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Haas Gives Washington Fans a Game They’ll Never Forget : Incident: After scoring 27 points, Estancia forward is punched by irate spectator.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

There was chaos on the court. There was chaos off the court.

And in the middle of it all was Mike Haas, the occasional bad boy of the Estancia High School basketball team.

Haas, a 6-foot-1 senior forward, scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half, a performance that helped the Eagles beat Fremont Washington, 82-72, in the State Division III championship game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum Arena.

And his reward afterward?

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A pat on the back from Eagle Coach Tim O’Brien and a punch in the face from an angry Washington fan.

“I felt a light tap on my back, and then pow , someone hit me,” Haas said. “I guess the guy lost his composure.”

The incident occurred while the Estancia team was making its way to the locker room. Haas, who had taunted the Washington fans and been taunted in return, was unhurt by the forearm punch, which hit him in the left temple.

Two Estancia players chased the fan but did not catch him. Haas said he didn’t care and would not press charges.

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“I really don’t care,” Haas said. “If they want to be poor sports, let them.”

It was an odd ending to a stormy high school career for Haas. He has been brash and cocky on the court, but he usually backed it up with his play.

Twice in the past two seasons, he has been suspended by O’Brien for violating team rules.

Last year, he sat out one game after missing curfew. This season, he missed one game after violating team dress code.

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“Mike is the epitome of a high school senior,” O’Brien said. “He thinks he can take on the whole world. Every now and then I have to chop him down to size.”

Haas made only two of nine shots in the first half, but it hardly seemed to matter at the time. The Eagles were flying high, leading, 44-29.

The lead was still 13 when a controversial officials’ ruling turned the momentum. And, of course, Haas was at the center of it.

Haas made three consecutive three-point field goals in the third quarter, but the official scorer credited him with only two. After a three-minute discussion, the referees agreed with the scorer, leaving Estancia with a 54-39 lead.

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Washington proceeded to whittle away at the deficit and pulled to within six, 59-53, at the end of the third quarter.

But, just when it appeared the Eagles were running out of gas, Haas scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, including four free throws in the final 1 minute 28 seconds.

Haas wasn’t bashful about his performance. Late in the fourth quarter, he would point to his back after every shot he made.

“They were yelling stuff at me, so I pointed to my number,” Haas said. “I wanted them to remember who was beating their team.”

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Apparently, at least one remembered.


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