Los Angeles Preps: Oyintonye Akamande

Inland Empire: Div. 3A boys' basketball: GG Pacifica 60, Citrus Hill 55

February, 18, 2011

GARDEN GROVE – Perris Citrus Hill coach Tim Hatch was feeling pretty good about the situation, then everything changed in an instant.

The visiting Hawks had a cut a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to one with 16.2 seconds remaining Friday night against Garden Grove Pacifica in the Division 3A second-round game. The Mariners were intentionally fouled, but before they could step to the free-throw line, Hatch called timeout.

That’s when he received some very shocking news.

His team had just been assessed a technical foul for calling a timeout it didn’t have. Instead of shooting two foul shots, Pacifica was awarded four and possession of the ball. The Mariners made three, went to the line again after getting fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and made another.

Without a tick of the clock, a one-point deficit had turned to five and the 11th-seeded Hawks never got off another shot in the 60-55 loss at Pacifica.

Hatch screamed at the scorer’s table and flung his arms in anger. He paused to shake hands and congratulate the sixth-seeded Mariners, then headed off the floor, wondering how a watershed season could end in such frustrating fashion.

According to the Hawks, the confusion began after Citrus Hill made a three-point basket with 28 seconds remaining, cutting the deficit to 56-54. The clock operator never stopped the clock after the conversion and the scoreboard operator accidentally gave the points to Pacifica.

Play was stopped to correct the clock and scoreboard, and that’s when the Hawks say the official scorer marked them for a timeout they never called. Hatch said he checked with the table before calling his final timeout and was informed he still had one left.

“All of a sudden, it disappeared,” Hatch said. “I dispute that. My book guy is on it, he has the times written down … they get the ball plus the four free throws. That’s down the stretch, that’s huge.”

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Inland Empire: Boys' basketball games of the week

February, 10, 2011
1. Corona Centennial (22-3, 13-0) at Eastvale Roosevelt (18-5, 12-1), tonight, 7:30 p.m. – Centennial’s high-scoring offense will take on Roosevelt’s stingy defense for the second time this season in a Big VIII League game. A win by the Mustangs and they’ll share the league championship. Centennial won the first meeting, 59-56, on Jan. 20. Michael Caffey scored 25 points in that game, but has been hobbled with an ankle injury since last week. The Mustangs almost got caught looking ahead Tuesday before squeaking by Riverside King, 61-59. Udun Oskue, a 6-foot-5 senior forward for the Mustangs, is averaging 15 points in the last four games.

2. Riverside Patriot (22-4, 8-1) at Fontana Summit (20-6, 9-0), tonight, 6:30 p.m. – The SkyHawks won the first Sunkist League meeting, 64-50, at Patriot on Jan. 25, dominating the paint by scoring 24 of 27 field goals from within five feet. Summit point guard Montigo Alford did most of the dissecting that game, handing out 11 assists. The Warriors, who have finished runner-up in league the last three seasons, will need to count on shooters Bryan Saffel and Matt Scogebo if the they want to get over the hump.

3. Glendora (21-5, 6-3) at Upland (17-9, 5-4), tonight, 6:30 p.m. – Upland has bounced back from the brink to win its last two Baseline League games against difficult opponents and now sits in third place with one game remaining. Second-place Glendora beat the Highlanders by one point on Jan. 25.

4. San Jacinto (14-12, 8-1) at Perris Citrus Hill (16-9, 9-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m. – Oyintonye Akamande, a 6-foot senior guard for Citrus Hill, scored a season-high 23 points in the first Mountain Pass League meeting, a 60-55 victory by the visiting Hawks on Jan. 26. Anthony Rounds, a 6-6 junior forward, is usually Citrus Hill’s leading scorer, averaging 19.4 points and 10.2 rebounds.

Looking ahead: Southern Section playoff selections, Sunday, noon-2 p.m.