Mater Dei Catholic's Iman Chatman (shown grabbing a rebound earlier in the season) made a key defensive play for the Crusaders in the final seconds of Saturday's win over Calabasas.
CHULA VISTA With the game’s final seconds clicking off the clock, Calabasas’ Larry Bush drove for a layup to tie the game.
Mater Dei Catholic’s Iman Chatman trailed him, and as Bush shot …
That’s when a dramatic ending to what would be a 45-43 Mater Dei victory became controversial.
“I got the ball and then my hand hit the backboard,” said Chatman.
The Calabasas faithful, led by coach Jon Palarz, loudly wanted goaltending.
The officials, who signaled that the game had ended when the shot missed, huddled for a lengthy discussion. When they broke, they stuck with the original decision, allowing Mater Dei to advance to the Southern California Regional Division II semifinals Tuesday at Bellflower St. John Bosco.
Mater Dei’s players and faithful finally were able to celebrate.
Leading the way was freshman Jaylen Hands, who turned the game around in the second quarter when he came off the bench to score 11 straight points. Up to then, the visiting Coyotes (28-6) had dominated, building an 18-10 lead.
“This is my biggest win because it means we’re moving on in the state playoffs,” said Hands, whose entrance coincided with the Crusaders (30-2), winners of 23 straight, shifting to a man-to-man defense. “My role is to come off the bench and be a spark.”
More like a bonfire.
Hands finished with a game-high 18 points, adding key baskets in the third and fourth quarters. Chatman had 10, including a crucial 3-pointer.