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Orange Lutheran can't keep up with Fairfax
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.