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Woodbridge Rallies to Get Past Cypress

March 01, 1997|MELANIE NEFF | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

IRVINE — Cypress looked as if it had a chance to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the playoffs, taking a three-point, third-quarter lead against top-seeded Woodbridge, but the Warriors rallied to defeat the Centurions, 50-39, in a Division II-AA quarterfinal Friday night at University High.

With six minutes remaining in the third quarter, Cypress (21-8) took a 30-27 lead behind the three-point shooting of guard Travis Weaver, fourth in the county in three-point percentage. Woodbridge (25-3) was unable to contain Weaver, who hit six of 10 three-pointers for his team-high 18 points, keeping Cypress within six at 41-35.

But the fourth quarter was the turning point for Woodbridge. The Centurions, playing a 2-3 zone throughout the game, refused to change the defense at the beginning of the quarter and the Warriors held the ball, taking three minutes off the clock.

Cypress Coach Tom Gorell called John Radaza to the sideline during the stall and that's when Woodbridge's William Stovall broke the standoff and got the ball into senior forward Brandon Beeson. Beeson missed the layup, but pulled down his rebound and put the ball back in for 43-35 lead. Beeson finished with a game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Burgess added nine points and 11 rebounds.

"I was comfortable being six points down with five minutes left in the game," said Gorell, referring to the three-minute stall. "As it turned out, they went up by eight on that play and that was pretty much the end of it. We played as good as we could play, but Woodbridge is just better than us."

Woodbridge, held to its lowest point total in the playoffs, started the game without guard Stovall, who bumped heads with Jason Tilton during the team's shoot-around, went home with a headache. After a trip to the doctor Stovall showed up minutes before game time and didn't enter the game until midway through the second quarter.

Although he scored only two points, his defense on Weaver was crucial in the final quarter, forcing Weaver to miss his final three attempts from long range, as Cypress made only one field goal in the final quarter.

The Warriors advance to the semifinals to play San Bernardino Pacific, a 63-60 upset winner over fourth-seeded San Bernardino Cajon.

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