It came down to the bitter end between two top-five teams.
Jose Ponciano’s desperation shot from halfcourt at the buzzer fell a couple inches short, giving No. 5 Seaside the 64-63 victory over No. 2 Newport at Spangler Court on Friday, Jan. 5.
The defending state-champions made just enough plays on the defensive end to pester the Cubs.
“(Seaside was) in rhythm offensively and took us out of rhythm offensively,” said head coach Doug Sain. “I thought there was a couple stretch in each half where that happened. Long-term, it’s good for us to be in those tight games, in those situations. It’s good for us coaches.
“There’s a little bit of regret, but that’s part of every one-point loss.”
A one-point loss didn’t appear to be a likely outcome through the first three quarters of the game. Despite knocking down three three-point baskets in the first quarter, the Cubs trailed Seaside 15-13. The Seagulls would only build on that lead.
Each time Newport cut into the deficit, Seaside would respond to keep a multi-possession lead. Entering the fourth quarter, the Cubs trailed by seven.
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