Capistrano Valley and Oxnard battle for the CIF-Southern Section 2A title Saturday at the Honda Center.
Blake Atwell/Prep2Prep

Defense reigns supreme, Capo prevails in 2A CIF-SS championship

March 5, 2017

In a defensive slugfest, Capistrano Valley prevailed against the number one seeded Oxnard Yellowjackets, 41-31, for the 2A CIF-SS championship.

A game in which Oxnard shot just 23.9 percent from the field and scored a total of 31 points was perfectly summed up by Capo's head coach Brian Mulligan right after the action.

"I know a lot of people are probably saying that's the ugliest CIF championship game in history, but I thought it was the most beautiful one," Mulligan said.

Capo Valley's leading scorer, Dawson Baker, almost matched Oxnard's total with 25 points.

"I tried to stay aggressive and continue to do some of the things I know I can do, drive to the hole and make things happen," he said.

Grayson Beeman (6 points) and Nic Lipovic (8 points) were also solid contributors for Capo.

Brycen Wight struggled from the field for Oxnard (shooting 3 of 17), but led his team with 11 points. Throughout the fourth quarter, Capo's slight size advantage bothered Oxnard, and they led 28-22 with just over five minutes left.

A Lipovic 3-pointer gave Capo momentum, extending their lead to 32-24 with four minutes left. It was tough for either teams to get baskets down the stretch, but Capo did a good job on the offensive boards to give themselves an advantage. Oxnard went to a press late, but the Capo Valley guards were easily able to break it and pad their team's lead. Two made free throws by Dawson Baker sealed the championship for Capistrano Valley, a 10-point victory.

In the first few minutes of the third quarter, Capo hung onto a 15-9 lead by simply knocking down more shots than Oxnard. The Yellowjackets just couldn't put the ball in the basket, much to the credit of phenomenal team defense by Capo. Towards the end of the quarter, Oxnard was finally able to hit some shots and cut the Capo lead to five, 20-15. After three, Capo possessed a six-point advantage, 26-20.

To start the game, both teams experienced the nerves of playing in a big arena, and couldn't make a shot. Baker and Capo poured in six points by the end of one, while Oxnard scored just one point.

Throughout the second quarter, Grayson Beeman was disruptive on defense by hustling and blocking shots. With both teams turning the ball over, yet playing outstanding defense, a halftime score of 11-9 foreshadowed what would come in the second half: more of the same.

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