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Riley steals triumph for Orange Lutheran
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – The Santa Margarita student section was in full roar.
Nine seconds remained when Orange Lutheran’s Joseph Riley received the sideline inbounds pass. He worked his way from left to right across a double screen and hoisted a jumper from the top of the arc.
As his 3-point shot fell through the hoop with three seconds on the clock, Riley pointed to the heavens. He was honoring his late grandpa, who passed away Thursday.
Noah Rasheed’s desperation shot from half-court was off target, and No. 4 Orange Lutheran shocked the second-ranked Eagles, 62-61, on Friday night in a Trinity League boys basketball game at Santa Margarita High.
“The emotions are crazy,” Riley said. “My grandpa just passed yesterday. He was scheduled to come to this game. That shot was all for him, and I give all glory to God. I miss him and I love him.”
Riley had a game-high 15 points, scoring all of them from beyond the arc. Zac Jervis also had 15 points, Chris Williams added 14, and KaVaughn Scott chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Lancers (16-4, 4-1)
The Eagles (13-7, 3-2) led, 57-52, after a 3-pointer by Rasheed (14 points) with 1:52 left. Williams tied it at 57 with a corner 3 with 54 seconds remaining.
Down by one with the shot clock off, the Lancers were forced to foul. Rasheed made the first free throw but missed the second, opening the door for Riley’s heroics.
“That is a classic Trinity League game right there,” Lancers coach Chris Nordstrom said. “Santa Margarita is so good. We may have stolen one there.”
Riley shot 5 of 9 from the field. The third-year point guard was praised for making great strides this season.
“I commend him for his control this season,” Scott said. “He is playing under a lot more control, and it’s leading us to victories.”
The Lancers are second in the Trinity League behind Mater Dei (18-3, 5-0), which beat St. John Bosco, 65-56.