RIO VISTA – So many times the Lipan Indians have pulled off the big steal, made the clutch basket and found a way to win even when the odds were against them.
Thursday night, however, the odds reached into the basket as the buzzer sounded and knocked the ball away, leaving the Indians on the short end of a 73-70 score against Coolidge in their Class A Division II area basketball game at Rio Vista High School.
The Indians (14-16) were shooting for the lead with six seconds to play when they were called for an offensive foul. Wanya Jones hit two free throws for the Yellowjackets (25-1, No. 13 in state), and Coolidge coach Bryan Jones called a timeout to set up a defense.
Still, the Indians got the ball upcourt and got off a good look at a 3-point shot that would have tied the game. It hit the backboard, bounced into the basket, off two sides of the rim and came back out, ending the game and Lipan’s season.
“We get a few breaks here and there, and it changes the whole outcome,” said Lipan coach Cody Chandler. “It seemed like things were going our way even when they weren’t at the end.”
Two baskets from Trevor Hedeman and Jorge Hernandez pulled Lipan within a point at 71-70 with 21 seconds left. Two missed Coolidge free throws led to a tie ball on the rebound, with the possession arrow favoring Coolidge with 16 seconds left.
On the inbounds pass, the Lipan defense forced a travel, but the Indians missed the go-ahead shot. Following a rebound came the critical charging call with six seconds to go.
“At that point we’re going to the line and need to make just one of two to tie,” said Chandler, noting what would have happened if it had been a foul on Coolidge. “We didn’t get the call.”
The Indians had three starters and a reserve foul out. Coolidge also had a player foul out and another get four fouls in the first half alone. Each team was assessed two technicals.
Boys basketball Class A Division II Playoff
Lipan 17 16 18 19 – 70
Coolidge 15 17 21 20 – 73
Lipan (14-16) scoring – Trevor Hedeman 17, Lance Ferguson 16, Joel Rice 10, Derrick Cook 8, Jorge Hernandez 7, Brady Nelson 6, Hunter Hightower 5, Joey McFadden 1.
Coolidge (25-1) scoring – Ro’Derick Calhoun 21, Delvin Smith 20, Wanya Jones 18, Deandre Kirven 11, Darion McClendon 2, Manuel Santa Cruz 1.
3-pointers – Lipan: Hightower 1, Ferguson 1. Coolidge: Jones 5.
Rebound leaders – Lipan: Ferguson 16, Hedeman 12. Coolidge: Smith 9.
Lipan assists leader – Hedeman 7.
Steal leaders – Lipan: Nelson 3. Coolidge: Smith 4.
2-point FG – Lipan 25-45 (56 percent). Coolidge: 19-51 (37 percent).
3-point FG – Lipan 2-15 (13 percent). Coolidge: 5-24 (21 percent).
Free throws – Lipan 14-27 (52 percent). Coolidge: 20-42 (48 percent).
Total rebounds – Lipan 55 (7 offensive). Coolidge 36 (11 offensive).
Turnovers – Lipan 35. Coolidge 15.