SAN DIEGO — If they're on, most shooters can feel it after the first shot. But for Lincoln High sophomore Archie Robinson, all 5-foot-6, 125 pounds of him, it took a second shot to convince him.
"I had a hand in my face and usually, that bothers me," Robinson said. "So when that went in, I knew it was going to be a good night."
It just kept getting better for Robinson, who swished his first six shots, all three-pointers, on his way to a career-high 26 points in Lincoln's 107-89 victory over visiting Santa Maria St. Joseph in the semifinals of the Division IV Southern Regionals Thursday night.
The Hornets (22-8) will meet top-seeded Santa Clara Saturday night (8:30) at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Robinson, who finished eight for 12 from the field and two for two from the line, seemed to infect his teammates with his shooting disease. The Hornets shot 42 for 77 from the field (55%) and were never seriously threatened by St. Joseph (25-4), which could not keep up with Lincoln's running game.
"We shot better than we have all year," Lincoln Coach Ron Loneski said. "Archie had a hot hand."
To say the least.
St. Joseph Coach Richard King screamed, "Don't leave number 25," to his point guard Jeff Miller after each of Robinson's threes. But Miller didn't catch on until Robinson had canned six three-pointers in the first half, leading the Hornets to a 56-47 advantage.
But when Miller began coming out to challenge the outside shot, Robinson drove around him and sank three pull-up jumpers from 12 to 15 feet.
"That kid's a sophomore," King said. "He's supposed to act like one."
King was so frustrated by Robinson's heroics and the officiating that he lost control with a minute left in the game. He was thrown out of the game and when his assistant came onto the floor, officials called the game.
Robinson's teammates, Hosa Baker and John Akridge, were also finding the basket. Akridge picked up where Robinson left off by scoring 14 of his 26 points in the second half. Baker had 23 points, most of them coming off medium-range jumpers or lay-ups off Lincoln's fast break.