May 20, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Costa Mesa boys basketball team celebrates first outright league title defeating Santa Ana 75-64 on senior night

Costa Mesa players and coaches celebrate after the Mustangs clinched the Orange Coast League title with one game left.

Costa Mesa High athletic officials will be hanging up another league championship for the boys basketball team.

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The Mustangs made sure of that Tuesday night, defeating Santa Ana 75-64 in an Orange Coast League game on senior night at Costa Mesa.

It’s the third league title in boys basketball for the school, which also won crowns in 2001 and 2006.

“According to the records, it’s the first one we ever won by outselves,” said Costa Mesa Coach Mike Ofer. “The other two league championships we shared so it’s the first one we’ve gotten on our own in the history of the school and these kids have earned every minute of it.

“You can see the emotion on their faces. We’ve worked so hard and I’m so dang proud of them because we had to grind it out. Santa Ana played a helluva game but we were able to pull it out.”

Costa Mesa (14-11, 8-1) was led by senior guard Osman Hefner, who scored 27 points and Tre Villapondo who scored 21 points. Ethan Elliott added 11 points for Costa Mesa.

The Mustangs were able to avenge a 59-54 loss against Santa Ana on the Saints home court Jan. 16.

The Mustangs cashed in six Santa Ana turnovers in the second quarter outscoring the Saints 26-12 to take a 38-28 halftime lead.

“It was a great second quarter for us,” Ofer said. “We’re kind of a team of runs. We have a hard time stopping people sometimes but we can score and when we make those runs, it helps us out a lot.”

“It feels great, we’ve worked really hard for this and to get this win against Santa Ana is really mind blowing to be honest. I worked the past four years for this and it seems like it all really came into play,” added Hefner. “We also want to make a far run into CIF.”

“It’s always been one of my dreams. I saw my brothers play here and sadly they were never able to win a championship so I thought I would do something different for my family and I finally did that.”

Santa Ana (13-13, 6-3) kept battling, cutting the lead to three points in the fourth quarter but could not rally back.

Jesus Silva led the Saints with 26 points, Drew Ramirez had 11 points and Sebastian Olvera had 10 points and 15 rebounds.

“We were right there, they had a good home crowd, it was senior night and that might have added to it,” said Santa Ana Coach Fareed Elmasry. “They probably learned from the last game and executed a little better today.

“Credit to Costa Mesa, they did really well today.”

Santa Ana is battling Estancia for second place in the league and should still be headed to the CIF playoffs.

Elmasy arrived just before the start of the game so he could spend more time with his family. His wife, Victoria, gave birth to Ezekiel who was eight pounds, 14 ounces on Tuesday.

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