Lindsay boys basketball head coach Lance Cheatwood's heart dropped as he watched the final play of the his team's Central Section Division IV playoff against No. 11 seeded Bakersfield Christian.
Then, as he puts it, there was a little bit of excitement.
Gaven Mann had just hit a go-ahead 3 with less than 15 seconds left for the No. 6 Cardinals (18-9, 7-3), who lost each of the first three quarters before mounting a furious rally in the fourth. Now up 55-54, Cheatwood could only watch as the Eagles (13-14, 8-4) drove towards the basket in the game's final seconds.
A contested shot hit off the rim. Bakersfield Christian won the rebound and heaved a put back attempt. The ball hit off the backboard, made a loop around the rim and appeared to be going in just before the buzzer.
Then it spun out. Lindsay won 55-54 to advance to Friday's quarterfinals.
"We caught a break," Cheatwood said. "I don't know if someone blew it out or what, but someone was on our side tonight. This was a great high school basketball game, one these kids will remember for a long time."
Lindsay trailed by nine points after the third quarter before outscoring Bakersfield Christian 16-6 in the fourth and final frame.
Chris Misaalefua led the team with 16 points. Mann added 14 and Alex Jara scored 11.
Ryan Howes led the Eagles with 16 points.
No. 2 Exeter 66, No. 15 Kerman 46: Jordan Bayne scored 19 points for the Monarchs in a Central Section Division IV playoff against the Lions in Exeter.
Eli Garver added 14 points for Exeter (20-6, 6-4) while Brandon Briones scored 11.
No. 6 Dinuba 72, No. 11 Shafter 37: The Emperors made 10-of-11 of their shots behind the 3-point arc in the second half of a Central Section Division III playoff win over the Generals.
Ernesto Ruiz led Dinuba (22-6, 7-3) with 12 points. Marcus McMaryion added 11.
The Emperors advance to Friday's quarterfinals against No. 3 seeded Mt. Whitney. Tip time is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Visalia.
No. 1 Independence 70, No. 16 Central Valley Christian 38: Josh Payne led the Cavaliers with 13 points during a Central Section Division III playoff loss to the Falcons.
CVC ends its season 13-14 overall after a 7-3 record in Central Sequoia League play. Independece improves to 29-1 overall after a 10-0 run through the Southwest Yosemite League.
No. 1 Caruthers 2, No. 4 Strathmore: With just three minutes remaining in sudden death, the Blue Raiders score to reach the Division IV championship game and deny the Spartans a chance at a repeat.
"The girls are heartbroken," Strathmore coach Hector Gonzalez said. "They know they came a long way. We made a couple of mistakes and they took care of their opportunities and they're going to a Valley championship and we're going home. It was a good team we played."
Strathmore scored in the 25th minute on a goal by Taylor Brown. She was assisted by Sasha Garcia.
The Spartans, who won a share of the East Sequoia League title, finished the season with an 18-8 record.
Tulare Western 7, Redwood 3: Ross Dodds pitched six innings and the Mustangs opened the season with a win over the Rangers in a Clovis Coca Cola Classic tournament game.
Dodds also went 1-for-3 at the plate with a stolen base. Anthony Avila had a RBI-double, Jordon Garcia had a double, Lumus Russell had a two-RBI double, Mike Sanchez went 1-for-3 with a RBI and Norberto Cortez added a pinch-hit double.
Redwood's Jordoan Arnold and Corey Davis each recorded a pair of doubles.
The Mustangs will host Mt. Whitney at 3 p.m. today. The Rangers will play at Clovis North at 3:30 p.m. today.
Mt. Whitney 6, Exeter 3: The Pioneers opened their season with a nonleague win over the Monarchs.
Redwood 9, Immanuel 0: The Rangers opened their season by sweeping the Eagles in a nonleague win.
JC Men's Basketball
College of the Sequoias 66, Merced 62: Bill Borekambi scored 15 points and the Giants closed out the Central Valley Conference season with a victory.
COS (21-8, 10-2) finished in second place in conference and will advance to the postseason. It will find out what seed it is on Monday.
Larry McMorris added 13 points, Will Nelson scored 10, David Love added nine and Cameron Peck chipped in with eight points.