Don Lugo can’t hold big lead

first_imgCHINO – Nate Ambrosio’s shot bounced off the rim and fell harmlessly into the arms of an opposing defender, who cradled the basketball until the last seconds disappeared off the clock. Photo Gallery: Don Lugo High School vs. Crescenta Valley Ambrosio’s face crinkled in disbelief. His Don Lugo teammates reacted with a mixture of shock and disappointment. This wasn’t the ending that nine Conquistadores seniors had in mind. Don Lugo fell 58-55 to Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta on Wednesday night in a CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA wild-card game. The home team held a nine-point lead late in the third quarter, but watched it slip away by the middle of the fourth quarter. Everything the Conquistadores did right in the first 22 minutes of the game was undone in the final 10. “We got away from our game, and the game got away from us,” Don Lugo coach Hue Hollins said woefully. It pained Hollins and his players to know that they could have – and probably should have – won the game. Don Lugo (11-18) wasn’t going to make the playoffs, but won a tiebreaker game against Montclair for the Mt. Baldy League’s final postseason berth Friday to secure its first playoff appearance in three years. center_img That momentum was supposed to carry over into a home game against the Falcons (14-15), where the senior-heavy Conquistadores could have at least one last hurrah before facing hungry fourth-seed Temecula Valley. “We should have beaten this team,” Hollins said. “Our records were almost even, but this was at home – and you have to take care of your business at home. “It’s a tough way for the seniors to go out, to be this close. But we got away from our game, and you can’t do that.” For most of the first three quarters, Crescenta Valley looked confused. Don Lugo’s defenders double-teamed Falcon ballhandlers, and created 27 turnovers in the process. But only three of those came in the fourth quarter and in the crucial part of the game. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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