May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Santa Ana boys basketball team dominates in 83-41 nonleague victory over Calvary Chapel Downey

Jesús Silva

Jesús Silva of Santa Ana dribbles up the court during Thursday’s game. He was the Saints’ leading scorer against the Grizzlies.

Behind 24 points from senior forward Jesús Silva and 12 points from Jerry Estrella the Santa Ana boys basketball team cruised to an 83-41 home win against Calvary Chapel of Downey on Thursday night.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo.

In their home opener, Santa Ana (6-8 overall, and 1-1 in Orange Coast League) only trailed in the initial moments of the first quarter, but bounced back behind the build-up play from Saay Silva and Drew Ramírez, who were able move the ball around court and created spaces for Jesús Silva and Estrella.

The pressure from Saints frustrated the Grizzlies, who attempted to force passes in tight spaces. This resulted in numerous turnovers which Santa Ana capitalized on fast transitions. The hosts were able to take a 43-23 lead into halftime.

“It’s a good game to get the boys’ spirits up,” said said Santa Ana Coach Fareed ElMasry. “We tried to use all of our guys to basically outrun them. That was the plan and build from this win before league play resumes again. As we regroup we’re trying to build up out of our confidence and enthusiasm.”

Jesús Silva had 17 points at the break, the vast majority in the paint or in transition.

During the second half Santa Ana didn’t let off the pace and in spite of playing all of its bench for the majority of the fourth quarter it was able to preserve its pressure and took whatever the Calvary Chapel Downey defense gave them.

The Grizzlies, (2-10 overall) have lost seven straight games and only dressed seven of their players for the match-up.

Up next for the Saints is the Estancia Coast Classic where they will play Pioneer Wednesday, Dec. 26 and Norco Friday, Dec. 28. Santa Ana will resume Orange Coast League play at crosstown rival Saddleback High School on Jan. 9.

“I hope it will be a tasteful rivalry down the road,” ElMasry added.

Santa Ana started the season 0-3 and had only won one of its first six games. Since their rocky start the Saints have won five out of their last seven.

ElMasry and the Saints have brought in talent from the football team to compliment the qualities from their opening day squad. The basketball coach said he believes that the incorporation of these players bring in more “confidence and tenacity” to his team.

In terms of ambitions and league prospects, ElMasry believes that the Orange Coast League is up for grabs, but does consider Costa Mesa as the heavy favorite one to win the league.

The Grizzlies on other hand will play Hueneme on Dec. 26., and according to their head coach James Black will try to learn from their loss against Santa Ana before resuming with their league schedule.

“We have young guys and hopefully this type of game gives them an opportunity to learn. The game of basketball is all about effort and honesty. Santa Ana got a lot of points out of leak outs and layups because their players played aggressive and play hard and that’s something I want to teach my guys. We can’t take plays off and continue to be in the game.”

Black, who is in his first year coaching at Calvary Chapel Downey, played for the Grizzlies’ 28-5 season that got them in to the CIF-SS Championship game and is hoping to change the culture around. “This is an different dynamic. This is new for me, but hopefully we can turn the program around,” he said.

-Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone