John Carolan made two free throws with 14 seconds left as Chaminade High scored a 56-54 victory over Crossroads, the defending Division III state champion, in a Southern Section 1-A Division wild-card playoff game at St. Monica High on Wednesday night.
The Eagles visit Beaumont, the De Anza League champion, in a first-round game Friday.
With Chaminade leading, 56-51, Crossroads' Brandon Wilkerson made a three-point shot with one second remaining to make the final score close.
Andy Connolly led Chaminade with 15 points and pulled down a team-high 9 rebounds. Steve Hurdle came off the bench to score 14 and Pete Miller added 11.
"I thought we put good pressure on them and kept them from fast-breaking," Chaminade Coach Mike Lynn said. "We tried to play more of a half-court game with them."
Mike Arnold led Crossroads (14-10) with 14 points and Joe Perkovich added 11.
South Pasadena 65, Agoura 62--Agoura's season has had more ups and downs than the Ventura Freeway that passes through the community's hills.
Agoura has been on that freeway a lot this season, playing only four home games all year.
Unfortunately, the Chargers hit a dead end at South Pasadena as they lost in a wild-card game that could have sent them to the Southern Section 2-A playoffs.
Agoura (10-14 overall, 3-5 in Frontier League play), crushed Nordhoff last week, 75-41, to advance to the wild-card game. Agoura Coach Kevin Pasky was hoping the Chargers could keep riding the road to victory.
"We've been like that all year long," Pasky said, "winning one game and losing the next. I just don't know why we are up one game and down another or up one half and down the next."
Agoura took a 5-0 lead, but the Chargers quickly fell behind. Although Agoura was controlling the boards, it could not capitalize on the opportunities. Bryan Christensen scored 13 points of his game-high 23 points in the first half and South Pasadena went into the locker room leading, 35-27.
South Pasadena scored seven consecutive points to open the second half and Agoura trailed by 17 with 14 minutes left in the game.
"We played a horrible first half," Pasky said. "We shouldn't have been in the position we were in."
With 5:58 left in the third quarter, Agoura began to charge back. Shambi Huddleston scored six points and Agoura outscored South Pasadena, 23-11, to pull within 55-51.
With 2:37 left, Agoura took the lead, 60-59, for the first time since the first quarter. Christensen made a basket and James Satragni made a free throw as South Pasadena pulled ahead, 62-60.
Agoura's Mike Armstrong scored on a 10-foot jumper with 22 seconds remaining to tie the score, but South Pasadena made three free throws in the remaining seconds.
Agoura made only 11 of 26 free throws and Pasky felt that was a key to the season-ending loss.
"Defensively, we didn't execute in the first half and we didn't make the free throws," Pasky said. "Unfortunately, we're not a very good free throw-shooting team."