By Jim Tortolano
Trailing by eight points in the fourth quarter? No problem.
Other team sinks a miracle three as time runs out (apparently)– I say, “apparently” – to win the game? No sweat.
“I’m not worried in close games,” said Brian Girard, coach of the Garden Grove High boys’ basketball team after the Argonauts rallied to win a 50-49 last-minute first round CIF-SS Division 4AA game against Golden Valley of Santa Clarita on Friday night in the Grove gym.
Indeed, all season long, Grove – champions of the Golden West League – has thrived on tight contests, winning by one or two points, or in overtime. But this one could have put a cardiologist into the medical tent.
The visiting Grizzlies led nearly the entire game going into the closing moments. But the Argos were surging and ended up outscoring the visitors 19-11 in the fourth.
Trailing by one with seconds to play, Miguel Ortega found a lane inside and scored what ended up being the winning basket with 2.6 seconds on the clock.
But the drama doesn’t end there.
Golden Valley inbounded the ball and a Grizzly launched a long prayer shot as the buzzer sounded … and it went in. The visitors burst into cheers and yells, but, wait!
The officials waved the basket off. The refs had whistled for a time-out, thinking that Grizzly coach Chris Printz had called for one.
Printz argued that no, he hadn’t, it was all a misunderstanding, but the decision stood and Ortega’s basket proved to be the last word.
Ortega, who Girard calls “the best player in North Orange County,” finished with 14 points. Gabe Garcia added 10 and Landon Mendoza had eight points, six of them in the last quarter.
Golden Valley was led by John Miller with 16 points. Mark Hamilton, Jr. had 12.
The Grizzlies, fourth-place team from the Foothill League, finish the season at 11-11. The Argonauts, now 18-8, advance to the second round on Tuesday against the winner of the Palmdale-Alhambra game.
FRIDAY BOYS CIF–SS BASKETBALL RESULTS (posted as they are available)
• Marina 49, Trabuco Hills 41
- Bishop Amat 50, Ocean View 42
- Garden Grove 50, Golden Valley 49
- Fullerton 58, Santiago 49
- Bolsa Grande 60, Calvary Baptist 40
Categories: High school sports