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Campbell Hall Gets Cut Off at the Pass

Division V-AA: Calvary Chapel escapes on turnover in final seconds, 46-43.


CERRITOS — Campbell Hall did all the right things.

The Vikings drilled their first four playoff opponents by an average of 36.8 points, leaving little doubt they were ready for the post-season.

They remained loose and unruffled by an impending appearance in the Southern Section Division V-AA boys' basketball semifinals Tuesday night, joking around at the mall a few hours before tip-off.

The Vikings even settled down at the right time, showing quiet admiration at the pregame dinner as they passed around the championship ring of assistant coach C.J. Thompkins, who helped Campbell Hall win the V-AA title in 1994.

Campbell Hall did it all . . . except defeat Downey Calvary Chapel. The Vikings lost to Calvary Chapel, 46-43, at Valley Christian.

The game came down to the final seconds, Campbell Hall down by one with the ball.

But Jaime Banuelos stepped in front of an entry pass from Aaron Kerr to Robert Locke and drove the length of the court for a layup.

Calvary Chapel, seeded No. 3, plays St. Anthony on Friday at Loyola Marymount.

Campbell Hall (22-9), seeded No. 2, experienced a horrific first half, making only six of 24 shots and failing to make a three-pointer in seven tries.

The Vikings rallied in the second half and took a 40-39 lead on a three-pointer by Hassan Bassiri with 2:11 left.

But Timothy Drisdom scored five points on the next two possessions for Calvary Chapel (25-5).

Drisdom scored a layup off a steal and then made a three-pointer from the top of the key with 47 seconds left.

Banuelos atoned for missing two free throws with 25 seconds left, stealing the ball with about six seconds left and sending Calvary Chapel into its first championship game.

"I just stepped in front of the ball," said Banuelos, who scored six points. "Lucky guess."

It was anything but serendipitous for Campbell Hall.

"I thought we were going to pull it out," said Jesse Foster, who scored 21 points for Campbell Hall. "It's the worst time in all of our lives so far."

The loss put an end to an otherwise strong season for the Vikings, who were one successful possession away from appearing in their third championship game in nine years.

"No one respected us at the beginning of the year," Foster said. "But I think we showed everyone how good we are."

Drisdom finished with 16 points for Calvary Chapel.

Bassiri had 13 points for Campbell Hall. No other player scored more than three points for the Vikings, who trailed at halftime, 18-16.

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