With a 10-point lead after three quarters just a memory, the Mission Hills High boys basketball team trailed for the first time.
As the clock ticked off the final seconds, point guard Kibret Woldemichel, who is still recovering from a sprained ankle, went to the basket when he saw his first option, 7-footer Kameron Rooks, double-teamed once again.
Woldemichel made the right move as he was fouled, got the shot off and wound up with a three-point play with four seconds remaining to give the No. 7-ranked Grizzlies a 55-53 nonleague victory Friday night over No. 10 Torrey Pines.
“I was creating off myself,” Woldemichel said. “I was really trying to get a foul, and the ref gave me the continuation.
“I saw it go in. I was more worried he wouldn’t give me the basket.”
His final heroics gave Woldemichel just seven points for the game, but it helped negate a 20-9 run by the Falcons (9-6) in the final quarter.
Mission Hills (14-2) entered the fourth period with a 43-33 lead thanks to a 15-for-23 effort from the floor in the second and third quarters.
Six points by Sam Worman, who led the Falcons with 16 points, and Chris Kurylo, who finished with 10 points, led the charge back.
Torrey Pines did not hit back-to-back baskets in the game until the final two minutes when Brandon Cyrus hit a 3-pointer and Worman hit a hook shot to slice the deficit to 52-50.
That set the stage for Dominic Hovasse’s 3-pointer for a 53-52 lead with 28 seconds to play.
“I knew they’d make a run, especially in their own building,” Mission Hills coach Curtis Hofmeister said. “They made some terrific shots down the stretch.
“It was déjà vu from our last game against Westview.’’
But the Grizzlies lost that game to Westview in overtime seven days earlier.
“It was really impoortant to get a win,” Hofmeister said. “We had a good week coming into the game and we almost let it slip away.”
Rooks, who verbally committed to Cal this week and was held scoreless in the final quarter, led the winners with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
“This sort of thing happens to us all the time,’’ Woldemichel said with a shrug. “I wasn’t going to let it happen again.
“It’s easy to say don’t get frustrated when a team is making a run like they did in the last quarter. You have to keep your head on straight and try to make one play.
“That’s all it would have taken to slow them down.’’
Instead, Woldemichel made that one play, just in time.