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Ocean View drops thrilling semi at St. John Bosco
BELLFLOWER — Less talent. Undersized. Overmatched.
Not many people gave the Ocean View boys basketball an outside chance at beating top-seeded St. John Bosco of Bellflower on Friday night.
But if there’s one thing to take away from the Seahawks’ agonizing 89-87 loss in the CIF-SS Division 3A semifinal game at St. John Bosco High, it wasn’t for a lack of effort or heart.
St. John Bosco left the door open late for Ocean View sophomore star Kendall Small, but he missed on two free throws with 10 seconds remaining and the Seahawks trailing, 88-87.
Ocean View coach Tim Walsh said there is no other player that he would have rather had at the line in that situation.
“We wouldn’t be here without Kendall Small,” he said. “That’s the guy I want making plays for us; I’d give him the ball a million times.”
The last-ditch effort for Ocean View, a back-door lob on an out-of-bounds play intended for Dillon Reise, fell to the floor as Bosco and its fans celebrated on center court.
Walsh said that he was “unhappy” with the loss, but it wasn’t because a lack of effort.
“We kept battling, and showed incredible heart,” he said. “That’s a good basketball team, but we never stopped believing.”
The key for Ocean View to stay in game against a team that features a senior, Issac Hamilton, who was named a McDonald’s All-American, his four-star brother, Daniel, and a five-star sophomore, Tyler Dorsey, was to hit shots and limit offensive rebounds.
Ocean View did just that, connecting on 19 3-pointers, including seven from Reise who finished with a team-high 24 points.
“We had to hit shots,” Walsh said. “They have a lot of big guys down low, and we did a good job of keeping them off the glass.”
Isaac Hamilton showed why he is one of the top players in the country as he finished with a game-high 43 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
With the score tied at 50 early in the third quarter, Bosco went on a 13-0 run in what looked to be a spurt that Ocean View would succumb to. But the Seahawks roared back as Tyler Burch hit one of his five 3-pointers to stop the bleeding.
Small, who finished with 12 points, ended the third with a running 3-pointer from just inside half court as time expired, cutting the Ocean View deficit to nine heading into the fourth.
Ocean View trailed by as many as seven with under four minutes to play, but were unable prevail down the stretch despite its resiliency.
Burch finished with 21 points and Jelani Jackson had 20 for the Seahawks.