By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
ROWLAND HEIGHTS – Santa Fe High School was down, but certainly not out Friday, and the Chiefs proved it when it mattered most.
Charlie Muhlenkamp made two free throws with two seconds left as Santa Fe rallied from a double-digit deficit to score a 56-55 victory over host Rowland in a CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA first-round game.
The Chiefs, getting 19 points from Muhlenkamp and 14 from Jonathan Parral, improved to 13-14 and advanced to Tuesday’s second round against either Eastside or No. 7 seed Camarillo.
Joseph Dionisio had 16 points for the Raiders, who finished 19-9. Rowland had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Dioniso’s half-court shot clanked off the back of the rim.
“We’re a family and we didn’t give up on each other,” Muhlenkamp said. “We just got more aggressive (during the second half). We were a little lazy coming out, and we just picked it up.”
The Raiders, the No. 10 seed, looked good after pushing it to 55-49 at 2:39 on a 3-pointer by Dionisio and two free throws by DJ Jackson.
Perez and Muhlenkamp combined on three free throws to make it 55-52 before Parral hit from nine feet with 21 seconds left to cut it to 55-54.
Rowland’s Chris Arzadon missed a free throw with 16 seconds left before Muhlenkamp was fouled on a drive to the basket with two seconds left.