In the history of Southern Section championship basketball games, it’s going to be hard to top the improbable scene that unfolded on Saturday afternoon in the Division 2AA championship game at the Honda Center.
Down by 28 points in the third quarter and down by 22 points to start the fourth quarter, Anaheim Canyon made a remarkable comeback to defeat Lawndale, 103-98, in double overtime.
“That’s as much heart as you’re ever going to see,” Canyon Coach Nate Harrison said.
Through three quarters, Lawndale played about as well as it could. The Cardinals made 28 of their 41 shots. They seemed to be in cruise control. But Canyon refused to give up.
“I felt we were never out of the game,” said Canyon guard Nick Anderson, who finished with 37 points.
Missed free throws, repeated fouls and turnovers enabled the Comanches to catch up and take an 82-80 lead with 26.8 seconds left in regulation. Quincy Pinkard made a free throw with 13.6 seconds left and Tedric Johnson made another with 4.5 seconds left to tie the game for Lawndale, 82-82, at the end of regulation.
In the first overtime, Lawndale opened a five-point lead, but Canyon came back again with its three-point shooting. In the second overtime, Anderson made six consecutive free throws (he was 16 of 18 on the game).
“The kids gave a great effort to build a lead like that. We just couldn’t stop the onslaught,” Lawndale Coach Christopher Brownlee said.
The statistics were as strange as the game itself. Lawndale made 65% of its shots but had 28 turnovers and missed 16 free throws. Chimezie Metu, the 6-foot-10 USC-bound senior, had 24 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for Lawndale. Canyon received 22 points from Chandler Dignam, 18 points from Justin Trias and 15 from Kaleb Phillips.
It was the first 100-point game in CIF championship history. It was the most combined points in championship history. It was the most points by a losing team in championship history.