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Prep boys basketball: Not this time

Hart almost has a repeat of Friday loss, but survives

Posted: February 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Hart's Frank Lonsinger, left, and Myles Franklin, right, try to grab a loose ball as North Torrance's Austin Yamada tumbles on Wednesday.

 

Quite the opening act.

But not the way the Hart Indians basketball team would have liked it.

The Indians survived — barely — and defeated the North Torrance Saxons 86-83 on Wednesday in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIIAAA playoffs at Hart High.

The game was too much like Indians’ 62-61 loss that cost them the Foothill League championship last Friday — a game in which they led early and lost the handle of late.

“I can tell you in my mind it was a replay of the Canyon game,” said Hart’s Lewis Stallworth, who led all scorers with 23 points. “We didn’t want the same result. But we were able to break through.”

Hart (25-2) built a giant lead early — 25-10 after one very fast-paced quarter.

That lead grew to 32-12 after Stallworth hit a 3-pointer and made a free throw with 6:18 to play in the second quarter.

But the Indians were being eaten alive inside by  senior forward Devante Jenkins, who was controlling the offensive glass and giving the Saxons second chances.

He scored eight of his team-high 16 points in the second quarter and helped lead an 11-2 run that brought North Torrance to a 36-26 deficit midway through the second quarter.

Hart’s transition offense and attacking defense hit a wall and the Saxons kept coming.

“We got complacent,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly.

The Indians were still scoring points, but North Torrance was scoring at a faster pace — both inside and out.

By the 3:41 mark of the third quarter, the Saxons passed the Indians with a 3-pointer by Koh Flippen, who scored 14 points, that gave North Torrance a 57-56 lead.

Making matters worse was Stallworth, who was in foul trouble and Myles Franklin reaggravating a muscle injury in his lower back that took him out of the game for most of the third period.

Hart was fortunate, though, because Jenkins was also in foul trouble.

A tug-of-war ensued with the Saxons grabbing a 79-77 lead on a Zach Kimura jumper with 2:30 to play in the fourth quarter.

Hart guard Frank Lonsinger, who scored 11 points, though, answered with a 3-pointer.

With Franklin, who scored 18 points, and Stallworth back in the game, the Indians had their punch in the final frame.

They took an 82-79 lead when Stanley Wilder followed a Stallworth miss for an 82-79 lead.

Stallworth made a layup with 20 seconds to play, but Kimura hit a three six seconds later to cut the lead to 84-83.

North Torrance head coach Luke Duperron immediately called a timeout, yet his team was out of timeouts, resulting in a technical foul.

He argued with the officials and they consulted the official scorer who had the Saxons out of timeouts.

Franklin hit the two free throws that iced the game.

“I was told I had one more timeout and I guess I didn’t,” were Duperron’s only words after he walked off in anger after the game.

Hart will now play at West Torrance on Friday in the second round.

Lesson learned from Wednesday?

“Yeah. Don’t get up big and stop playing. That’s two games in a row,” Kelly said.

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