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Crean Lutheran's Isaiah Johnson rises above Laguna Beach defenders to get off a shot during the Saints' 54-49 victory in a CIF-SS Division 3AA second-round playoff game Friday night. (Photo by Steven Georges, Contributing Photographer)

Crean Lutheran beats Laguna Beach in OT thriller

STAFF WRITER

IRVINE – Crean Lutheran’s boys basketball team survived an upset bid by Laguna Beach to capture a 54-49 victory in overtime Friday night in the second round of the CIF-SS 3AA playoffs at Crean Lutheran.

Second-seeded Crean Lutheran (23-6) advances to the quarterfinals Tuesday night on the road against Burbank. The Saints had a bye in the first round.

“It’s a playoff game; there are no easy games,” said Crean’s Michael Bagatourian, the game’s leading scorer with 28 points. “That’s a really good team and well coached. We got some boards and hit some free throws, finally, and we executed our (offensive) sets.”

Laguna Beach (19-11), led by the 23-point performance of Blake Burzell, did all it could to ruin the Saints’ plans for a long playoff run.

The Breakers overcame a three-point deficit after three quarters to take a three-point lead with 42 seconds left in regulation.

Crean Lutheran sent the game into overtime when Bagatourian hit two free throws with 11 seconds left to tie it, 45-45.

Bagatourian made two free throws with 6 seconds left in overtime to give the Saints a 54-49 lead.

“It took us a while to kind of settle in,” said Crean Lutheran coach Josh Beaty. “We were a little frazzled early and had a difficult time getting the ball inside for a long stretch there. Offensively, we had a really tough time today. We missed a few free throws (10) and we missed a few layups. Defensively, we were into it.”

Maximus Bo added 11 points for Crean Lutheran and sank two free throws in the overtime period.

Charlie Rounaghi wound up with 10 points for Laguna Beach.

Crean Lutheran jumped out to a 12-7 lead after one quarter before Laguna Beach outscored the Saints, 11-6, in the second quarter to tie the score at halftime, 18-18.

Contact the writer: tiburt@scng.com


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