Saints hold off Segerstrom to advance

Santa Ana earned itself a spot in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 boys basketball playoffs with a wild 78-73 road win over Segerstrom in Wednesday’s opener.

The Saints (19-7) got off to a quick start as Nick Chavez, Emmanuel Lemus, Luis Sandoval, and Matthew Rojas each connected on 3-pointers in the opening quarter to build a 20-11 lead after one.

The lead held up and grew during the second and third quarters (the Saints led 60-47 after three), before the Jaguars (14-12) used a late 27-18 surge to bring it to within one at 74-73 with 30 seconds to go. 

Jalen Cervantes drew a foul for Segerstrom but missed both free throw attempts. From there, Alexis Neira was fouled twice and knocked down all four free throws to seal it for the Saints.

“I thought today we played tough, it was a great win for us,” Lemus, the teams scoring leader at 18.8 points per game, said. “It feels great man, another opportunity of the season and it’s just an unbelievable experience,” he added when asked about advancing in the playoffs.  

The Saints play tonight when they host Cate (13-7) in the second round at 8 p.m.  


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