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Pioneers fight off a Monsoon effort

first_imgThe No. 1 California and No. 7 USA Today national ratings didn’t mean a thing for the Artesia High boys’ basketball team Friday night in a packed Mayfair High gymnasium. But the quick hands and quick thinking of Greg Howell, as well as the quick shooting release of Artesia teammate Malik Story, sure did. Story, after taking a pass from Howell, who had rebounded Pioneers’ guard Derek Glasser’s missed shot from the top of the key, released a shot from the deep right wing just as the buzzer sounded ending the OT period. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Story, who committed to USC in the fall, saw Glasser’s shot glance off the iron and Howell snatch the rebound. “And Greg got the pass right to me,” a remarkably calm Story said after the fact. “It felt good as soon as it left my hand. I was lucky it banked in.” In fact the Pioneers felt fortunate to be able to climb into their bus with their ratings and league-lead intact. “Malik bailed us out,” senior point guard Derek Glasser said. “The guys stepped up.” Glasser scored eight points, junior forward James Harden recorded 29 points and center Shawntell Norman added 4, all missed considerable time with foul problems, with Harden being disqualified after a charging call with 1:34 to go in regulation. And the ball banked through the rim and net, giving the visitors a 74-71 victory over the Monsoons in a Suburban League showdown. Only one other team had taken the state’s top-ranked squad down to the wire and that was Hughes High of Cincinnati, which handed the Pioneers (18-1 overall and 6-0 in league) their only loss, 59-58, in the title game of a post-Christmas tourney in Delaware. center_img The Monsoons (12-7 and 6-1) scored the final seven points of regulation, the last of those coming on a 3-pointer from the right corner by sophomore Chris Springer to tie the score at 64 with 59 seconds to play. Junior Jonathan Wills, who scored 25 points, hit a 3-pointer over the top of Story from the left corner to tie the score at 71 for the Monsoons with 41 seconds remaining in the four-minute OT. Mayfair coach Brian VanderWal could only have been happier if his team had pulled off the upset. “I’m so proud of them,” he said. “To battle the No. 1 team in the state … they busted their tails.” Frank Burlison can be reached at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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