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Boys' Basketball: Barons can't keep up with Inglewood

Fountain Valley ends its season with first-round loss in CIF Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs Friday night.

February 16, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Scott Smeltzer…)

FOUNTAIN VALLEY — Roger Holmes figured his Fountain Valley High boys' basketball team would face, as the veteran coach put it Monday, a "monumental task," when the Barons faced Inglewood Friday.

What awaited the Sunset League champions in the opening round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs was a seasoned Inglewood team. The Sentinels won the Division 2AA title a year ago before moving up two divisions for the 2012-13 season. They also returned all five starters from that title-winning team. If Friday was any indication, they could have a say in who takes the 1AA crown.

Inglewood's height advantage was evident throughout the game and Fountain Valley had no answer for it. It was a tough first-round draw for the Barons, who saw their season come to an end in a 72-43 loss on their home floor.

Fountain Valley held its last lead of the game at 10-9, and that came on a layup by senior center Jackson Gatlin with 39 seconds left in the opening quarter.

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"We had to shoot really well tonight in order to keep this game close," Holmes said. "They are so athletic and they dominated with their height advantage. We like to penetrate, which is when we're at our best, but they took that away from us.

"We haven't shot well since the second half of Sunset League play, and we didn't shoot well tonight."

Fountain Valley suffered through scoring lapses over the final three quarters that allowed the Sentinels to steadily increase their lead. The Barons were only three of 18 from three-point range and one of their makes came on a buzzer-beating bank shot by senior guard Josh Armstrong that pulled the Barons to within 32-21 at the half. They hit their second attempt from the arc but missed their next seven tries.

Holmes said that his team shot just 18% during the 10-game Sunset League season.

"This game had the potential to do exactly what it did," he said. "We needed to shoot well, and we didn't. They didn't shoot all that well, either, but they had 12-15 offensive rebounds in the first half, alone, and scored on a lot of follow-up shots."

Inglewood, the No. 12 seed in the division, featured a lineup that included 6-foot-10 senior center Charlie Lockwood, 6-7 senior forwards Nicholas Smiley and Jamin Lackey, 6-5 senior wing Kristopher Randall, and 6-0 shooting guard Brandon Randolph who has signed with Xavier. Smiley was the Division 2AA Player of the Year last year.

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