Eagles claw back

Boys' Basketball

Estancia rallies from 12-point deficit to edge Gladstone in overtime to win CIF first-round playoff game.

February 15, 2012|By Matt Szabo

COSTA MESA — The game again looked like a loss.

Somehow, the Estancia High boys' basketball team again found a way.

No one can say the Eagles don't have a flair for the dramatic. Say what you want about the Eagles, just don't count them out.

Last week, Estancia clinched second place in the Orange Coast League when Ben Beck banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer against rival Costa Mesa. On Wednesday, Estancia claimed yet another improbable victory, this time in its home gym.


The Eagles rallied from a 12-point deficit in the final six minutes of regulation, earning a 44-43 overtime victory over Gladstone of Covina in a CIF Southern Section Division 3A first-round playoff game.

"Man, I'm getting kind of tired of these one-point games," senior center Rashad Davis said after it was all over, his smile showing that he wasn't too upset.

No. 14-seeded Estancia won its first playoff game in four years. The Eagles (17-11) will head north to the Ventura area to play at No. 3 Oak Park in a second-round game Friday night. Oak Park defeated Littlerock, 63-24, in another first-round game.

Davis was a big reason why the Eagles move on, with his game-highs of 23 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots.

The win wasn't sealed until Gladstone senior forward Vince Delgado's last-second three-pointer from about 35 feet came up well short at the buzzer. Delgado was defended well on the play by Chad Fackler and Robert Sullivan.

"He kind of went to his left," Estancia Coach Agustin Heredia said of Delgado, who scored a team-high 11 points for Gladstone (13-12). "The scouting report said he goes to his left. We had two guys there, so that would have been a tough shot to hit."

The Eagles looked like they had no shot early in the fourth quarter. They looked like they were headed to their third straight playoff defeat on their home floor. Heredia called timeout with 6:22 to go, after a pair of Gladstone free throws gave the Gladiators a 39-27 advantage.

But Estancia ended regulation on a 14-2 run. The Eagles tied the score at 41 when Davis hit a free throw with 17 seconds left in regulation, then watched Gladstone miss a contested jumper and a long three-pointer in the closing seconds.

Davis, who is a team captain along with junior guard Ben Beck (six points) and sophomore guard Martin Harry (three), said the Eagles just buckled down.

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