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Hart’s last-second lament

Indians fall to Regents after final shot to take second place in the San Fernando Valley Tournament

Posted: December 23, 2008 10:28 p.m.
Updated: December 24, 2008 4:30 a.m.

ENCINO - The Hart boys basketball team had the San Fernando Valley Invitational championship won Tuesday at Crespi High.

But in a blink, it was lost.

The Indians lost to Reseda High 68-67 on a final-second layup in the tournament's championship game.

But it wasn't supposed to be that way.

The Indians (8-4) took a 67-66 lead on a free throw from senior guard Patrick Abbott with eight seconds remaining.

Regents guard Randall Harris brought the ball quickly up court, but slipped near the 3-point line, losing the ball out of bounds with two seconds to play.

On the ensuing inbound, Abbott tossed the ball in to Hart forward Parker Dominguez.

The ball slipped through the hands of Dominguez and into those of Andre Fowler.

Fowler layed it in for the victory.

"The picture keeps going through my mind," said Hart senior guard Brad Wyche. "The light goes off, the ball leaves his hand, the crowd goes crazy and we're like, ‘What?'"

The shock felt by the Indians wore heavily on their faces.

They finished third place in the Moorpark Tournament this month, and now second in San Fernando.

The Indians host their own tournament beginning Friday.

But this one stings.

Hart head coach Tom Kelly reviewed a tape after the game which showed the ball was still in Fowler's hands when the buzzer went off.

The L.A. City Section Regents (8-4) were overjoyed, nonetheless.

"Anything can happen, two seconds or not," Fowler said.

The fourth quarter was fast-paced from the first possession.

The Indians, who jumped ahead 11-5, then gave up a 16-3 run to Reseda, trailed for most of the game.

They kept trying to chip away at the more athletic Regents, but kept getting held back.

That was until the fourth quarter.

The Regents took their biggest lead of the game at 52-43 early in the frame, but Hart began to benefit from turnovers and finally was able to get some big rebounds.

Reseda led 67-60 at the 1:30 mark, then the Regents turned it over.

Wyche, who scored 13 points, got a layup.

Then Dominguez picked off a bad inbound and layed the ball in.

Hart's Joe Inemer picked up a big rebound on the second of two missed foul shots, then Wyche cashed in one of two free throws.

Inemer picked up another big rebound, then Ben Kimble tied it 67-67 with 30 seconds to play with two free throws.

Again, the Regents missed a pair of free throws, setting up Abbott's free throw that gave the Indians the lead.

But it lasted eight seconds.

"We gave it away," Kelly said. "It's a learning process."

Dominguez kept the Indians in the game throughout by controlling the paint.

He scored 23 points and added 11 rebounds.

Inemer pulled down 10 boards.


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