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Capistrano Valley Christian basketball tops Pacifica Christian in spirited league opener

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Some Orange County boys basketball teams begin playing league games this week.

The Capistrano Valley Christian-Pacifica Christian game Tuesday night displayed what that means.

It was an intense game, with a couple of small altercations, and visiting Capistrano Valley Christian edged Pacifica Christian 75-69 in the San Joaquin League opener or both teams.

Makaih Williams scored 34 points for CVC (12-3), which is ranked No. 3 in the Orange County top 25. No. 20 Pacifica Christian dropped to 8-9.

It was the second game of the season for Williams, a 6-1 senior guard who transferred to Capistrano Valley Christian from St. Anthony, the team that beat Pacifica Christian in the first round of last season’s CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Although a recent addition to the Eagles roster, Williams understood the competitiveness of Tuesday’s game in the five-team, private-school league that is one of Orange County’s better groups in the sport.

“This is our rivalry game,” said Williams, who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. “I just loved it.”

Capistrano Valley Christian made 23 of its 51 shots and was 7 for 16 on 3-pointers. Pacifica Christian was 5 of 19 on 3s and 24 of 55 overall.

Both teams were aggressive on both ends of the court. Plenty of bodies hit the floor.

Two sets of double-technical fouls were called. The second one came when a Capistrano Valley Christian player slammed into a Pacifica Christian player who was shooting a 3-point shot. The officials gathered to discuss the situation for several minutes before concluding who did what.

“It’s a league game, a rivalry game and we expected it to be like this,” said Capistrano Valley Christian coach Chris Childress. “Lots of calls didn’t go our way, but the guys didn’t hang their heads. They kept playing.”

The Eagles led for much of the game – 24-21 at the end of the first quarter, 40-37 at halftime and 54-49 going into the fourth quarter. Their biggest lead of the final quarter was five points, and Pacifica Christian kept the pressure on.

With 16 seconds left, the Tritons’ Tanner Deal put in a reverse layup off of an offensive rebound to trim the Capistrano Valley Christian lead to 71-69. The Tritons had to foul, and did. Williams made the two free throws for a 73-69 lead, and his teammate Eli Arthurton secured the win with his two free throws with six seconds left.

Capistrano Valley Christian and Pacifica Christian tied for second in the San Joaquin League last year. Fairmont Prep was league champion.

Capistrano Valley Christian, ranked No. 2 in CIF-SS Division 2AA, plays at Fairmont Prep San Juan Capistrano on Thursday. The Eagles, 2-A quarterfinalists last season, play at home against county No. 4 Fairmont Prep on Jan. 11.

Pacifica Christian, No. 12 in the Division 2A rankings, plays at home against Fairmont Prep on Thursday.

Also in the San Joaquin League:

No. 4 Fairmont Prep 70, St. Margaret’s 26: Chol Deng’s 24 points led the host Huskies (8-2, 1-0).

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In the Crestview League:

No. 10 Canyon 82, El Modena 38: Freshman Brandon Benjamin scored a team-high 20 points for the visiting Comanches (15-3, 1-0).

No. 9 Foothill 58, No. 23 El Dorado 52: Cruz Billings scored 13 points and Mikey Mazurie added 12 points for the host Knights (15-1, 1-0). Ty Carlson led the Golden Hawks (15-4, 0-1) with 16 points.

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