Too close for comfort
Article Launched: 02/14/2008 12:22:29 AM PST
LA PUENTE - Survive and advance.
That's how the Nogales High School boys basketball team felt after Apple Valley guard Daryon Mosley missed a layup at the buzzer that allowed the Nobles to escape with a 57-56 victory in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division III-A playoffs.
Nogales' Aaron De Anda, who scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, missed a 3-pointer with five seconds left, which gave the Sun Devils life.
On the inbounds play, Mosley sprinted the length of the court but was forced into a tough shot by Nobles center Randal Guillory, who made him bank a wild shot off the glass as time expired.
"That was scary," said Guillory, who scored a game-high 20 points. "He kind of bounced off me and it looked like he had a wide-open shot, but he pushed it too strong."
While Guillory exhaled, Nogales coach Richard Roper pounded the floor as the San Antonio League champions (22-7) advanced to Friday's second round against Laguna Beach (21-6), a 53-38 winner over Beckman.
"You know, that was an awfully tough team for us to have to play in the first round. They were athletic, they hit big shots, so we're just glad we get to play on Friday."
With the score tied, 46-46, at the half, Guillory and De Anda stepped up and scored 24 of the Nobles' 25-second half points.
Guillory scored and was fouled and completed a 3-point play with 5:19 left in the third quarter to give the Nobles a 38-36 lead.
Then with a minute left in the quarter, Guillory hit a straightaway 3-pointer to push the Nobles' lead to 46-43, but Sun Devils guard Bryce Plemons hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds to tie it at 46 going into the final quarter.
Nogales trailed 49-48 when De Anda sank a 3-pointer with 5:30 left for a 51-49 lead, then scored on a back-door lay-up from Jayson Requejo with 4:21 left to make it 53-49.
But Absalom Smith, who finished with a team-high 15 points for Apple Valley, answered with a 3-pointer to cut the Nobles' lead to 53-52.
With 2:25 left, Mosley made a 3-pointer to give the Sun Devils a 56-55 lead.
But De Anda put it away for good by driving to the basket and getting fouled. He made both free throws with 2:14 left to put the Nobles ahead, 57-56. That's how it stayed as both teams continued getting stops until the end.
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