It was the situation Campbell Hall had total confidence in. The ball was placed into the hands of UCLA-bound Aaron Holiday at the end of overtime against No. 1-ranked Sierra Canyon. The Vikings trailed by a single point. His future coach, UCLA's Steve Alford, was in the bleachers at Sierra Canyon.
The clocking was ticking down to the final seconds. Campball Hall Coach Thomas Blunt decided not to call a time out and thus let Sierra Canyon set up a defense to stop Holiday.
With the clock under 10 seconds left, Holiday started driving toward the basket. He was double teamed in the key. Sierra Canyon players were reaching in. The ball got knocked away and became loose and Remy Martin received a pass on a breakaway and scored on a meaningless layup as the buzzer sounded. Sierra Canyon survived, 80-77, over Campbell Hall in overtime in a Gold Coast League thriller.
Afterward, Blunt expressed disappointment at the officiating for not calling fouls to send Holiday to the line. He didn't attempt a single free throw. One day earlier, he had 18 free throws in a win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
"There has to be more diligence," Blunt said. "We were in overtime because of bad calls."
Sierra Canyon (13-1, 2-0) took the game into overtime because of a memorable fourth quarter by junior point guard Devearl Ramsey, who scored 10 of his 26 points in the quarter. He made two free throws, then converted a three-pointer with 48 seconds left to tie the game, 73-73, in regulation.
"It's nice to have him in your pocket," Sierra Canyon Coach Ty Nichols said of Ramsey, who's usually passing the ball instead of scoring.
Campbell Hall (13-5, 0-1) turned in an extraordinary effort to almost pull off the upset. Holiday had 22 points, Gabriel Bell-Williams finished with 21 and Gabe Salazar added 11. The Vikings trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and were down by 10 at halftime. But they started hitting shots, rebounding and handled the pressure well.
"They shot it extremely well," Nichols said. "They played a great game."
Said Blunt: "I'm proud of my guys."
As good as Sierra Canyon has been, the Trailblazers are still very young, and some of their players played that way. Cody Riley, who has been so dominant this season, struggled at times in foul trouble and in shooting free throws. He had 15 points. Martin had 17 points.
Things don't get any easier for Sierra Canyon on Thursday with a home game against Brentwood, which defeated Viewpoint, 58-46. Maxwell Kupchak had 19 points and Andrew Gardiner 15.