Saturday, March 3, 2012
OLu wins second straight title
ANAHEIM -- Orange Lutheran coach Chris Nordstrom kind of smiles every time an opposing group of fans begins chanting "Overrated" when Gabe York steps to the free-throw line.
Note to opposing fans: Stop chanting "Overrated."
York proved once again on Saturday that he's anything but overrated. The Arizona commit scored 28 points and led third-seeded OLu to a 64-58 victory over top-seeded Mission Viejo to win the Southern Section Division 1A championship.
The difference between Mission (27-4), which was more physical and even took a 50-49 lead in the opening minute of the fourth quarter at Anaheim Convention Center Arena, was simple: "York," said Mission Viejo coach Troy Roelen, whose team was spirited, but could not overcome the force that is No. 32.
Mission led for 72 seconds, at which point York made a three-point play for OLu (21-10). After giving up the lead, York scored seven of his team's final 15 points, including a free throw with a two-point lead with 1:32 left to go up 59-56, and another to give the Lancers a four-point lead with 9.7 seconds remaining, 62-58.
York also had five steals, but he wasn't the only one who had a big night. With Payton Banks held to only seven points, Jared Carver stepped up with 11 points and three steals, and Darien Williams had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Antwon Johnson was held scoreless, but had four of OLu's 16 steals.
Mission Viejo, which lost for the second year in a row in the finals, was emotional afterward. Michael Cramer, whose three-point basket gave Mission the 50-49 lead with 7:04 remaining, scored a team-high 16 points. Max Redfield added 14 and Evan Zeller 13. Redfield had 11 rebounds, and Mission held a 44-33 edge over Lutheran in that department.
But Mission fell behind in the first quarter, 22-14 -- Roelen said he expected his team to be better after having played in this game a year ago -- and the rest of the night was spent just trying to catch up.
But even when they caught up, the still had York to contend with.