Orange Lutheran Coach Jerry Simmons proved Tuesday that information is indeed one of today’s most valuable commodities.
After skimming through the local newspaper that covers Christian High School, Simmons made a couple of adjustments that paid off in a 72-64 victory over Christian in the Division IV boys’ quarterfinals of the Southern Regionals at Granite Hills High School.
“According to the local paper,” Simmons said, “they were going to stop (Daryl) Cole. So we just opened up someone else.
That someone else turned out to be junior forward Kent Dowding, a nine points-per-game scorer. Dowding far eclipsed his average, continually getting open on the baseline to score 27.
“They left him open, and he can hit,” Simmons said. “So he did hit.”
Dowding’s explosion was one key to the victory. Another, perhaps more important, one was the fact that Christian’s David Jeremiah, who holds two San Diego Section three-point records, was held to two points in the first half.
“Some nights you just don’t shoot well,” Christian Coach Randy Wright said of Jeremiah.
But Jeremiah was not the only Patriot having trouble scoring in the first two quarters. The Patriots missed their first four free throws and also missed the front ends of three one-and-one situations.
“Missing those front-ends might not seem like much early in the ball game, but they add up,” Wright said. “When it gets down to a four-point game later on, they look real big.”
While the Patriots were missing free throws and turning the ball over 13 times in the first half, the Lancers were building a 13-point halftime lead.
But in the second half, Christian stormed back to make a game of it, pulling to within four four times late in the game. In fact, the Patriots were knocking at the door with just 33 seconds left when center Darrell White sunk a four-footer to make it 66-62.
“I was extremely proud of them the way they came back in the second half,” Wright said. “They gave it all they had; they don’t have anything left.”
White and Jeremiah, who found a groove in the second half to score 17 points, led Christian with 19 each.