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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BASKETBALL REGIONALS

Lancers Survive Cold Spell, Shock Top Team

Division IV boys: Orange Lutheran falters at free-throw line down the stretch but holds off No. 1-seeded San Diego Horizon, 63-61.

March 08, 2000|DAN ARRITT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN DIEGO — Orange Lutheran upset top-seeded San Diego Horizon, 63-61, in the first round of the Division IV Southern California Regional boys' basketball tournament Tuesday at Horizon High.

The Lancers (25-5), who gave up an average of four to six inches per position, packed their defense in the key and countered the Panthers' above-the-rim offense with a patient passing game and some clutch three-point shooting.

Orange Lutheran led, 63-56, on Mike Bristol's layup with 38 seconds left, but the Lancers suddenly went cold from the free-throw line and left Horizon an opening.

After Horizon pulled within five with 26 seconds left, Jason Whieldon missed the front end of a one-and-one. Robert Ortiz then went to the free-throw line for the Panthers, made the first and missed the second, but John Browner put back the rebound, cutting the lead to 63-61.

Whieldon went back to the line and missed two free throws with 12 seconds remaining. Horizon got the rebound and headed upcourt, but Whieldon met Jarrha Bolden at midcourt and forced a jump ball, giving possession to Orange Lutheran with eight seconds left.

The Panthers (21-7) sent Whieldon back to the line two seconds later and he missed his seventh and eighth consecutive free throws, but the Lancers kept the rebound alive and Horizon was not able to get off a shot.

"I can't explain it (Whieldon's free-throw shooting), but I would take the guy at the line in a key situation any day," Orange Lutheran Coach Shawn Cassidy said. "Even after he missed those shots, he came back and got a steal."

Foul shooting cost Horizon even more. The Panthers made just two of 11 free throws and did not have anybody capable of scoring outside the paint. Horizon made just one of five three-pointers and converted just one other shot from outside the key.

On the other end of the court, Orange Lutheran made eight of 20 three-point attempts, including several in clutch situations.

Whieldon scored 16 points to lead the Lancers, Patrick Salyer had 14 points and eight blocks and Mike Bristol scored 10.

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