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Yorba Linda survives wild fourth quarter to beat Servite

OCVARSITY.COM

YORBA LINDA - In the battle between chanting student sections from Servite and Yorba Linda high schools during Friday’s Division 3AA second-round basketball playoff, the edge went to the more experienced Friars for originality.

But on the court, where it mattered, the host Mustangs, in their second year of varsity basketball, came away victorious.

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Junior guard Sharthak Mukhopadhyay scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Mustangs to a 62-55 victory and a berth in the quarterfinals.

The Mustangs will be at Charter Oak of Covina on Tuesday night.

Trent Paddon added 21 for the Mustangs.

“We’ve been playing our best basketball in the last three weeks, which is what every coach wants, Yorba Linda coach Jason Pietsch said.

The Mustangs’ victory overshadowed a 27-point output from Servite’s Tre Hunter, whose 12 fourth-quarter points kept the Friars in it until the final minute.

The teams combined for 47 points in the fourth quarter, which looked like a 3-point shooting contest between Mukhopadhyay and Hunter.

Mukhopadhyay’s 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions gave the Mustangs (11-17) a 52-43 lead with about 3:30 remaining.

But Hunter responded with a pair of 3-pointers and a free throw to get the Friars (11-18) to within four with about two minutes left.

The Friars had possession and were down by two with 33 seconds left but turned the ball over and were forced to foul the Mustangs the rest of the way.

The Mustangs sank five of six free throws in the final 24 seconds to seal the victory.


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