Daryl Crawford made two free throws with five seconds to play Friday night, giving the Montgomery High School basketball team a 63-61 victory over La Canada in the semifinals of the Rohr-Aztec Classic at Montgomery.
The Aztecs, 2-0 in the tournament and 5-6 overall, advanced to the championship game against Montebello tonight at 7, also at Montgomery. Montebello beat El Cajon, 53-41, in the other semifinal.
"We beat a great team," Montgomery Coach Bob Aguilar said. "It's just been an incredible night."
Montgomery trailed, 36-35, at halftime and 48-47 after three quarters. The lead switched back and forth in the fourth quarter until, with five seconds left and the score tied at 61, Crawford rebounded a miss by La Canada and was fouled. He made both ends of the one-and-one.
Crawford finished with 27 points, and teammate Rudy Rodriguez added 20. La Canada was led by Walt Vakley, who also scored 27.
"This is the first game Daryl has played the way he can play," Aguilar said of Crawford. "He's been our leading scorer the last two years, but he hasn't busted loose until now."
Also in the Rohr-Aztec Classic:
Christian 82, Marian 53--The young Patriots pulled down 42 rebounds and controlled the tempo to defeat the Crusaders in a consolation game. Christian (6-3) plays two freshmen much of the time and has only two seniors on its roster. Still, Coach Randy Wright's team opened a 43-25 lead at the half and cruised to the victory. In its first-round tournament game Thursday against Montebello, Christian was beaten, 67-52. "I'm glad we came back and played better (against Marian)," Wright said. "Of course, after Thursday's game, almost anything would have been an improvement."
In the Baron-Optimist Tournament:
Kearny 76, Madison 65--The Komets opened a 20-14 lead after one quarter and had leads of five points or better the rest of the way in a game at Bonita Vista. The last time Madison (6-3) pulled to within five was at 50-45 after three quarters. Kevin Archer led Kearny with 21 points. Steve Daley added 17 and Mike Gunther had 16. Madison was led by Jimmie Dean, who had a game-high 25 points, and Eric Jackson added 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Vista 62, Crawford 51--Matt Hammond scored 20 points and Sal Aunese added 15 to lead the Panthers past the Colts in a consolation game at Bonita Vista High. Aunese hit only two field goals in the game but connected on 11 of 15 shots from the free-throw line, including 7 of 8 in the fourth quarter. Vista led by only one point, 28-27, at the half but drew away to lead by seven after three quarters. Mike Fleming added 13 points for Vista, which improved to 3-6 after losing its first three games of the season. "We're coming along pretty well," Panthers Coach Randy Wiens said. "If we can keep improving like this, we'll be in good shape."
In the Santana Tournament:
Mount Carmel 65, Hilltop 59--Sundevil Coach John Marincovich is still wondering when his team is going to start playing like it can, but, nevertheless, No. 10-ranked Mount Carmel came away with a victory over the Lancers at Santana High. "We've been so inconsistent that it's hard to put a finger on it," said Marincovich, after his team improved to 6-5 for the season. "We really didn't get going until the last five minutes of the game." The Sundevils trailed, 44-43, after three quarters against Hilltop before coming alive in the fourth quarter. Scott Boggins scored 12 points and Richard Hooper added 10 to lead the winners. Hilltop (7-8) was led by David Mossman, who hit on 12 of 22 shots from the field and scored a game-high 27 points.
In the Red Rock Invitational:
Valhalla 70, San Diego 50--The Norsemen (4-6) won easily in a battle between two San Diego teams in the consolation bracket of the tournament at Western High in Las Vegas. Valhalla was ahead by as many as 20 points in the second quarter before settling for a 35-20 halftime lead and coasting in the second half. Four Valhalla players scored in double figures, led by Troy Toolson with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals. Dominick Taitano added 16 points for the Norsemen, Brian Dindinger scored 14 and Dan Chase had 10. David Lee came off the bench to score 10 for San Diego, all in the fourth quarter.