The Indians Played Like a Bulldog, Ayala Had More Heart
Saturday night the Ayala Bulldogs hosted the Hart Indians in the second round of the CIF State Tournament. After last Wednesday’s win over West, I had ask Ayala’s Head Coach John Mounce what we might expect or what could he tell us about Hart. As always, coach laid it on about just how good his next opponent was and how worried he is and how they play some pretty good teams this year. Well next time, I guess I need to not assume it’s the same old generic coach talk. In hindsight, coach Mounce was pretty much on point (Like Always).
For those that think the only ball being played in town is over at Chino Hills High School, they really missed a good one Saturday night. The ninth seed, in Division Three, South CIF State Bracket Hart from Newhall came to play. Hart immediately established an outside shooting game. By staying on the perimeter, It allowed their defense to get back quick enough to prevent Ayala’s big man John Edgar to have his normal fast break dominate reign over the hoop. However, Edgar had six of the Bulldogs fourteen points in the first quarter. It was that the regular flashy game of Edgar’s usually includes a handful of dunks and sick lay-ups which helps raise Ayala’s entire level of play. That roll Saturday fell on the more than capable shoulders of Austen Awosika. To be honest the pace and tempo of the game was in the hands of the Indians most of the night.
Hart’s three point shot attack was relentless. With four in the first quarter and five more in the second quarter. Five of those coming from Hart’s Chad Donaho. Donaho would go on to lead all scoring for the night with 27 points. Hitting eight of the twelve three points shots and went three for six from the line. Hart would lead by as much as ten points mid way through the second quarter 31-21. At that point (3:40) Coach Mounce of Ayala called for a full time out. They would trim the Hart lead to six by the half 32-38.
The second half would see Ayala make an adjustment that would slow the three point attack by half. The third quarter would see Ayala out score Hart 16-14 by holdings the Indians to two three pointers and maximizing their time at the free-throw line, by going seven for seven. The fourth. No let me try it again THE FOURTH was some quarter! The fourth would see seven time outs. It would see 23 shots from the line of which 17 were converted. Five more three point shots made. It would see both coaches get technicals for walking on the court(the first Technical foul called on Coach Mounce in his six years at Ayala). It saw a defensive change that probable was the difference in the game. To explain, it was when Austen Awosika took over the responsibility of guarding Donaho and attempt to own the three point world. In the previous three quarters Donaho had made six of eight, but in the fourth Austen Awosika held him to two of four. Austen also lead Ayala’s attack for the night by owning the offensive lane. He would lead the Bulldogs scoring for the night with 23 points. Consisting of one three point basket, eight two point basket and four from the line, with three of those being continuation baskets to complete the three point opportunity.
The game would be played out to the end, by the two coaches masterfully strategizing like two chess masters using each piece on the hardwood to its unique strength. Each wanting to be the one to make the last and winning move. Each recalculating with each time out. The time outs would come after every two or three baskets that were made. With the score 76-73 Ayala, Hart’s Whitten Dominguez was going to the line to shoot two. Hart’s coach Tom Kelly had made the call after the first basket was good, to intentionally miss the second shot in hope of a rebound and a chance to tie or win the game. But, the plan failed to produce the desired results. As the rebound was made by John Edgar with less than two seconds on the clock. He somehow evaded the attempt to foul him and ended up horizontal on the floor as time ran out. John had also contributed with 20 points on the night. to help with the Bulldog victory over Hart 76 74.
The Bulldog will host Oak Park from the Agoura Hills area. On Tuesday at 7pm.
Thats How I See It