 points. Nathan Brosch added eight points for San Juan Hills, which led 12-7 after one quarter.

The Stallions struggled from the free throw line, making just 4 of 13 attempts.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com