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Yorba Linda loses thriller to South Torrance

OCVARSITY.COM

YORBA LINDA - South Torrance erased a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit to come away with a 46-42 victory Friday over Yorba Linda in a CIF-SS Division 3AA semifinal at Yorba Linda High.

The loss punctuated a gut-wrenching final few minutes and ended an impressive postseason run for the Mustangs (12-18), who were in their second season of varsity basketball and only the first season with seniors.

"It would have been easier (to take) if it had been a blowout," Yorba Linda coach Jason Pietsch said. "We should be playing next week."

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As the Spartans (19-11) were getting closer, Yorba Linda missed the front end of one-and-one free throw chances twice in the fourth quarter and scored just three points in the final 5:30.

The Mustangs led, 42-41, with just under a minute remaining but missed a 3-point shot that could have arguably put the game away.

On the ensuing possession, Yorba Linda's Quinton Moore blocked a shot under the basket, but Jake Ly grabbed the loose ball for South Torrance. Ly then make an 8-foot jumper to put the Spartans ahead, 43-42, with 7.5 seconds left.

After a timeout, Sharthak Mukhopadhyay caught the inbound pass for Yorba Linda, but he fell out of bounds. Pietsch argued that his point guard was pushed.

Yorba Linda was then forced to foul immediately.

After Garrett Niida made one of two free throws for South, the Mustangs still had a shot with 5.9 seconds left, but the Spartans stole the inbound pass.

Yorba Linda fouled and South's Kenichi Hackman made both free throws to put the game away.

"In a game that is decided by three or four points, you look back and there are 20 different possessions that could have won the game," Pietsch said. "It is disappointing."

Trent Paddon scored 12 to lead the Mustangs.


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