Top-Seeded El Toro Works Overtime, Tops Thousand Oaks
Top-seeded El Toro rallied to force overtime and defeated Thousand Oaks, 68-64, in a Southern Section Division I-AA boys’ basketball semifinal before a standing-room-only crowd at Westlake Village Westlake High on Tuesday night.
Thousand Oaks, seeded No. 4, took a 56-51 lead on a basket by guard Dave Anderson with 2 minutes 52 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But El Toro scored the next five points on two free throws by Ashkan Nazeri with 2:37 left and a three-point shot by Chris Parish with 2:06 remaining.
Kyle Kegley, who scored a game-high 27 points, gave Thousand Oaks a 58-56 lead with 53 seconds left when he hit a jumper over Ken Tanaka, but the Lancers (23-6) didn’t score again until center Ben Olson hit one of two free throws with 2:17 remaining in overtime.
El Toro (27-3) tied the score, 58-58, with 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter when 6-8 center Matt Green scored inside and was fouled.
Green, who had 20 points, missed the free throw, but Tanaka came up with the loose ball and Green was fouled again.
Green missed both free throws, but El Toro came up with the ball again before Anderson and Nazeri ended up with a jump ball with the possession arrow pointing Thousand Oaks’ way.
The Lancers called timeout with 13 seconds remaining, but Kegley’s 25-foot three-pointer with four seconds left missed and El Toro scored the first four points of overtime to take a lead it never relinquished.
Parish scored 21 points for El Toro, which plays second-seeded Glendora for the title at the Arrowhead Pond on Saturday night.
Parish was held to two points in the first half, but scored 14 of the Chargers’ 17 points in the third quarter.
“I was just too excited in the first half,” Parish said. “I knew this was the biggest game of my life. And playing in front of a big crowd. . . . I think I just got too excited.
“So at halftime, I took a couple of deep breaths and told myself to relax. I told my teammates to keep getting me the ball and I would start hitting my shots and they did.”