NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Neither a double-digit second-half lead, nor a two-point cushion with just seconds remaining in Tuesday's Pacific League opener against Arcadia High was enough to save the Hoover boys' basketball team from a 71-64 overtime home loss.
Arcadia came all the way back from 45-32 deficit early in the third quarter and tied the game on two free throws by Robert Haines, who rebounded an Apaches miss, hit the front of the rim on his first putback layup attempt and was fouled going back up with a second attempt as time expired in the fourth quarter.
"Nine out of 10 times, [the officials] don't make that call," Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten said, "but I've seen everything.
"Rebounding is tough for us, but we'll work at it. We play them again."
Hoover (4-8) struck first in overtime behind a pull-up three-pointer from point guard Kyle Bernardo, who led the Tornadoes with 20 points and had earlier hit a big go-ahead three to stop Arcadia's 19-5 run at the 2:30 mark of the fourth-quarter.
But Arcadia's Kiran Koneru answered Bernardo's opening salvo with his own three at the other end, sparking a 9-1 Apaches run.
"They just got ahead, they made some big shots [in overtime]," said Van Patten, who also got 15 points and 18 rebounds from center Arbi Abelian.
Down 65-59, with 59 seconds remaining in overtime, Hoover got a spark of life when Bernardo banked in a fall away three-pointer from deep in the corner near the Hoover bench to make it 65-62 with 45 seconds to play.
Arcadia (7-6) simply had to make its free throws to hold on down the stretch and, with 14 seconds left, down, 68-64, Hoover got the Apaches' miss it needed when Tony Moseley missed the second of two shots. But Moseley beat the Tornadoes into the paint for his own rebound, essentially sealing the game.
In the second quarter, Hoover's Teo Aghazarian (11 points) hit a three-pointer to break a 24-24 tie with 3:30 left in the first half and the Tornadoes went on an 11-6 run to close the half that included two more buckets from Aghazarian and a pair from Abelian.
And while the Tornadoes' 38-30 halftime lead quickly grew to as many as 13, Arcadia was able to carve out an inside game and heat up from the field to play its way back into the lead by the 4:30 mark of the fourth quarter.
"There was a flurry there where I thought instead of four possessions in two minutes [for Arcadia] it was five possessions in 25 seconds in the third quarter," Van Patten said. "That hurt us."