For six quarters, San Marcos outscored Hoover this season. It was a pair of fourth quarters that made the difference, however, as the Cardinals came from behind to register a pair of victories over the Knights, including Saturday’s 59-56 triumph in the Southern California Regional Division II quarterfinals.
These teams also met in the San Diego Section semifinals, San Marcos leading after three quarters before the Cardinals flew away with a win.
In the regional rematch, San Marcos carried a 43-36 advantage into the last period. Before the clock even started for the final eight minutes, the Knights were called for a technical foul as one of their players stepped on a Hoover player’s foot. Miles Nolen-Webb made the two free throws and suddenly it was a five-point game.
“This is almost like a mirror image of the last time we played them,” said Hoover coach Ollie Goulston. “But even when we were behind I knew we could win the game.”
Nolen-Webb scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Tyrone Johnson added seven of his nine, and Dionte Whitfield hit five of his eight points for Hoover (31-5). The Cardinals took the lead 58-56 on a putback by Whitfield with 18 seconds remaining.
Junior Ben Perez provided a first-half spark off the bench for San Marcos with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals to guide the Knights to a 32-22 halftime lead.