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Orange Lutheran's struggles continue with OT loss
SANTA ANA – Losing streaks are never fun, and they can be especially disheartening with the playoffs approaching.
Orange Lutheran's boys basketball team lost for the fourth time in five games Saturday. The Lancers were beaten by Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, 72-60, in overtime in the Nike Extravaganza at Mater Dei.
The coming week is the final week of the regular season. Lutheran has two tough games left, at Orange County No. 1 Mater Dei on Tuesday and home against county No. 5 JSerra on Thursday. The Lancers beat JSerra by six points three weeks ago, and lost to Mater Dei at home by 16 the game before that.
The Lancers (17-7) trailed by 18 points in the fourth quarter. A 24-point third quarter cut the Gaels' lead to 41-38 going into the fourth. Kendall Lauderdale led a Lutheran final-quarter surge to send the game to overtime.
Gorman was 10 for 10 at the free-throw line in OT. The Lancers made only 1 of 8 shots from the floor in the extra period.
The Gaels (14-13) lost to Mater Dei, 76-60, in the Jerry Tarkanian Classic in December. Gorman lost to two other nationally ranked teams, Findley Prep, No. 1 in USA Today's national rankings, and Whitney Young of Chicago.
Lutheran is flying with a broken wing.
The team's top player, 6-foot-6 senior guard Payton Banks, is not healthy. Averaging a team-leading 20 points a game, Banks has played little in the past five games. Saturday's game was a return to full-time action, but he was not himself, making only 4 of 17 shots for 11 points.
"Payton's really has not played in three or four of these games, only a few minutes at a time, really," Lutheran coach Chris Nordstrom said. "This was his first game back, really. He's battling different injuries, but being a senior he's doing his best to get out there and stick his nose in it."
Lauderdale led Lutheran with 17 points. The 6-7 sophomore also had 13 rebounds.
"Kendall for sure had a good game, a double-double," Nordstrom said.
Lutheran was not been blown out in the four losses. The Lancers lost to state-ranked No. 9 St. John Bosco of Bellflower by two points in a Trinity League game, lost to Servite, perhaps the county team with the best home-court advantage, by one in a league game, lost to state No. 14 El Camino Real of Woodland Hills by eight, and beat league rival Santa Margarita by five before the loss to Bishop Gorman.
Rashad Muhammad, younger brother of UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad, scored a game-high 24 points for Bishop Gorman. Shabazz scored 41 points for Gorman against Whitney Young in last year's Nike Extravaganza.
Lutheran made only 2 of 15 3-point shots. Overall, the Lancers shot 37 percent from the floor while Gorman shot 45 percent.
The Lancers are 4-4 in the Trinity League and in third place, the final guaranteed playoff berth in the six-team league. They have a one-game lead over JSerra and Servite, which are tied for fourth at 3-5.
Also in the Nike Extravaganza:
Mater Dei 63, Westchester of Los Angeles 60: In what might not be their most-inspired performance of the season, the Monarchs (24-1) defeated the Comets (21-6) in the final game of the two-day event.
Stanley Johnson scored 21 points for the Monarchs. He scored nine points in the fourth quarter. He was 11 for 18 at the free-throw line.
It was tied, 42-42, going into the fourth quarter. Westchester did not score a basket in the fourth until Darnell Brown got one with 3:43 remaining. Mater Dei made 14 free throws in the fourth quarter, to Westchester’s three.
It was a matchup of teams ranked in the calhisports.com’s California top 20. Mater Dei is No. 2, behind Long Beach Poly, and Westchester is No. 17. The Comets had won nine in a row.
Elijah Brown scored 19 for the Monarchs. No other Mater Dei player scored more than six points.
Matthew Grant led Westchester with 23 points.
Mater Dei shot 40 percent from the floor to Westchester’s 30 percent.
De La Salle of Concord 59, Foothill 42: The Knights (21-3) had a poor shooting night and lost to the Spartans (19-3).
Senior point guard Justin Davis led Foothill with 13 points. Sophomore Eric Patton added 11.
Foothill shot 36 percent from the floor, and made only 1 of 15 3-point tries. The Knights scored only four points in the second quarter and were held to nine in the fourth.
Elliott Pitts, a 6-5 senior who signed with Arizona, led De La Salle with 27 points.
A loss to unranked Monte Vista of Danville has kept De La Salle out of calhisports.com's state top 20.
Fairfax of Los Angeles 55, JSerra 52: Johnnie Vassar scored 16 points and Jamal Aytes added 15 with 17 rebounds for the Lions (13-8), who lost in a mid-afternoon game.
Jonathan Brown led Fairfax with 17 points. Reggie Theus Jr., son of the namesake ex-NBA star, scored 15.
Dylan Osetkowski had 10 rebounds for JSerra. Ten of Aytes' rebounds came at the offensive end.
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