PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Jeff Van Dyke
, a 6-foot-2 senior super shooting guard from La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.)
, missed six games earlier this season for various reasons: a concussion, food poisoning, the dog ate his sneakers.
"It's like the kid had walked under a ladder," La Costa Canyon coach David Cassaw said.
But Van Dyke is healthy now and the Pepperdine-bound standout is swishing 3s, driving to the hoop and playing tough defense.
On Saturday, Mission Viejo was looking for a ladder.
Van Dyke drilled eight 3-pointers and scored 29 points to lead the Mavericks to a sterling 70-58 win over previously unbeaten
Mission Viejo (Calif.)
in the championship game of the Qwixcore Division Saturday at Palm Desert High School. Kyle Sachrison
added 17 points and Brandon Miller
had 10 points and 10 rebounds for La Costa Canyon (11-3), the defending Southern California Division II champions which lost its top two players and scorers to graduation off last year's squad.
With Van Dyke out of the lineup, the Mavericks struggled with inconsistency early on, but they found their rhythm at the tournament, especially their star shooting guard.
Mission Viejo had closed to 46-41 early in the second half, when Van Dyke got it really going with five hoops — three 3-pointers — over the next four minutes.
"I was getting some great screens to free me and I just was feeling it," Van Dyke. "I just got in comfort zone."
, who came in averaging 24 points per game, had 19 points and Chandler Hutchison
added 15 points for Mission Viejo (15-1).
The Diablos started slow and played strong and physical, but the Mavericks never wavered. They held off several runs,
the last of which was two free throws and a 3-pointer from Zeller to close the gap to 64-57.
But La Costa locked down from there and went on a 6-1 run to end the game. Cassaw was very pleased with his team's toughness and effort.
"We had four guys who hadn't been in a real tough game like this before so I was anxious to see how they would respond," he said. "I was very pleased how they responded."