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Oilers hold off Chargers

Huntington Beach edges Edison, 39-37, and deals Chargers first loss of the season.

January 12, 2011|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Fabian Luna sensed it was going to happen.

The Huntington Beach boys' basketball coach felt that Wednesday's key Sunset League game against Edison would be decided in the last seconds. Even when his Oilers took a nine-point halftime lead. Even when they built the advantage to 14 midway through the third quarter.

Luna was right.

Despite leading all night, Huntington had to withstand a three-point shot attempt in the final 10 seconds, then two, frantic put-back attempts by the visiting Chargers from close range, to escape with a 39-37 victory.

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Dreon Barlett missed from three-point range with Edison down two. Teammate Tyler Fields managed to get the rebound and put up a shot from inside the key that missed, then the Chargers' Chris Wolfe got off a shot that caromed off the rim with two seconds left. What followed was a mad scramble for a loose ball inside the key which the Oilers came up with as time expired.

"I knew it would happen, that we'd have a finish like this," a relieved Luna said moments after the big win. "I told our guys that [the Chargers] are an undefeated team for a reason. We had the lead but they came back and nearly pulled it out. Luckily, the ball bounced our way."

Edison's school-record start to a boys' basketball season, 16 consecutive victories, and perfect season, both came to an end at Elmer Combs Gymnasium. The Chargers, who entered the showdown ranked No. 1 in CIF Division 2AA, also fell to 1-1 in league.

Huntington, which came in ranked eighth in the division, avenged a December loss to Edison at the La Quinta Tournament to run their overall record to 12-5. With a win over defending league champ Los Alamitos already under their belt, the Oilers now sit at 2-0 in Sunset play.

Huntington won, 41-39, on the Griffins' home floor last Friday.

"It's incredible to be 2-0 right now," Luna said. "We have two big wins against Los Al and now Edison, but there's a lot of basketball still to be played. Right now, though, we are playing good basketball."

Huntington never trailed against Edison and held the Chargers to a season-low 10 points in the first half. They also contained Edison's leading scorer, Dylan Garrity, who entered averaging 23 points per game, to a season-low five points.

The senior point guard, who became Edison's career assists leader earlier in the season, scored his only basket of the game on a long-range three-point shot that drew the Chargers to within 39-37 with 10 seconds remaining.

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