PREP BASKETBALL ROUNDUP : Rolling Hills Escapes Tenacious Inglewood in Overtime, 89-88
Rolling Hills center John Hardy rebounded a missed free throw by Inglewood’s Harold Miner with four seconds remaining in overtime Wednesday night, allowing the Titans to secure an 89-88 victory and remain tied for first place in the Bay League basketball race.
The dramatic finale before a boisterous capacity crowd at Rolling Hills capped a thrilling game in which Inglewood rallied from several deficits behind the play of Miner and reserve center Steve King, who combined for 52 of the Sentinels’ 56 points in the second half.
Miner, a 6-5 forward who is headed to USC, scored a game-high 34 points, but the second of his two free throws in the waning seconds rolled off the rim and Hardy hauled it in and dribbled out the clock. Rolling Hills had called timeout after Miner hit the first foul shot.
Hardy led Rolling Hills with 31 points and junior guard Steve Clover added 28 for the Titans (12-3 overall, 3-0 in league play). The two combined for all of Rolling Hills’ 10 points in overtime, Clover leading the way with 7.
Inglewood (7-5, 2-1) nearly won the game in regulation behind the heroics of Miner. The senior hit a 3-point shot with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter to draw the Sentinels within one, 79-78, and was fouled shooting with six seconds left.
Miner missed the first free throw but made the second to send the game into overtime after Clover misfired on a desperation 30-footer at the buzzer.
The 3-minute overtime period was just as exciting, with the teams trading baskets or free throws on seemingly every possession. Rolling Hills played the overtime without point guard Mark Tesar, who had fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
King, a 6-5 junior who finished with 29 points, hit a close-range shot with 1:30 remaining in the extra period to give Inglewood its last lead at 87-86.
Hardy tied it on a free throw and Rolling Hills went ahead, 89-87, when Clover scored from inside with 50 seconds left. Both teams made critical mistakes after that, the last one coming when Miner stole an inbounds pass under the Inglewood basket and was fouled, setting up the final free throws.