OCEANSIDE — Wednesday night at Oceanside High School, nearly everything seemed to go in favor of the host Pirates.
They got off to an early lead. They controlled the tempo of the game. And, most of all, they were dominating crosstown rival El Camino.
But second-ranked El Camino (9-0, 20-2) held on to grab a 42-40 overtime victory over the seventh-ranked Pirates. For Oceanside (7-3, 18-4), it was like watching your big brother blow out the candles on your birthday cake.
"We felt we should have won this game," Oceanside forward Sai Niu said. "This was our game."
Oceanside Coach Bill Christopher protested the game with 2:20 remaining, when the referees took away one point from Oceanside after Mike Owens sank two free throws. The referees said the second point didn't count because Owens was fouled scoring.
Christopher charged that Owens was fouled making the first foul shot and should be allowed the second.
Aside from the controversy, the Pirates were pleased with the game up until the overtime period.
"I'm obviously extremely happy with the way we played tonight," Christopher said. "In overtime, we missed some golden opportunities to score."
The Pirates took advantage of scoring opportunities earlier in the game building a 24-18 lead late in the second period.
Oceanside got into foul trouble early and drastically slowed the tempo in the third period. A turning point for Oceanside came with one second remaining in the game when Junior Seau fouled out.
"When Junior fouled out, that cost use the game," Christopher said. "In overtime, we were out-peopled, with Okland Salavea in foul trouble."
El Camino outscored the Wildcats 5-3 in overtime. The teams were tied 37-37 going into the extra period.
Nate Reed paced the Wildcats with 14 points and Kevin Taylor and Ken Crawford each had 9. Seau had 12 points for Oceanside.