Long before it was over, the crowd of 500 at Fullerton High School Friday night was on its feet, ready to celebrate the Indians' victory over Troy.
A second before it was over, the crowd was on the court, already whooping it up when the buzzer sounded after Troy's Mark Rudometkin hit a three-point shot that cut the lead to two.
The crowd--and the Indians--had to wait through two timeouts after an official ruled that one second remained, and then finally it was official: Fullerton had won, 57-55, tying Troy for the Freeway League lead.
Troy (5-1, 14-5) had not lost in the league in two seasons, winning the league with a 10-0 record last season and going undefeated the first time through the league this season.
Fullerton improved to 5-1 in the league and 9-6 overall.
If the crowd was wild in this one--and it was--the game was wilder: there were 11 three-point shots made.
Greg Wilber, a 6-foot 3-inch Fullerton guard, made the most of the league's three-point rule, making four of five in the third quarter, pushing Fullerton to a 45-35 lead.
Troy cut the lead to seven when Rudometkin, who finished with 28, hit a three-pointer with a little more than five minutes to play, but then fell 10 behind when the Indians' Alan Lewis completed a three-point play inside.
A Rudometkin steal and layup and two three-pointers by Brian Massey made the Fullerton lead just two with 2:24 remaining.
The crowd, which had been standing from pure excitement, stood now out of concern.
Troy's Brad DeLoof made a nifty steal as he trailed a play and passed the ball out front to Rudometkin, whose layup gave Troy a one-point lead with 1:40 to play, its first lead since early in the game.
Then, with 1:19 remaining, the best possible thing happened for Fullerton, and the worst possible for Troy. Wilber, who finished with 25, got the ball just beyond the three-point line and made his fifth in six attempts, giving the Indians a 54-52 lead, and as it turned out, the ballgame.
"That stopped us dead in the water," said Troy Coach Ed Graham.
Troy missed two three-point attempts and several other shots in the final minute, with Wilber scoring a layup off a Fullerton steal and Massey making one of two foul shots with 16 seconds remaining.
Rudometkin's three-pointer with a second left, cut it to two, but Fullerton inbounded the ball to end the game.
La Habra 66, Buena Park 59--Nelson Bergamo scored 23 points and Alan Newman 17 as the Highlanders won their first league game. The game was tied 24-24, at the half but La Habra (1-6) outscored Buena Park, 42-33 in the second half. Eddie Perez scored 16 for La Habra.
Sunny Hills 55, Sonora 39--David Chisum and Mike McCloskey each scored 15 points as the Lancers (3-3, 11-8) won at Sonora. Geoff Crow led the Raiders (3-3, 7-10) with 18 points and Grayle Humphrey added 10.