BUENA PARK — Craig Olson's controversial three-pointer at the buzzer gave Fullerton High School a 77-75 victory over host Buena Park Friday and a share of the Freeway League boys' basketball championship with Sunny Hills.
Olson's shot was first waived off by one official, who believed time had expired. But the other official's arms went up, signaling a three-point basket, and Fullerton (11-2 overall, 8-2 in league) was awarded the victory.
"I didn't see it," Fullerton Coach Chris Burton said of the shot. "I just wished it had ended on something clear-cut."
It was apparent Buena Park (11-3, 5-5) was hungry for a victory from the outset. The Coyotes led by as many as 13 points twice early in the second quarter.
In fact, Fullerton's first lead didn't come until Greg Bach hit a basket with 32 seconds remaining to put the Indians ahead, 74-73. His field goal came after Buena Park's third turnover in 1 1/2 minutes.
After Bach's basket, Fullerton's Rene Arias rebounded a shot by Buena Park's Ray Lanier and was fouled by Lanier, who finished with 21 points.
But Arias missed the free throw and Richard Harvey rebounded, giving Buena Park the ball with 13 seconds remaining.
Donyell Collins (20 points) hit a jumper with seven second remaining to put Buena Park up, 75-74, and then it was Olson's turn to be a hero.
Despite the last-second shot, it was mainly Buena Park's inability to convert free throws that led to defeat. The Coyotes made seven of 16 free throws in squandering their 13-point lead. Three Fullerton players fouled out during the final 4:23.
Buena Park Coach Ed Matillo praised Fullerton for not folding.
"They put themselves in a position to win," he said. "They've done it all year, so it's fitting for them to end it they way they did. They could have folded but they didn't."
Sunny Hills 56, Sonora 54--Brett Mitchelson scored on a short jumper with three seconds left to break a 54-54 tie and give Sunny Hills (10-12, 8-2) the victory and a share of the league title at Sonora. Terry Mann had 15 for Sunny Hills, and Scott Ocarart scored 15 for Sonora (6-18, 1-9).
Troy 68, La Habra 46--Richard Wesley had 19 points and Mike Abbott 15 to lead host Troy (11-11, 5-5). Mark Moreno had 13 points for La Habra (7-17, 3-7).