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Prep boys hoops: Hart’s end of the road

Poor shooting plagues Indians in loss

Posted: February 16, 2013 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 16, 2013 1:55 a.m.

TORRANCE — For Hart Indians boys basketball, it’s wait till next year.

Hart was simply outsized and was relegated to a jump-shooting team in its 64-55 loss to West Torrance High on Friday in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIIAAA playoffs at West High.

With most of its team expected to return next season, including star guards Lewis Stallworth and Myles Franklin, and two undefeated lower level teams, the Foothill League’s second-place team figures to be a power next season.

“I don’t want to say we’re a year away,” said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. “We had a good year this year.”

But Hart (25-3) ran into a 6-foot-8-inch, 270-pound oak tree in junior Terrell Carter.

The Warriors center made the Indians’ normally attack-the-rim offense a jump shooting one.

Hart was 7-of-45 from the field through the first three quarters.

“They couldn’t come in the middle,” Carter said. “They just shot the ball more than coming inside.”

That gave West a 14-8 lead after a quarter.

The only thing keeping the Indians in it early was their ability to induce turnovers.

The Warriors (18-10) coughed up possession eight times alone in the second quarter and 22 times in the game.

Hart trailed 21-18 at halftime.

But West’s 6-foot-6 inch forward Xavier Basso started to get in the action in the third quarter - the period where the game turned.

He displayed an athleticism getting to the basket that Hart had trouble stopping.

He scored six of his team high 13 points in the frame and West outscored Hart 17-5 to take a 38-23 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We watched film on them, but they happened to be way better,” said Hart guard Frank Lonsinger. “We never really clicked. That size shocked us. Coach told us they’d be big, but they were more athletic than we thought.”

And they shot well and spread the ball around.

The Warriors were 14-of-19 from the field in the second half.

Carter had 12 points as did guard Ethan Kishimoto and point guard Stefan Inouye had 10.

Hart meanwhile was led in points by Stallworth with 16, who also was the emotional leader — constantly pleading for his team to stay in it during timeouts.

Franklin scored 12, but was out of the flow of the offense for most of the game.

“We knew they had two good guards, but didn’t know how good,” said West coach Paul Nitake. “We knew we had to take away one of them.”

Yet another guard stepped up as Lonsinger, who scored 11, hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, helping Hart to pull to a 63-53 deficit with 28 seconds to play.

Stallworth hit two free throws with 20 seconds left to make it 63-55, but by then Hart had run out of time.

This is the first time in school history that West has made it past the second round in some six decades as a school.


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