English got his chance Tuesday night and he proved to be the difference-maker in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division III-AA playoffs.
The senior guard knocked a big three-pointer late and scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half to help fourth-seeded Lutheran edge fifth-seeded CdM, 53-49, at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga. The Trojans advance to the semifinals for a showdown with top-seeded Price of Los Angeles.
Lutheran (21-4) gets its rematch Friday with Price (22-6) and they will once again be at home.
The Sea Kings (19-10) almost earned the right to move on. They had chances to continue their postseason run. They slowed the game down, forcing Lutheran to go to its half-court offense.
Sloppy play down the stretch and a dismal three-point shooting performance eliminated the Sea Kings from the quarterfinals for the second straight season.
"We took some ill-advised shots late," said Schachter, who saw his team go three of 22 from behind the three-point line. "It came down to missed shots that we should've made. [The Trojans] hit some shots we didn't think they'd be able to hit."
The one successful field goal that surprised Schachter the most was the three-pointer by English with 3:21 left to play.
The Sea Kings had just cut the deficit to 46-45. Clayton Ragsdale stole the ball and quickly went up for a layup, giving the senior point guard seven points. The Trojans appeared rattled, until they went to English on an inbound pass.
A one-point advantage quickly turned into a four-point lead after English hit a three. He was wide open and it was by design. The Sea Kings did not believe he could make his second three of the night.
"We took our chances on him shooting threes," said Schachter, who offered a stat for doing so. "You know, he's hit 10 threes all year."
That number is now 12 for English from behind the arc. The first three by English Tuesday came at a critical time as well.