University High School just fouled the wrong guy.
The Trojans trailed Saddleback, 45-43, with 34 seconds to play and had to foul for a chance to get the ball back.
But Saddleback's Bryant Walton wouldn't pass the ball, so University had to foul him.
And Walton, who finished with 23 points, made both ends of one-and-one situations twice in the last 34 seconds as Saddleback (9-7, 14-12) earned the third-place CIF playoff berth in the Sea View League with a 52-45 win over University Saturday night at Estancia in Costa Mesa.
The teams were playing their second game of the day and third in 24 hours. To break a four-way tie for third place, Saddleback defeated Laguna Beach, 48-44, and University defeated Newport Harbor in overtime, 65-64, in earlier games. Both games were at Woodbridge.
The strain of three games in a short period of time finally wore down University (8-8, 12-14).
"I felt coming in the team that was the least fatigued would win. We were just the more fatigued team," said University Coach Steve Scoggin.
The score was tied, 37-37, going into the fourth quarter, but Saddleback quickly took the lead at 41-37, on a rebound basket by senior center Joe Deal (10 points) and a short jump shot by guard Myron Butler.
University answered with a 12-foot jump shot by junior guard Eric Olin who scored all eight of the Trojans' fourth-quarter points. A second basket by Olin cut the lead to two, but Walton hit a long-range jumper and was fouled on the shot. After he completed the three-point play with 2:19 left, Saddleback led, 44-39.
"Sometimes Walton's just too intense," Saddleback Coach Pat Quinn said. "Even tonight while he was struggling with his offense, he went inside and got the rebounds we needed."
Walton was as off as his teammates in the first half, hitting just 4 of 11 from the field. Saddleback shot 34% as a team.
In the third quarter, Walton, who averages 26 points and 11 rebounds a game, scored eight points, including a 10-foot jump shot with 13 seconds left to tie the score at 37-37.
He finished with a team-high 12 rebounds, one more than Deal.
No matter what defensive set the Trojans used in the second half, Walton found a way to get the ball in an open spot.
"We tried to find some defense that was going to stop him," Scoggin said. "But we couldn't. I don't think anything short of a sledge hammer will prevent him from scoring."
Walton: "They wore me out with all their different defenses. I had to really work hard to get open. In the second half I just tried to take my time and shot the ball a little better than I did in the first."
Both teams appeared tired at the outset, and after a quick layup by Gylan Dottin gave a 2-0 lead, neither team scored for the next four minutes. The Roadrunners led 13-10 after one quarter only to trail 24-21 at the half.
Junior forward Lasse Glassen 8 of his 13 points in the first half.
UNIVERSITY (45)--Olin 16, Stolzoff 12, Ferrell 2, Glassen 13, Winslow 2.
SADDLEBACK (52)--M. Butler 5, Dottin 8, Hanson 2, Deal 10, Walton 23, B. Butler 4.
UNIVERSITY (65)--Olin 11, Warren 6, Winslow 14, Glassen 14, Stolzoff 14, Farrell 4, KisKis 2.
NEWPORT HARBOR (64)--Lee 10, Richards 8, Craig 12, Alstrom 26, Torell 8.
SADDLEBACK (48)--Walton 10, Deal 13, Dottin 8, M. Butler 10, Alonzo 2, Hansen 5.
LAGUNA BEACH (44)--Naess 11, Spath 11, House 2, Elfsten 15, Lawler 5.