Late Shots Don’t Fall for Lancers
There were no game-winning heroics from Kyle Kegley of Thousand Oaks High this time.
The 6-foot-4 senior swingman scored all 16 of the Lancers’ points in the fourth quarter of a two-point victory in a quarterfinal only four days earlier. But he struggled with his shooting in the final nine minutes of a 68-64 overtime loss to El Toro in a Southern Section Division I-AA semifinal before a standing-room only crowd at Westlake High on Tuesday night.
Kegley, Thousand Oaks’ career scoring leader, had 27 points. But he was one for five--and zero for three from three-point range--in overtime when the Lancers were outscored, 10-6.
“I felt fine,” Kegley said when asked if a sore left Achilles’ tendon affected his shooting down the stretch. “My shots were long, so [the injury] had nothing to do with it. I think I just wanted it so much that I was putting too much into it.”
Thousand Oaks, seeded No. 4, took a 56-51 lead on a basket by guard Dave Anderson with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter. But No. 1-seeded 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.
Kegley 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, who were trying to advance to their first section title game, called a 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.
“I like the shot [Kegley] took at the end of regulation,” Coach Rich Endres of Thousand Oaks said. “That thing goes in and we’re heroes.”
Anderson, one of four juniors in Thousand Oaks’ starting lineup, scored 17 points, including seven of the Lancers’ final 12 points.
Olson had 14 for Thousand Oaks, which was playing in its second playoff semifinal and first since 1993.
Parish scored 21 points for El Toro, which plays second-seeded Glendora for the title at The Pond in Anaheim 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.”