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Perfect no more: Golden Valley suffers first league loss

Hart rallies in fourth quarter, hands Golden Valley first Foothill loss

Posted: January 30, 2009 10:13 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2009 4:59 a.m.

Hart forward Parker Dominguez (45) looks to pass as Golden Valley's Trevor Wiseman goes for the steal during the Indians' 67-63 victory Friday at Hart High School. The loss was the Grizzlies' first in league play.

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Hart basketball’s Patrick Abbott had possibly one of the ugliest stat lines to ever come out of the Hart High gymnasium.

He hit 1-of-20 shots, missed his first 19 and finished with four points.

But that one made shot keyed the Indians to a 67-63 upset victory of the Foothill League-leading Golden Valley Grizzlies Friday night.

“This was the worst game of my life. That was awful” Abbott said. “But I don’t even care anymore. It’s about getting a ‘W.’”

Despite the awful night, Abbott never quit shooting.

With the Indians (15-8, 4-2) trailing by one point in the fourth quarter and less than a minute to play, Abbott drove inside and threw up a shot that got all rim.

But his tenacity paid dividends.

In a traffic jam of bodies, he jumped up and tipped the ball in for a 64-63 Hart lead, the first Indians lead since midway through the first quarter.

The game, though, was ultimately decided by the officials.

Golden Valley’s Stevie Thornton drove near the Grizzlies’ 3-point line with less than 40 seconds to play. Thornton made contact with Hart’s Ben Kimble, who fell over, drawing the charge.

Hart’s Parker Dominguez was then intentionally fouled and hit both his free throws to give the Indians a 66-63 advantage.

Golden Valley’s Maverick Ahanmisi then took a handoff from Trevor Wiseman and was whistled for traveling.

“I don’t want to worry about officiating,” said Golden Valley head coach Chris Printz. “We shouldn’t put ourselves in that situation. The officials didn’t miss nine free throws.”

If Printz didn’t want to say anything about the officiating, his face and actions did.

After the Thornton foul, he put his hand on his hips, mouth wide open in incredulity, then shook his head.

Yet, Printz was very right in one respect.

Golden Valley (20-3, 5-1) tempted fate in its last three Foothill contests, with all games coming down to the wire.

All of those games were decided by five or less points.

This, being the fourth, appeared to be going Golden Valley’s way.

The Grizzlies led 37-28 at halftime and even held an 11-point advantage at a couple different points during the frame.

Every Hart comeback attempt in the third quarter was thwarted.

The Indians crept to within four points midway through the quarter, but Grizzly Chris White hit back-to-back threes to bump the lead to nine.

Ahanmisi then hit another 3-pointer to give the Grizzlies their biggest lead of the game at 51-39 with 2:57 to go in the third.

The senior guard led the Grizzlies with 20 points, but scored only four in the second half.

Thornton hit a runner at the end of the quarter to give the Grizzlies a 56-45 advantage going into the fourth.

Indian Brad Wyche then brought the Indians back.

He hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions.

“If it’s there, you have to take it,” Wyche said. “My team trusts me. It’s my job to knock down those shots.”

Wyche hit five 3-pointers in the game, en route to 19 points. The Indians tied the game at 62-62 with 2:12 to play on Abbott’s two free throws.

With the comeback complete, the Indians then made the necessary stops on defense.

Dominguez led the Indians with 20 points and Joe Inemer added 12, 10 of which came in a third quarter where he carried his team.

Thornton scored 17.

cosborne@the-signal.com

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