Tournament MVP Justin Strings led Mira Costa to its second tournament championship. Photo by Ray Vidal
Mira Costa captured its second boys basketball tournament of the season Friday with a 65-46 win over Crossroads to claim the title of the 46th annual El Segundo Hoop Classic.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 15 point lead in the first quarter and didn’t look back winning their eighth consecutive game to open the new season.
Tournament MVP Justin Strings scored all of his 16 points in the first half and Jake Feder added 14 points for Mira Costa.
“This was a big confidence builder for a relatively inexperienced varsity team,” Mira Costa head coach Jeff Amaral said. “Maintaining intensity and being in sync defensively has been key.”
Mira Costa opened the tournament with a 59-32 win over El Segundo’s No. 2 team. The Mustangs proceeded to defeat defending Division 1 champion Santa Monica 65-46. Chase Crandall led the Mustangs with 22 points and added five rebounds and seven assists.
The Mustangs concluded pool play with a 60-47 win over Pioneer League contender Centennial. Strings scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed seven rebounds
Mira Costa will host Paramount in a non-league game on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. before traveling to San Diego to compete in the 24th Holiday Classic presented by Under Armour. The 72-team tournament will be held Dec. 26-30.
“Going away to tournaments always helps give us experience facing different types of styles,” Amaral said. “In addition, the players enjoy it and we get to bond as a team.”