Eric Spindt made nine consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter to help Hart High overcome Manual Arts, 67-55, Thursday night in the championship game of the 22nd Hart Holiday Classic.
Spindt, who scored 18 points and had five assists, was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Spindt continually broke the Toilers’ full-court press and found center Cody Patterson (20 points) and Brian Ballew (19 points, four assists) for open shots as Hart (14-1) solved Manual Arts’ defense with its motion offense.
“We knew they are a good team, but we weren’t intimidated,” Spindt said. “We aren’t going to back down from anybody.”
“You don’t win championships in December, but we feel like we’re building on something now,” Indian Coach Mike May said. “We had a real good summer and I think some of the results of that are showing now.”
The Toilers (11-3) were led by David Rickenbacker, who scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Forward John Thompson had 11 points and eight rebounds for Manual Arts, which appeared to be frustrated by the Indians’ often methodical play on offense.
“This is why I want us to enter tournaments with disciplined teams,” Toiler Coach Randolph Simpson said. “We knew Hart would play hard and be patient.”
Canyon 74, Palmdale 67--Charles Woodard scored 20 points and Greg Minor added 16 for the Cowboys in the third-place game.
James Manning had 11 points and Pat Backes added 10 for Canyon (11-4).
Al Lairson scored 20 points for the Falcons (9-3).
Banning 78, West Bakersfield 57--The Pilots were led in the seventh-place game by the senior backcourt tandem of Eric Jett and Jason Pickett. Jett scored 24 points and Pickett had 23 for Banning (8-8).
Corey McHenry of West Bakersfield (4-8) had 20 points.
Littlerock 71, Notre Dame 68--Junior guard Mike Lonien scored 30 points for the Lobos in the 11th-place game. Teammates Hassan Phillips and John George added 14 and 12 points.
The Knights were led by Tommy Zapata and Rich Igou, who each scored 19 points.
Antelope Valley 73, Garfield 64--Senior guard Freddie Gonzales scored 16 points to lead four players in double figures for the Antelopes in the 15th-place game.
Senior guard Derrick Barker added 12 points, junior guard Joe Gloves scored 11 and senior forward Jason Storm contributed 10 for Antelope Valley.
Simi Valley 64, Culver City 55--Senior center Vernon Simmons scored 21 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in leading the Pioneers past the Centaurs for fifth place.
Senior forward Nathan Simmons (no relation) scored 11 points for Simi Valley (10-3).
Glendale 55, San Fernando 51--Senior swingman Ramon Jose scored 22 points to lead the Dynamiters (11-4) in the consolation championship game.