ANAHEIM – Pacifica Christian’s time had finally come.
Having gone 0-4 against Fairmont Prep last season, Pacifica Christian ended that losing streak Tuesday with a 62-59 win over the Huskies in a San Joaquin League game at Fairmont Prep.
The Tritons last season lost to Fairmont Prep in two league games, in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA championship game and in the second round of the CIF Southern California Regionals. Three of those four games were decided by four points or less.
Pacifica Christian was well aware of that history going into Tuesday’s game.
“We don’t even have to talk about last year with these guys,” Pacifica Christian coach Jeffrey Berokoff said, “because everybody else talked about it so much.”
Pacifica Christian is 14-4 overall and 2-0 in league. The Tritons are ranked No. 5 in the Orange County top 25 and is No. 4 in CIF-SS Division 2A.
Fairmont Prep, No. 4 in the county and No. 11 in Division 2AA, is 12-6 overall and 2-1 in league.
Three Pacifica Christian players who were starters on last season’s team were crucial to Tuesday’s win.
Junior point guard Houston Mallette and senior forward Judah Brown scored 18 points each. Brown, who signed with St. Mary’s, also had 15 rebounds. Senior forward Josh Sims scored 13 points with 10 rebounds.
Fairmont Prep senior point guard Atin Wright, who signed with Cal State Northridge, scored 28 points with four 3-pointers and was 6 for 6 at the free-throw line.
Mallette has dealt with Wright before.
“He’s one of best players in the county,” Mallette said, “and he’ll show you he’s a great player.”
Wright’s baseline floater with 58 seconds remaining put Fairmont on top 59-58. Brown scored on a short turnaround bank shot to return the lead to the Tritons 60-59 and Mallette added a layup for a 62-59 lead with 15 seconds to go.
Fairmont Prep put up two 3-point shots that missed during a scramble in the game’s final seconds.
The game was played at a brisk pace throughout. Pacifica Christian had a 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Fairmont Prep scored 24 points in the second quarter to take a 33-29 advantage into halftime.
Pacifica Christian put together a 10-4 run to conclude the third quarter and tie it 47-47 going into the fourth quarter.
Fairmont Prep plays a league game at home Thursday against Saddleback Valley Christian. Pacifica Christian plays a league game Friday against Capistrano Valley Christian, which is 2-0 in league.
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