May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Santa Ana executes game plan and tops Mountain View in playoff opener

Deaven Pérez of Santa Ana drives toward the basket in Friday’s game. (Photos: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

Santa Ana High School’s boys basketball team opened the CIF 5AA playoffs Friday night at home defeating Mountain View of El Monte 75-59 at The Court in front of a big crowd.

Santa Ana (17-9) moves on to the second round Tuesday on the road against Valley Christian Academy (15-5) at Santa Maria.

The fourth seeded Saints were led by Deaven Pérez, who scored 23 points; Emmanuel Lemus, who had 16 points and Jack Rivera, who had 15 points.

To see the slide show, click on the first photo:

Mountain View (11-15) was led by Jercyk Chavoya, who scored 25 points and Raymundo García, who had 24 points. The Vikings came in strong from beyond the arc by hitting four three-pointers that kept the game tight at 16-all at the end of the first quarter. The Saints defense buckled down and took advantage of turnovers in transition to pull away from that point on.

Santa Ana led 38-22 at halftime and extended its lead to 62-37 going into the final stanza.

“We came out like eight out of the last nine games,” said Santa Ana Coach Fareed ElMasry. “They’ve been executing the way we’ve been wanting them to. And they haven’t failed.

“They (Mountain View) hit four three’s and I think that sparked fire on us to look down deep and really play defense. Their shooting really kept them in the game, and as soon as our guys buckled down on defense and started to stay low and boxing out we started getting the transition points that we wanted. We didn’t really make too many adjustments. What we did is we tried to clamp down on No. 4 (García). He was their best player, and then their No. 1 (Chavoya) was hitting. So we focused on those two guys  to really start the second half.

“We love winning in the first round. That’s great, but now it’s time to take the next step. Now it’s all about focus and determination, and taking care of our bodies and our minds for our next opponent.”

This is the fourth year in a row that Santa Ana advances into the second round of the CIF playoffs where they have been eliminated in the previous three attempts.

“It feels great just to know that we survived another round and we’ve got another one, but we have to be ready for our next game, and take it as it is,” added Pérez. “They were hitting shots in the beginning and we didn’t see that in our scouting report.

“We had to tighten down, and in the second quarter we locked down and that’s when we started getting in a run, and that’s when it started getting better for us. We were moving the ball well because that’s what we worked on practice, and we did alright tonight.”

—Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone