Compton’s Cinderella run ran into a big problem in the boys’ Division III Southern California regional final Saturday at the Galen Center: A 6-foot-10 problem.
San Diego Lincoln center Nathan Maxey blocked four shots and altered countless others as the second-seeded Hornets defeated the unseeded Tarbabes, 60-52, to earn a berth in the state finals next week.
Lincoln (28-2) will play Mountain View St. Francis in Bakersfield next Saturday.
“He was a big factor,” Compton guard Cliff Simms, Jr., who led the Tarbabes with 18 points, said of Maxey. “We haven’t seen anybody of his length all year and we weren’t that prepared for him. He affected a lot of my shots and my teammates’ shots.”
Compton, which started this season 3-9 and was seeded seventh in the Southern Section 2AA before advancing to the final, held a 28-22 lead after a poor first-half shooting performance by both teams.
Lincoln, which shot 17.2% in the first half, came out gunning in the third quarter. The Hornets made 12 of 16 shots in the third quarter, outscored Compton 27-10 and took control of the game.
“They came out, they had more energy than us and they took the momentum from us,” Compton Coach Tony Thomas said. “I told the guys at halftime that the third quarter has been our Achilles' heel and don’t let it happen again. For some reason, this team, we have the lead and we think it’s just going to carry on.”
Allan Guei had 12 points and forward Anthony January had 11 points and 16 rebounds for the Tarbabes (21-14), but January, at 6-6, had the most problems with Maxey and made only four of 18 shots.