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ARMANDO BROWN, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Orange Lutheran players Kavaughn Scott (20) and Rogers Printup defend against a shot by Fairfax's Jeremy Hamilton during the fourth quarter of Friday's CIF Southern California Regional Open Division playoff game in Los Angeles.

Orange Lutheran can't keep up with Fairfax

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

LOS ANGELES – Nothing was going to be easy for Orange Lutheran’s boys basketball team in the Open Division of the CIF Southern California Regionals.

A matchup with Fairfax of Los Angeles, the L.A. City Section champions, would be tough enough. That, combined with a 13-day layoff, helped spell the end of the season for the Lancers.

Fairfax made Orange Lutheran pay for its slow starts to open each half, and defeated the Lancers, 75-53, Friday night in a first-round game at Fairfax High.

The extended period away from game situations appeared to affect Orange Lutheran’s execution. It led to the Lancers (24-6) falling behind, 10-0, in the first three minutes. Lorne Currie had five points in that span for the Lions (31-2).

Orange Lutheran, which hadn’t played a game since Feb. 28, used a timeout to regroup. The Lancers switched to a full-court press and attempted to match the energy of their opponent.

The quickened pace helped the Lancers find their offense. They went on a 10-0 run to close the deficit to 25-23. Two 3-pointers by Joseph Riley and Rogers Printup helped the cause, and Keisean Lucier-South’s activity on the offensive glass was a critical part of the comeback.

“We knew we didn’t want to let anyone down,” said Printup, a senior who will be playing for UC Davis next year. “We knew that regardless of the situation, we wanted to fight and battle.”

Printup finished with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. CJ Hankins added 17 points, and Lucier-South had seven points and eight rebounds.

Orange Lutheran trailed, 31-30, with one minute left in the first half. Fairfax missed a deep jumper, but the Lions got the offensive tip-in to fall.

The Lancers wanted to hold for the final shot of the half, but when the ball was kicked out to Zac Jervis, he unleashed an early 3-pointer that missed the mark. Lindsey Drew rebounded the ball with six seconds on the clock, finding Antoine Monroe on the right wing for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

“It was poor execution. A lot of it comes down to, we haven’t done that in a while,” Lancers coach Chris Nordstrom said. “Honestly, that’s what made us successful down the stretch. We’d execute at those moments, and we didn’t tonight.”

Fairfax opened the second half on a 9-2 run, and the Lions maintained a healthy lead the rest of the way.

Orange Lutheran had enjoyed a strong postseason run until Friday, having knocked off two higher-seeded teams in the CIF-SS Open Division before falling to top-seeded Bishop Montgomery in the semifinals.


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