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Beck banks in winner

Boys' Basketball

Estancia guard connects on game-winning three-pointer to beat the buzzer and give Eagles big win over Costa Mesa.

February 09, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

COSTA MESA — A couple of days ago, Ben Beck tried to call the second contest in the Battle for the Bell rivalry just another game.

It turned out to be a memorable one for Beck in front of the home crowd at Estancia High on Thursday night.

The junior wanted to forget about most of the Orange Coast League home game, until he threw up a desperate three-pointer at the buzzer.

"I couldn't make a shot … to save my life," Beck said, "but I made the one that counted."

Beck found his shot when it mattered most, in a game-winning situation.

Coach Agustin Heredia missed the frantic shot, because his players stood up, blocking his vision. It's a good thing Heredia didn't see how it went in because it was the kind of shot he hates seeing, a three-pointer banked in.

Yes, Beck banked in a three to lift the Eagles to a 33-32 victory. Fans stormed the court to celebrate with Beck and his teammates.

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"That was a heck of a shot," Heredia said. "I'll take that bank."

A win is a win and this one clinched second place for the Eagles (16-11, 7-3 in league), who went into the regular-season finale sharing the spot with Costa Mesa.

The Mustangs claimed the Bell for the first time in five years because it won last month's game against Estancia by a larger margin, three points, but they now have to play for third place.

As his players reluctantly rang the Bell at midcourt, Coach Bryan Rice said his Mustangs (17-9, 6-4) play Friday against Godinez (17-9, 6-4). The winner earns the league's third playoff berth and the loser hopes to get in as an at-large team.

The Mustangs shouldn't be in this situation. Their defensive game plan worked to perfection, limiting Estancia 6-foot-7 center Rashad Davis' touches.

A 1-3-1 zone confused the Eagles throughout. They had a hard time finding the biggest player on the court, even when he was open.

"Except for one play," Rice said, "we were exactly where we wanted to be [defensively]."

Beck didn't have the best look at the basket at the end.

None of it would've mattered had the Mustangs iced the game at the free-throw line with nine seconds left. They led, 32-30, and Jake Comer was in a one-and-one situation.

The first attempt was no good and the Eagles rebounded the ball. With no timeouts, Chad Fackler then passed the ball to Beck, who was past midcourt.

Beck dribbled up the sideline, going toward the corner before pulling up for a three-pointer. Well, he didn't just pull up.

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