Hart High’s Renz Brual sank a 3-pointer. The Indians were up by four points in the fourth quarter, and it seemed as though the Hart Holiday Classic title was secured.
However, a series of successful Granada Hills Charter free throws said otherwise, as the Highlanders eventually defeated Hart 62-60 on Friday night at Hart High School.
The visiting team tied the Indians with a little over a minute remaining in regulation, sending a 55-all game into overtime. Each team took a turn drawing a penalty then sinking the ensuing free throws, but Granada Hills was able to sink a few more.
“We know we can be beat by anyone,” said Cory Sveiven, who led the Indians with 17 points. “It’s tough for us to just come in and we’re the top dog, and this team beat us and they definitely shouldn’t have, but it can happen. So it’s an awakener. We know we can be beat by anyone.”
The Indians came out with an early lead, but as the game wore on, they struggled to make baskets and trailed by eight at the end of the first quarter.
The team righted themselves by halftime, but still had difficulties against the Highlanders’ suffocating offense.
It took a physical and mental toll on Hart.
“They’re pretty good,” Sveiven said. “They like to double and really fluster everyone, but I had some stupid turnovers that should never have happened. They’re going to happen, but we’ve got to be mentally strong.”
The two teams met in early December in the Heritage Christian Tournament with a very different outcome. The Indians defeated Granada Hills 75-56.
“We’ve just got to bounce back strong,” Sveiven said. “We came in very light. We blew them out a couple weeks ago and we came in really weak. We can’t underestimate anyone because anything can happen.”