Gary Fowler scored 16 points to lead Muir High School to a 59-55 victory over Irvine Saturday in a Southern Section 4-A first-round boys' basketball game at Pasadena.
Muir had been allowed back in the playoffs Thursday by a court injunction after the Mustangs, who won the Pacific League, had been forced to forfeit all their wins for using an ineligible player. Muir will play Santa Barbara in the second round Tuesday.
Irvine (13-14) qualified for the playoffs for the first time in school history. Bryan Allred led Irvine with 23 points. Allred had five three-point baskets and kept the Vaqueros in the game until the final seconds.
His three-point shot with 22 seconds left cut the lead to 59-53. The Vaqueros got the ball back with 14 seconds left, but Allred's three-point attempt was blocked. Allred sank two free throws with no time remaining to account for the final margin.
Muir had a 43-35 lead after three quarters before Irvine cut the gap to 53-47 on a three-point basket by Trout with 1:31 remaining. But the Mustangs scored four unanswered points to increase the lead to 10.