By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
LA CAADA FLINTRIDGE – Mike McGlashan drove to the hoop. Instead of continuing to the basket on his way up, he stopped and took a fadeaway shot that banked in.
The next time down the court, the La Caada High School senior drove and took a scoop shot. It went in.
Those two baskets put the Spartans in front for the final time as they defeated visiting Inglewood 60-50 to advance to the CIF State boys basketball Southern California Regional final for the first time.
The Spartans, the top seed in Division III and the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA champion, will play La Verne Lutheran for the title next Saturday at USC’s Galen Center.
“After a season like this, how can it not fall?” McGlashan said of those shots. “Everything was falling. I just knew I had to get to the basket.”
The baskets ended a tight, well-executed game that featured 11 lead changes. McGlashan scored all six of his 20 points in a key fourth-quarter run.
La Caada trailed 46-45 when he drove to the basket and banked in a 4-footer to tie the score with 4:24 to play.
He then made a fadeaway jumper for a 49-47 lead, Jamie Harper missed from 21 feet and McGlashan made the scoop shot.
“I didn’t expect them to go in and each one went in,” Matt Faber said. “It was, `Thank you, Mikey.’ ”
CLICK ON THREAD TO CONTINUE READING
Inglewood’s Julius Billbrew, who had a game-high 28 points, missed on a 3-pointer and McGlashan had the rebound. He took it up the court, picked up a double team to prevent the drive and passed it to Riley Moore in the corner. Moore sank the 3-pointer with 1:32 to play for a 54-47 lead.
“That was the best three I have seen this year,” McGlashan said.
“We made our shots down the stretch like we needed to,” said Riley, who had a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter.
The Spartans, who had to eke out victories in their previous three games, did not need to do so this time. The standing- room-only La Ca ada crowd rushed the court after the game.
“This fourth quarter may have been the best of the year,” La Caada coach Tom Hofman said. “We just executed down the stretch and just played great basketball.”
La Caada made all seven of its field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter.
It may have been the play of substitute Charles Kim and Mason Holle that got the victory. Billbrew made all five of his shots in the second quarter, from everywhere, before Kim came into the game and the Sentinels ready to go up big, leading 28-21.
“I thought we were going to go down by 10,” Hofman said.