SAN MARCOS Playing as a team is paying off for the San Marcos boys basketball squad.
Three players hit for double figures as the Knights won their eighth straight game with a 59-48 victory over San Dieguito on Friday at Mission Hills High.
Johnny Williams and Ben Perez led the way with 13 points apiece, helping San Marcos improve to 18-3 overall and 2-0 in Avocado East League play.
“We’re really balanced,” said Perez, who added eight rebounds. “Anyone can hit the big shot when we need it. That’s a good problem to have.
“This is the year we think we can win CIF and go to state.”
The Knights were clinging to a seven-point lead and hadn’t scored in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter when Perez drained a 3-pointer from the left wing.
Less than a minute later, Perez hit again from the same spot, putting the Knights comfortably ahead 53-40 with 4:04 left in the game.
The Mustangs were never able to get closer than 11 the rest of the way.
“This team is very deep,” San Marcos coach Dante Carey said. “We got 10-11 deep, and every time we sub, there’s no dropoff.
“The boys played hard tonight. San Dieguito is a good team — very long. We’re not the biggest team, but we have a lot of heart.”
The Knights jumped out to a 17-8 lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 12 midway through the second, but they couldn’t shake the Mustangs (13-6, 0-2).
San Dieguito went on an 11-2 run late in the second quarter to close within 27-24 on a 3-pointer by Jack Hagen with 31 seconds left before halftime.
The Knights again built a 12-point cushion in the third quarter before the Mustangs twice sliced their deficit to five points, including 43-38. That was as close as they’d get.
Sean McDonnell scored a game-high 19 points for San Dieguito.