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Dana Hills basketball wins battle with Mission Viejo to clinch share of league title

DANA POINT — The Dana Hills boys basketball team clinched at least a share of the Sea View League championship by beating Mission Viejo 72-62 Wednesday at Dana Hills High.

It is the third league championship in school history for Dana Hills and its first since 2014.

“After last year’s run, we lost a lot, but I knew we had guys coming back that could play a little bit,” Dana Hills coach Tom Desiano said. “We worked the kids really hard and we developed an identity. The kids were confident in how we played and it worked out.”

The Dolphins (17-8, 5-3) will tie for the league championship if they lose to El Toro on Friday. If El Toro wins Friday and Mission Viejo beats Aliso Niguel, there will be a three-way tie for the league championship.

If a tiebreaker is needed for playoff seeding, Dana Hills has the edge over the other teams because of its two wins over El Toro and Mission Viejo.

Wednesday’s game was the third and final league meeting between Dana Hills and Mission Viejo. Dana Hills beat Mission Viejo 66-65 in the first meeting on Jan.13 and lost to the Diablos 66-63 on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

The Diablos had a lead after the first quarter, but Dana Hills went on a 15-4 run to start the second quarter and never relinquished the lead.

Mission Viejo cut the Dolphins’ lead to four in the third quarter, but Dana Hills made three consecutive 3-pointers to extend the lead to 13.

Collin Haugh, the county’s leading scorer, led the Dolphins with 24 points. Cole Davison had 15 points and Logan Scodeller added 14. Dolphins center Niki Grburic had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“We all play great together,” Haugh said. “We all can score and it’s fun basketball.”

All three of Dana Hills’ league championships have happened during Desiano’s tenure.

“For these guys to do something that only two other teams here have done, I think they grasp that,” Desiano said. “All these kids are Dana Hills kids. Most of them played on the Phins, our feeder team. That’s why I’m so proud of the program we’ve established.”

Jaden Hubbard had a game-high 25 points for Mission Viejo. Isaiah Tolmaire scored 14 points and Niccolo Owens led the defense with nine rebounds and three blocks.

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