El Camino junior Sam Bockman (shown in a game earlier this season) had 17 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots against Mission Viejo on Wednesday night.
MISSION VIEJO There’s a reason Chandler Hutchison has a scholarship to play at Boise State.
He’s good. Real good.
The 6-foot-6 senior finished with 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead No. 7-seeded Mission Viejo to a 79-72 win over El Camino on Wednesday in the first round of the Southern California Regional Division I boys basketball playoffs.
“That kid is fast on the break — one, two steps and he was at the rim,” said El Camino coach Ray Johnson. “He’s tough and agile. Great body control. You can see why he’s a college player.”
Mission Viejo freshman Kaden Rasheed also had 23 points, hitting six 3-pointers.
Mission Viejo (25-8) led by 11 at the half, but a 15-3 El Camino third-quarter run helped cut the deficit to 50-49 near the end of the period.
The 10th-seeded Wildcats (27-5) tied the game at 53 on a Kevin Hardiway jumper with 7:20 to play and took their first lead since early in the first quarter on a Quen Meadows bucket with 6:49 remaining.
But Mission Viejo, fueled by two Rasheed 3-pointers, went ahead by six with 5:14 remaining.
El Camino cut the deficit to two with 2:10 to play on a Devin Watson basket, but the Diablos pushed the margin to 10 with under a minute to go.
The Wildcats had three turnovers in the dying seconds, leading to the final margin.
“Our best defender (Meadows) got three fouls right away,” Johnson said. “He was guarding Hutchison, so that really hurt us.
“Dakota Orr switched over and did a nice job on him, but the guy is just a really good player.”
Watson, playing his last high school game, finished with 23 points while 6-6 junior Sam Bockman was a monster on the boards, scoring 17 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking seven shots.
“Sam played great, just great,” Johnson said. “He has played great for the better part of the season.”
The Wildcats lost despite forcing 18 Mission Viejo turnovers.
“It’s tough losing this last game,” Bockman said. “But it was fun playing this season because we had a great group of guys.”