COSTA MESA – On the schedule, the Estancia Coast Classic was penciled in as the third high school boys' basketball tournament in Orange County for Long Beach Wilson. It turned out to be the Bruins' second because of some miscommunication.
"We just got left out of it," said Long Beach Wilson Coach Derek Jones, referring to the Charlie Wilkins Memorial Classic, which was held at Westminster High a couple of weeks ago. "We sent the check and everything. I called the day before, I said, 'Hey, we still haven't gotten a schedule,' and [the school] sent me a schedule, and we weren't [on] it.
"We were hungry [during the layoff]. We wanted to play."
The Bruins came out in their opener at the Estancia Coast Classic and ran right past the host school, 80-27, Wednesday night.
Going into the tournament,, Estancia played exactly double the amount of games as the Bruins (2-4). The rusty team was the Eagles (3-8), who only made nine of 42 shots and turned the ball over 22 times.
By halftime, one player, Louis Smith, was on his way to outscoring Estancia. Smith, a 6-foot-3 senior, scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half and he finished with 13 rebounds.
During the break, with the Bruins ahead, 52-14, some visiting fans rooted for the Bruins to score 100 points. With a running clock in the fourth quarter, that wasn't going to be possible.
Jones came away impressed with his team's showing on the first day of the four-day tournament.
It was the Bruins' second game in almost three weeks, but they were efficient on the offensive end, making 51% of their shots, including seven of 16 three-pointers.
The Bruins have a shot to advance out of their pool to the gold division bracket by beating Sunny Hills on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Sunny Hills outlasted San Clemente, 78-73, in their pool-play game.
No one for the Eagles produced double-digit points. Josh Mendoza led the way with eight and Ben Beck contributed seven.
The Eagles' offense looked at its best right after a couple of inbound plays. Mendoza sank a jumper underneath the arc in the second quarter and Beck hit a three-pointer in the corner in the third period.
The Eagles face San Clemente in a pool-play game Thursday at 7 p.m.
"Christmas break hurt us," said Estancia interim coach Carlos Beltran, adding that his team's last practice was Saturday.
"I had high hopes before the season started. I still have high hopes now. We can turn it around, but the season is getting shorter and shorter."
Estancia Coast Classic
Long Beach Wilson 80, Estancia 27
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Wilson 22 – 30 – 15 – 13 — 80
Estancia 5 – 9 – 11 – 2 — 27
LBW – Smith 19, Hamilton 14, Kazane 10, Harris 8, Williams 8, Luongo 6, Morse 6, Peoples 6, Amoranto 2, Ujodughele 1.
3-pt. goals – Peoples 2, Williams 2, Luongo 2, Hamilton 1.
Est – Mendoza 8, Beck 7, Jarmacz 5, Pearce 2, Jelks 2, Harry 2, Ponce 1.
3-pt. goals – Beck 1.