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Capistrano Valley lets LB Poly escape in OT
LONG BEACH - In the end, Long Beach Poly had just a little bit more.
The Jackrabbits (28-2) rallied to force overtime against visiting Capistrano Valley and in the extra period, outscored the Cougars, 10-4, to pull out the overtime victory, 65-59, in the first round of the Division I CIF Southern California Regionals on Wednesday night.
Long Beach Poly will be host to Orange Lutheran in the second round Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Orange Lutheran defeated Dorsey of Los Angeles, 64-57, in another first-round game.
Capistrano Valley ends the season 25-6.
“We made of bunch shots early that kept us in it, we did probably run out of gas,” Capistrano Valley coach Brian Mulligan said. “More than anything else, just like the (Orange) Lutheran game (in the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals) we didn’t keep them off of the boards when we had to, with the offensive boards at the end and that came back to bite us.
“I tell you what, what are they (Long Beach Poly) the No. 2 team in the state? We played our butts off. I couldn’t ask anything more out of this group.”
The Cougars were eliminated in the CIF-SS Division 1A semifinals, losing to eventual champion Orange Lutheran, 67-60, on Feb. 28.
The Jackrabbits, who is the second seed in the Regionals, lost to Mater Dei, 63-59 in the CIF-SS Division 1AA final on March 3.
The score was tied, 55-55, at the end of regulation. The Cougars went cold at the start of overtime, while the Jackrabbits scored the first six points to take a 61-55 lead with a little more than a minute remaining.
Chris Croom’s 3-pointer was the big basket.
The Cougars didn’t score their first points in overtime until a Spencer Fabian put back a miss to make the score 63-57.
“We executed the game plan as well as we could,” Mulligan said. “They’re (Poly) just really good.”
In particular, Roschon Prince is really good. The junior came on strong, scoring 21 of his 28 points in the second half and overtime. Prince scored six in overtime. Prince was a force on the offensive glass down the stretch for the Jackrabbits.
“That’s what one of the best player in the state does,” Mulligan said of Prince. “More power to him, but we could have done a better job of boxing them out. I thought our game plan was what we wanted to do, but we just came up a little short.”
Stephen Short led Capistrano Valley with 19 points. Nick Thomas and Aleks Lipovic scored 18 and 15, respectively.
The Cougars caught somewhat of a break just to have the game go into overtime. After a defensive stop, the Cougars had the ball under the Long Beach Poly basket with 3.4 seconds left. The in-bounds pass was thrown long and out of bounds, without anybody touching it, giving the Jackrabbits the ball under their own basket.
The Jackrabbits failed to score on their next possession, forcing overtime.