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Community Colleges : Varos’ Bank Shot Allows Cypress to Cash In, 61-60

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Times Staff Writer

Mike Varos banked in a 5-foot shot with 3 seconds left as he fell to the ground to help Cypress College gain a 61-60 upset over Fullerton in an Orange Empire Conference men’s basketball game Wednesday at Fullerton.

Fullerton had a chance to tie the score but Geoff Adams made only 1 of 2 free throws with no time left.

Varos, who played the last 10 minutes of the game with 4 fouls, scored a game-high 21 points, including 5 3-pointers.

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“I just had a feeling today that something like this was going to happen,” Varos said. “I just said a little prayer before the game and hoped.”

Varos made a 3-pointer with 5:47 left to give Cypress a 59-50 lead. But Cypress didn’t score again until Varos’ final shot.

Meanwhile, Fullerton came back and finally tied it, 59-59, on a layup by Jeff Stewart with 59 second left.

In the final minute, each team had a turnover but Cypress had the ball with 26 seconds left after a rebound by Vince Hizon and called timeout.

The Chargers (9-10 overall and 2-1 in conference play) then worked the ball around until Varos had it with 5 seconds left, 15 feet from the basket. He then drove in for the winning basket.

Fullerton (16-4, 1-1) got a final chance when Adams was fouled by Andre Lamoureux as he tried a 3-pointer as time ran out.

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Both teams cleared to the side as Adams lined up. But his first shot rolled off the rim, and the game was lost. The second was good to set the final score.

Fullerton came into the game shooting a conference-worst 61% from the free-throw line and shot 52% (12 of 23) in the game. Cypress was the best in the conference at 74% and shot 76% (16 of 21) in the game.

“That was a great team win for us,” Cypress Coach Don Johnson said. “Varos has got to be on the floor for us to win. He has shown he can play with fouls but we wish he wouldn’t.”

Fullerton had led, 43-35, at the half but the Hornets didn’t score for almost the first 8 minutes of the second half as Cypress went on a 14-0 run and led, 49-43.

In other Orange Empire Conference games:

Orange Coast 56, Saddleback 49--Dareck Crane scored 16 points and Chip Hanlon 15 for host OCC (17-4, 2-0).

Riverside 87, Rancho Santiago 71--Michael Stewart scored 25 points and Bobby Joyce 19 for visiting Riverside (18-7, 2-1). Tony Smalley scored 16 for Rancho Santiago (11-8, 1-2).

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