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Granada Hills Loses to Grant, 66-65, on Controversial Play

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

There were two endings to the basketball game between Grant and Granada Hills highs Friday night.

In the first, John Johnson’s last-second shot was blocked cleanly by Grant center Troy Mcleod.

In the second, Johnson was Larry Holmes to Mcleod’s Mike Tyson--clobbered and flattened on his way to the goal.

In the end, Grant came away a 66-65 winner over Granada Hills in the first round of the City Section 3-A Division playoffs.

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Grant (18-3) will play Wilson (18-5) in the quarterfinals Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the Highlanders (11-7), who won the championship last year, will relive the final eight seconds of their final 1988 game.

“That was the worst officiating I have ever seen. I am really upset,” Granada Hills Coach Bob Johnson said. “On that last drive, the guy got killed, he just got killed.”

That is the version that anyone wearing Highlander colors believed. Then there’s what the Grant team saw. . . .

“Those refs are very good referees. They were the best we’ve had all year long,” Grant Coach Howard Levine said. “There was no foul on that last play, no foul.”

Believe it or not, both coaches were at the same game.

Granada Hills had the ball with 45 seconds remaining and trailing by a point. After working the clock down to eight seconds, the Highlanders called a timeout.

“John was supposed to set up a play,” Granada Hills guard Jamal Brantley said of Johnson, “but he saw an open lane and he took it.”

As Johnson turned down the right side of the lane, Mcleod shifted from the left side, watched Johnson throw up a four-foot jumper and. . . .

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“He took it up and I gloved it,” said Mcleod, who finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds.

Or. . . .

“It should have been a foul,” Brantley said, “but that’s the breaks.”

Grant’s Sean Watkins, who finished with a team-high 18 points, grabbed the loose ball and hugged it until the buzzer sounded.

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“We feel fortunate,” Levine said, “but we deserved it.”

Grant took a 15-8 lead in the first quarter, but Granada Hills outscored the Lancers, 26-20, in the second quarter to close to within a point.

The largest lead any team enjoyed in the second half was Grant’s 41-34 margin early in the third quarter, but Brantley scored 12 of his game-high 22 points in the last 13 minutes to bring Granada Hills back.

The Highlanders tied the score, 65-65, with 1:10 remaining when Sergio Corval stole the ball from Setro Terzian and scored on an uncontested layup.

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Corval again tried to knock the ball loose but fouled Terzian instead. Terzian, who came off the bench to score 13 points, made one free throw to give Grant a 66-65 lead with 49 seconds remaining.


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