By the time La Jolla center Kyle Kupiec, the Vikings' potent scoring mainstay, fouled out, it was already too late.
Rancho Buena Vista had already silenced Kupiec and the rest of Vikings on the way to a 75-67 victory Wednesday night in the second round of San Diego Section Division II playoffs.
For the Longhorns, winners of eight of their past 10 games, the upset of the No. 5-seeded Vikings was a matter of hustle and listening to RBV Coach John O'Neill at halftime, when they were down, 36-30.
"I just talked about how hard we were playing, how we were just falling asleep and that we still were only down by six," O'Neill said.
La Jolla (15-9) jumped out to a 17-14 first-quarter lead and extended it to 30-21--its largest lead of the game--with 3:51 left in the second quarter as Kupiec scored 12 points and David Berteaux added nine.
But RBV (14-13) came out in the second half and began playing its game, employing the kind of penetrating offense it had relied on all season.
"Our game isn't geared to set up, we're not a good half-court offensive team," O'Neill said. "We started penetrating the lane and making some very good decisions out there."
RBV took its first lead, 45-43, with 2:50 left in the third quarter on a three-pointer from Jay Beyler.
But the tone was set when Brad Grubaugh passed inside to Greg Porter, who score on a layup for a 66-63 lead with 2:17 remaining and fouled Kupiec out in the process. Porter's free throw pushed the lead to four.
"That play really changed the game," O'Neill said.
Said La Jolla Coach Rick Eveleth: "A lot of it was our lack of being able to stop their penetration and their hustling to the loose ball. We didn't do that. We started sitting on defense, and they took advantage of that."
Kupiec scored 12 of his 20 points in the first half, and scored his last points on a layin to pull La Jolla to 60-53 with 4:05 remaining.
But Eveleth said Kupiec staying in the game wouldn't have mattered.
"The game was pretty much over when he fouled out," he said.
Todd Fellars led the Longhorns with 18 points. Darryl Parker added 17 for RBV.