FRESNO — For a while Wednesday night, analyzing the offense of the Woodbridge High School basketball team was simple: Adam Keefe shot the lights out, and the Warriors from Irvine shot themselves in the foot.
That's the way it went for Woodbridge for the first three quarters of its Division II semifinal game of the Southern California Regionals against Washington High of nearby Easton.
Then, in the fourth quarter, the Warriors shot into Saturday's title game at the Sports Arena, with the winner there going to Oakland for the State final, by hitting 11 of 12 free throws and 8 straight in the final 96 seconds to win, 71-66, at Bullard High.
Woodbridge, the Southern Section 2-A champion, committed 30 turnovers in the game, 16 of which came in the second half. But even that was not enough to offset an outstanding game by Keefe. The 6-foot 8-inch junior center connected on his final 10 attempts against a very good defense to finish with a team-high 21 points, along with 16 rebounds. Vince Bryan, a 6-7 forward, added 18 points for the Warriors (25-5).
"The difference is they were much bigger," Washington Coach John Pestorich said. "They're not only that, but they are good basketball players. We tried to pressure the ball, but in a half-court game, it's pretty hard to stop them.
"I think our game plan was sound and we executed fairly well. But when the going got tough, they (Woodbridge) had a lot of character."
Keefe, Bryan and senior guard Dave Townsend (13) were the only Woodbridge players to score more than 7 points, but this was hardly a three-man show, especially considering that Keefe scored just 2 points in the fourth quarter. Junior guard Robb Lee, for example, hit all four of his pressure free-throw attempts in the final 1:18 of the game.
"This is the time of the season when you go into warmups and just have to know that things will click in the game," Keefe said. "It's something that has to be there."
Washington (26-4), which started three sophomores, one junior and one senior, kept the defensive pressure on all game, and, in addition to forcing turnovers, had 15 steals. Marc Jones and Anthony Woods had 5 each while one of the sophomores, guard Carl Ray Harris, led the Panthers in scoring with 24 points.