Stacey Augmon was sick Saturday night, and he looked like it, talked like it, and played like it. He quietly moved through the first half of the Southern Section 4-A boys' basketball championship game with an acute pain in his head, and a few notches off his game.
With two minutes remaining, and the score tied, 51-51, Augmon decided it was time to get healthy, at least for the moment. The Pasadena Muir senior completed a three-point play and then made three key rebounds to give the Mustangs the 4-A title with a 58-55 victory over Simi Valley at the Sports Arena.
Augmon, who scored 13 points and had nine rebounds, was fouled in the process of hitting a 10-foot jump shot and completed the free throw at a time when he admittedly felt the worst.
Afterward, in an almost inaudible voice, Augmon said: "I just want to go home and go to bed."
He and back-up center Kirk Wagner led a fourth-quarter surge that changed a 45-43 Simi Valley lead into a five-point Muir advantage. Wagner's 13 points, all in the second half, came mostly inside after Augmon rebounds. Augmon seemed to come alive after the three-point play, and pulled down two rebounds off missed free throws in the final two minutes.
"First of all, Augmon is sick as a dog," Muir Coach Mike O'Connor said after the game. "It was a heck of an effort just to go out there and stay on the floor with the big guy. . . . How many did he have?"
The "big guy," Simi Valley sophomore forward Don MacLean, had 30 points, the same number he scored in the Pioneers' 97-69 upset over top-seeded Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley in the semifinals.
The other half of the Pioneers' celebrated sophomore tandem, Shawn DeLaittre, was held in check by Muir's LeRoy McCullough, scoring only eight points before fouling out with 3:43 left.
Without the 6-4 DeLaittre, Simi Valley could do little to contain Augmon (6-8), Wagner (6-7) and Wayne Womack (6-7). The inside game fell, and so did the Pioneers, who were outrebounded, 39-26.
"We haven't always gone to Stacey all year," O'Connor said, giving credit to point guard Derek Brown (nine points), and McCullough. Travis Bice added eight points for Simi Valley.
Simi Valley Coach Bob Hawking acknowledged that the Pioneers just weren't tall enough, especially without DeLaittre.
"We were very concerned about the height advantage going in, and we were obviously right," Hawking said. " . . . He (DeLaittre) got in foul trouble early, and there wasn't that much he could do."
The teams, which entered the game with identical 27-2 records, were appropriately tied at halftime, 32-32.
MacLean alone accounted for 20 Simi Valley points, 10 in each quarter.
Muir advances to the Southern California Regionals and will play a representative from the San Diego Section Tuesday at San Diego State.