June 15, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Newport Harbor Sailors cruise past Elsinore for second straight tourney championship

Newport Harbor players celebrate after winning the OC Basketball Showcase at Western. (Photos: Tom Connolly, For OC Sports Zone).

For the second consecutive month Newport Harbor High School’s boys basketball team captured a pre-season tournament championship.

Saturday evening at Western, the Sailors, led by Cole Leinart and Riggs Guy led Newport Harbor to a dominating 85-46 victory over Elsinore in the championship game of the Orange County Basketball Showcase hosted by the Western and Garden Grove basketball programs.

Guy was named the tournament’s MVP and Dash Bastedo, who scored 13 points and was a force on the boards, was named to the all-tournament team. Last month the Sailors (13-2) won the Euclid Extravaganza Tournament. Newport Harbor finished second in the Santa Ana Varsity Tournament.

“I think we showed in this tournament who we are and how hard we work,” said Guy, who scored 21 points and helped the Sailors record their highest offensive output of the season.

To see additional photos, click on the first picture:

Guy was extremely effective in the paint and he and Bastedo helped limit the Tigers to one shot on offense.

The Sailors got off to a quick start taking a 10-0 lead, following Bastedo’s three-point play at the 4:37 mark of the opening quarter. However, Elsinore rallied and cut the lead to 17-15 after the first quarter.

Leinart, Guy, Jack Berry, Gavin Guy and Bastedo then scored on 13 of Newport Harbor’s 16 possessions in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 27-13 to take a commanding 44-29 halftime lead. Newport Harbor’s ball movement, passing and offensive attack was outstanding as the Sailors went on a 21-6 run to finish the quarter and surge into the break.

“We were ready to go tonight; we had great energy and our shots started dropping,” Bastedo said. “This tournament has really helped us get ready for league play.”

Leinart, a sophomore guard, drilled three consecutive 3-pointers to spark a Newport Harbor 17-0 run to start the third quarter. Leinart’s basket made it 61-29 with 3:50 remaining in the third quarter and the Sailors never looked back.

“At halftime we said we have to keep rolling and keep pushing and win by 40 points,” said Leinart, a transfer from Mater Dei who scored a game-high 23 points. “I am so happy to be a part of this team.”

Newport Harbor’s junior guard Jack Berry also had an outstanding game nailing three 3-pointers and scoring 17 points.

“We jumped on them early to start the game then jumped on them again to start the second half,” said Berry. “We’re not known at Newport Harbor for winning these kind of early season tournaments but it feels great to win two championships in a row. We took care of business.”

Sailors Coach Robert Torribio was impressed with his team’s performance.

“We have an extra bounce in our step right now,” said Torribio, whose team won its 10th consecutive game and snapped Elsinore’s seven-game winning streak.

“We played five games in six days and you wouldn’t know it, our guys played with high energy. I especially liked how we kept driving the paint and getting high percentage shots. We’re going to a tournament in South Carolina the day after Christmas and let’s hope we can keep this style of play up.”

Jeremiah Wiley scored 16 points and Donavan Roland added 13 points to lead Elsinore (14-3).

Newport Harbor defeated Buena Park, Inglewood, Bishop Alemany to reach the finals. Elsinore beat Sierra Vista, Esperanza and Mary Star of the Sea in its first three games of the tournament.

In the third-place game, Alemany defeated Mary Star of the Sea 65-47.  

—Tom Connolly, For OC Sports Zone