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FULLERTON TOURNAMENT : Buena Park Wins Title in Overtime

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

For Buena Park, the game ended a decade of frustration. For Saddleback, the game ended in one frustrating second.

Alex Tolentino made both ends of a one-and-one with 16 seconds remaining in overtime to give Buena Park a 58-57 victory over Saddleback in the championship game of the Fullerton boys’ basketball tournament.

“This is the first time in about 10 years that this school has won a (boys’ basketball) tournament,” Buena Park Coach Ed Matillo said.

Even after Tolentino’s free throws, the Roadrunners (7-1) had one last chance to win.

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Luis Estrella, who scored 20 points, launched his 15th three-point attempt in the game with five seconds remaining, but unfortunately for Saddleback, it was also his 11th three-point miss.

Charlie Davidson gave Saddleback another chance, but missed a six-foot jumper after an offensive rebound and Buena Park’s Angel Barrios came down with the rebound.

However, Saddleback’s Jason Register tied up Barrios for a jump ball with one second remaining and Saddleback got the ball on the alternating possession rule.

Then came the controversial second.

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Saddleback Coach Pat Quinn set up a play for Register, who received a lob pass near the top of the key but did not get a shot off before the final buzzer.

“How the buzzer goes off before it gets in his hands? I don’t know,” Quinn said.

“But we never should have been in that position to begin with,” Quinn said. “We didn’t play smart when we had the lead.”

And a lead for Saddleback was rare because the Coyotes (7-1) got off to a fast start behind the tournament’s most valuable player, Angel Barrios.

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Barrios made eight of nine shots and scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the first half to give Buena Park a 30-19 halftime lead.

“That was the first time this year Angel played like that,” Matillo said. “He was unstoppable. But he did that a lot last year and I feel he is one of the top players in the county, especially when you consider he is only 6 foot 2.”

Barrios’ strong inside play offset the one-two punch of Estrella and Register. Register finished with 20 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to help spark Saddleback’s rally that sent the game into overtime.

In the third-place game:

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Western 61, Fullerton 47--Western (6-2) won the game at the free-throw line as five players fouled out for Fullerton. (Western was 24 for 43 from the line.

Neil Hensley led the Pioneers with 14 points and Jason Etter scored 12.

In the seventh-place game:

Cerritos 56, Pacifica 44--The Mariners fell to 1-5 despite 21 points from Chris Vlasic.

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