Armando Ayala made two free throws with 18 seconds remaining Wednesday night to lift St. Paul High School to a 55-54 win over Servite in an Angelus League game played in the Swordsmen gym at Santa Fe Springs.
The Friars had trailed by five points with six minutes left but surged ahead, 54-53, when Brett Caya hit a 17-foot jump shot with 1:04 to go. On its next possession, St. Paul worked the ball to Ayala, who drove the baseline and was fouled.
Servite called timeout after Ayala's free throws, but Bob Coady, who scored 10 points, got trapped on the left sideline and attempted an off-balance, 25-foot jumper that missed. John Scott grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded to secure St. Paul's victory.
Jeff Willis scored 19 points, and Scott added 18 points and 8 assists to lead the Swordsmen, who improve to 1-1 in league and 8-4 overall. Ayala finished with 10 points. Tony Smalley led Servite (1-1 and 7-7) with 21 points and Coady added 10.