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    St. Margaret’s boys basketball continues hot streak with win over Estancia
    • January 27, 2024

    SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Russell Frye filled the stat sheet for St. Margaret’s boys basketball team in a 74-69 win over Estancia in an Orange Coast League game Friday at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School.

    The senior forward scored 25 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had five steals for the Tartans (14-8, 7-3).

    “He was really big tonight obviously and down the stretch we put him on their best player to make him miserable,” St. Margaret’s coach Chris Nordstrom said of Frye. “After we got back from Christmas break, Russ kind of decided that we are not going to lose anymore. It’s nice having an athlete like that.”

    “It was a team effort,” Frye said. “We had a slow start to the season so winning a few recently has been good for us.”

    St. Margaret’s has won five consecutive games and is now 5-0 all-time against Estancia.

    Costa Mesa is first in the Orange Coast League standings, and St. Margaret’s is tied for second with Calvary Chapel. The Tartans beat Calvary Chapel 78-69 Wednesday to split the season series between the two teams.

    Estancia (19-8, 7-4) is the league’s fourth-place team, comfortably ahead of fifth-place Santa Ana. Four teams from the Orange Coast League will be automatic qualifiers for the CIF-SS playoffs.

    Both Estancia and St. Margaret’s will finish in the top four in the league standings regardless of what happens the rest of league play.

    “We have a lot of kids that do other sports on our campus so what’s happened is we are able to practice now and build some camaraderie,” Nordstrom said. “We are finally playing at the level that I think we are capable of. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

    The first half was a back-and-forth one between the two teams and St. Margaret’s led 38-34 at halftime.

    The Tartans shot 56 percent from 3-point range in the first half and Estancia kept pace by making four of its first five 3-pointers.

    St. Margaret’s went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter and led by as many as 12 points. The Tartans forced five turnovers in the frame and Mark Cyr grabbed five rebounds.

    “I think we guarded the 3-point line better in the second half and were able to grind some possessions,” Nordstrom said.

    Estancia began to full court press St. Margaret’s in the fourth quarter and double-team the ball handler. The strategy worked for a bit and the Eagles cut the lead to three points with just under two minutes remaining in the game.

    St. Margaret’s was able to stop the Estancia run when Cyr passed to Cameron Danz and he made a 3-pointer to extend the lead back to six.

    Frye had a late steal which resulted in a layup and made two free throws at the end to seal the win.

    Jaedon Hose-Shea had 23 points for Estancia, including 10 points in the fourth quarter. Peter Sanchez had 17 points for the Eagles and grabbed eight rebounds.

    Danz had 17 points for St. Margaret’s and had four steals on defense. Cyr had 11 points with eight rebounds.

    The Tartans will play Aliso Niguel Saturday in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei High.

    Estancia will close the regular season with a road game against Santa Ana on Wednesday.

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    ​ Orange County Register