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Mission Viejo wins thriller against Orange Lutheran
ORANGE – Orange Lutheran students had their choice of school events Tuesday night – attend a poetry reading and receive extra credit, or watch their boys basketball team's playoff game.
Even Edgar Allan Poe rarely produced drama equal to the basketball game.
Mission Viejo and Orange Lutheran exchanged the lead four times in the final 90 seconds. Mission Viejo had it at the end for a 64-63 victory in a CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA second-round playoff game at Orange Lutheran High.
The Diablos (26-3) will play at Inglewood (17-9) in a 1AA quarterfinal Friday. Orange Lutheran finished 18-10.
It was a rematch of last season's Division 1A championship game, which Lutheran won, 64-58.
Mission Viejo's Chandler Hutchison had two free throws with three seconds remaining and the Diablos clinging to the 64-63 lead. He missed them both.
The Lancers' best player, Payton Banks, got the rebound, hurriedly dribbled into the frontcourt and launched a 35-footer that had the distance but was wide left, missing the rim.
Banks, a senior guard who signed with Penn State, had made two free throws with 42 seconds remaining to give his team a 63-62 lead.
Mission Viejo's best player, senior guard Evan Zeller, who this week added an offer from Concordia University to his list of college choices, made two free throws with 29 seconds left to give the lead back to the Diablos, 64-63.
Orange Lutheran called a timeout. The Lancers, patient and deliberate, eventually worked the ball to sophomore forward Kendall Lauderdale in the post to the right of the basket. The left-handed Lauderdale took two dribbles into the middle of the key, put up a 7-foot jumper that missed, and Hutchison got the rebound and was fouled to set up the two free throws that he missed.
Zeller scored 18 points with three 3-pointers and five assists. Hutchison scored 16, and Max Redfield added 13 and nine rebounds for the Diablos.
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