Teams that have 4-6 records are not supposed to be cherished in school history, but it may work that way for Westminster High School.
The Lions earned their first Southern Section playoff berth in 15 years by defeating Huntington Beach, 70-66, Saturday night at Ocean View.
Ray Smith's two free throws with 15 seconds remaining helped seal Westminster's victory in a third-place playoff game for a Sunset League playoff spot.
If it hadn't been for a league ruling that required Edison to forfeit six of its league games because it used an ineligible player, neither Westminster nor Huntington Beach, which each had 4-6 records, would have had a chance for a playoff berth.
"These kids put up with a lot of flak around campus when they started 0-6 in league," Westminster Coach Dick Katz said. "But they never quit. I'll tell you honestly I never expected to take this team to the playoffs but then we didn't expect all this nonsense (involving the Edison forfeits)."
Trailing, 68-66 with 47 seconds remaining, Huntington Beach had a chance to tie when it knocked the ball loose from Westminster. That produced a scramble of no less than eight players for possession, which resulted in a jump ball with 32 seconds left. On the jump ball, Huntington Beach center Darren Snow stepped outside of the circle giving the ball to Westminster on the violation.
Huntington Beach was forced to foul, putting Smith on the line for his two free throws.
Schurman led the Lions with 28 points and 10 rebounds.
HUNTINGTON BEACH (66)--Vitz 7, Howard 11, Hanavan 12, Snow 17, Champion 6, Pariseau 8, Kao 5.
WESTMINSTER (70)--Dever 14, Schurman 28, Davis 17, Smith,J. 2, Love 7, Smith,R. 2.