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Prep basketball: Indians can’t tough it out

Hart falters in fourth quarter on its way to loss to El Camino for second consecutive season

Posted: December 13, 2010 11:06 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2010 11:06 p.m.
 

Hart boys basketball played El Camino Real of Woodland Hills tough for three quarters at Hart High in Newhall on Monday.

Unfortunately for the Indians, the last quarter was a different story.

Hart (4-5) trailed by two points going into the final frame, but a series of bad decisions and defensive lapses led to a 57-48 loss at the hands of the Conquistadors (4-1).

“We’re playing really well, we’re right there,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. “But there’s got to be a greater toughness down the stretch.”

One critical lapse seemed to prove costly for the Indians.

Trying to play for the last shot in the third quarter, Hart point guard Roman Delgado drilled a 3-pointer to reclaim the lead and put the Indians ahead 38-37.

But the eight seconds left was enough time for Conquistador guard Julian Richardson to answer with a 3-pointer of his own.

After the basket, El Camino went ahead 40-38 and never looked back.

“That was a huge momentum-shifter for us,” El Camino Real head coach David Rebibo said afterward. “It gave us some confidence and really got our guys going. I think we’re a very good shooting team.”

The Conquistadors continued their success from beyond the arc in the fourth as they wrested control of the game away from Hart.

Nemit answered a Hart timeout with a 3-point play to put his team ahead 50-41 with 3:40 left. Nemit led all scorers with 20 points.

Kelly called a second timeout, but he wasn’t able to corral the Indians’ offense, which had controlled the pace of the game up to that point, leading to 13-12 at the end of the first quarter and a 27-27 tie at halftime.

“We were in it for three and a half quarters,” Delgado said, who led Hart with 15 points. “I think we faltered a little bit, and we have to show better character.”

Indians forward Cole Preston, who added 11 points and 10 rebounds, seconded Delgado’s sentiments.

“We didn’t have anybody step up for us,” Preston said. “I thought in the second half, we just started shooting too quick, taking bad shots. They got quick rebounds, and they were already ready to go.”

John Green added five points and eight rebounds for the Indians, who showed vast improvement over last year’s game against El Camino, a 74-36 blowout loss.

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