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JSerra's DJ Rodman (#10) made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Mayfair in the championship game of the North O.C. Championships on Saturday, Dec. 8.
By Lou Ponsi
PUBLISHED OC REGISTER: December 9, 2018 at 12:24 am | UPDATED: December 9, 2018 at 2:33 am
LA HABRA – JSerra pulled off a miraculous play at the buzzer to defeat Mayfair of Lakewood, 63-62, in the final of the North Orange County Championships on Saturday night at Sonora High School.
With a half-second left, Justin Williams inbounded the ball to D.J. Rodman, who beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer from the right corner to keep the Lions (10-0) undefeated and hand the Monsoons (4-1) their first defeat of the season.
The Lions, who are ranked No. 15 in CIF-SS Division 1, held a slim lead through most of the fourth quarter, but fell behind 61-60 on a dunk by Josh Cristopher with 29.4 seconds left.
Christopher, who took control off the game with a 15-point fourth quarter and scored 38 for the game, was fouled on the play and hit the free throw to put the Monsoons ahead by two.
On the ensuing possession, Rodman put up a 3-point shot that was partially blocked. Kevin White grabbed the rebound and passed to Ian Martinez who missed on a 3-point shot from the top of the arc.
There was a mad scramble for the ball and then a jump ball was called with a half-second left and the possession arrow favoring the Lions.
Rodman finished with 29 points, with 21 coming in the first half.
Rodman scored five points in the third and had been scoreless in the fourth before hitting the winning shot.
"In practice, we ran that same exact scenario," Rodman said. "I think we did three days in a row of straight scenario practices and every single time, I'd hit that shot. I wasn't nervous. I was really confident going into that shot."
The Lions had escaped with a 48-47 victory over La Habra on Friday but faced a bigger test going against Christopher and the Monsoons, who are ranked No. 14 in Division 2AA.
Christopher faced double- and triple-teams nearly every time he touched the ball but still managed to score and get to the free throw line.
The junior guard hit five 3-pointers and was 7 for 8 from the free throw line.
"It shows us what we can go through and still win a game," Rodman said of the victory. "It was a good win for us. We showed that we are a team who can deal with the hype around people.
"It was just fun to play against (Christopher) because I'm going to play against that at the next level and see that in every single game."