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La Canada boys' basketball misses pair of shots at win in opener with Lakeside

La Canada Spartans' comeback falls short with two failed attempts at game-winner in CIF Southern Section Division III-AA opener Wednesday.

February 13, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

LA CAÑADA — It looked like whatever belief the La Cañada High boys' basketball team fans held after its team fell into an early deficit was going to be vindicated.

Despite momentum swinging the way of the home-team Spartans in their CIF Southern Section Division III-AA opener, they still fell just short in a 49-48 loss to Lakeside Wednesday night.

“It’s just regroup for next year,” La Cañada Coach Tom Hofman said. “[Lakeside] made some big shots at the end, we answered a couple of them, but we just couldn’t get that last batch.”

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It was a heartbreaking ending for La Cañada (15-13), which had two shots at a game-winner in the final 10 seconds. Spartans guard Koko Kurdoghlian had the last shot but his desperation, game-winning three-pointer was well off the mark at the final buzzer.

“It wasn’t a good look, but I had a feeling I was going to drain it,” said Kurdoghlian, who took the ball from halfcourt on an inbound play with 4.3 seconds left before hurrying to the three-point line for the contested three. “It wasn’t a good shot, I could have gotten a better shot, but there was just no choice. There was no time left.”

Lakeside moves on to face the winner of Wednesday night’s Century-Santa Margarita game.

Trailing, 36-29, with just under 11 minutes to play, the Spartans launched a furious comeback.

Jacob Brown (eight points) nailed a jump shot from the top of the three-point arc to pull La Cañada within one with 48 seconds to play.

With the shot clock turned off, the Spartans had two chances to take a lead in the final 10 seconds following a Lakeside (12-15) miss and Jack Anderson (seven rebounds, four points) rebound.

Hofman called two timeouts and drew up two inbounds plays in the final 10 ticks. The first play with six seconds left was spoiled when the Lancers' Daymarcco Green intercepted the inbounds pass intended for Dan Jun, who cut straight to the hoop.

Jun (team-high 13 points) immediately fouled Green, which sent him to the line for a one-and-one. Green missed the first free throw and Anderson grabbed another big board, which prompted another La Cañada timeout with 4.3 seconds left.

Needing to drive fullcourt to get a shot, Kurdoghlian (10 points) took the inbounds pass at midcourt and pulled up at the three-point line, but his desperation three with two defenders nearby was well off the mark to end the game and the Spartans' season.

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