May 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Tesoro rolls into Tustin Classic semifinals with 61-48 win over Millikan

Tesoro’s Matt DeAngelo drives to the basket against Camron Myles of Long Beach Millikan Friday night. (Photos: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone)

Tesoro’s boys basketball team trailed early against Long Beach Millikan in the second round of the Tustin Holiday Classic.

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

But Coach Steve Garrett wasn’t about to panic, not with the offensive firepower his team has.

The Titans got untracked, overcame an early six-point deficit and went on to defeat the Rams 61-48 to advance into the semifinals Saturday night at 6 against South County rival Mission Viejo.

Matt DeAngelo scored 29 points and made five 3-pointers and Mike Mahlen had 15 points for the Titans (12-2). Kaden Garrett added eight points.

Rob Diaz III led Millikan (8-3) with 21 points, but he was held to eight points in the second half.

“I thought we were really out of sync offensively to start,” said Tesoro Coach Steve Garrett. “We were slow and not at our normal pace. But it was good, I thought our defense stepped up…. (Robert Diaz III) is a really good player. Kyle Ritscher did a really good job and I thought Matt DeAngelo carried us for a long time getting us some easy buckets and it was nice to see our defense pick up a little bit on (Diaz).

“We have to be a team that has really good group, team defense. We’re just trying to get better this week and fix some holes there and it was good to see them pick up in that third quarter.”

In the end, Tesoro also had too many offensive weapons too, led by DeAngelo who sank a 3-pointer to put the Titans ahead 58-46 with 2:40 left.

“I feel like we just had more energy than them,” DeAngelo said. “We got up on our press, we forced them into tough shots and a lot of turnovers and we got flowing on the offensive end. It was a team that probably had more talent than us and was more athletic, and we were just more of a team today.”

Tesoro now gets ready to take on Mission Viejo in the semifinals.

“We’re playing Mission tomorrow, they’re a good team, similar to us, small guys but they can all play basketball,” DeAngelo. “They’re smart, they can do everything.”

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