Murphy High didn't exactly put on a basketball clinic in its Southern Section 2-A Division boys' championship game against Charter Oak on Saturday at the Sports Arena.
The Nobles made only 30% of their shots, hitting 15 of 50, and committed 15 turnovers.
But it was more than enough to defeat a dismal-shooting Charter Oak team, 47-29, for the 2-A title.
The victory gave Murphy a 20-7 record and a spot in the Division II Southern California regionals Wednesday. Charter Oak finished at 22-5.
It is not easy to lose when your opponent makes only 9% of its shots in one half.
That is what Charter Oak did in the first half, when the Chargers made only 2 of 21 shots. Charter Oak did not make a field goal in the second quarter.
That may help explain how Murphy could shoot only 25% in the first half and walk away with a 22-7 lead.
"They (Charter Oak) did what I was afraid we would do," Murphy Coach Jim Tinker said. "Sometimes it's hard to play in arena like this for the first time. They were just ice cold."
That's putting it mildly.
After falling behind 10-2 in the first quarter, Charter Oak appeared as if it had shaken off its big-arena jitters when it closed the deficit to 10-7 on two free throws by forward Khaled Shabo midway through the second quarter.
Little did anyone suspect those would be the last points Charter Oak would score until 6:50 remained in the third quarter.
By that time, Murphy had increased its lead to 24-7, and winning was just a formality.
Charter Oak never trailed by less than 12 points after that, and Murphy led by as many as 19.
The one-sided win was a welcome relief for Tinker, who had seen his team win its first four playoff games by a combined total of just 13 points.
"This one I could really enjoy," he said. "We had nail-biters all the way down the line and I think that really helped us in this one."
Tinker said it was the play of forward Lance Malveaux that may have been the biggest factor in his school winning its first Southern Section championship since 1973.
Malveaux, a 6-3 senior, did not play his first game this season until Feb. 1 because of academic problems.
But since his return, Murphy's success has been academic. Malveaux scored 15 points and had 15 rebounds to lead the Nobles in both categories.
"He was great in the playoffs," Tinker said. "He was always a great player. When he came back that really made the difference for us."
Tinker was also impressed with the play of his 5-6 point guard, Andre Gougis, and 6-9 center Arthur Phillips.
Gougis scored only six points but added eight assists and six rebounds. "He's the little general," Tinker said. "He runs the whole show. He's the most intelligent player I've ever coached."
Phillips had only 5 points but did more damage on defense, grabbing 12 rebounds and making 6 blocked shots.
"They (Charter Oak) didn't get anything inside," Tinker said. "They didn't even shoot the ball because they were always looking over their shoulders."
About the only bright spot for Charter Oak was its 6-7 center Jim Farris, who scored 12 points and pulled down a game-high 18 rebounds. But Farris, like the rest of his teammates, had a poor shooting game with 5 field goals in 16 attempts.
Charter Oak made only 12 of 54 shots in the game, a forgettable 22.2%. Not exactly a memorable ending for Coach Bud Reich, who had previously announced that he was retiring after 19 years as the school's coach.