Cole's basket a title-winner



• Photo Gallery: Maranatha vs. Pacific Hills

• Slideshow: Maranatha vs. Pacific Hills

PASADENA - It was a game that was for all the marbles.

And one that Maranatha High School's boys basketball team didn't seem destined to win.

But like a magician, the Minutemen were able to pull a victory, and the Delphic League championship, out of a hat Thursday night.

Ronald Cole's short jumper off a rebound with 16 seconds left gave Maranatha a 52-51 come-from-behind win over defending CIF-Southern Section Division V-AA champion and top-ranked Pacific Hills.

"We knew that it was going to be a close game that came down to who makes the big plays down the stretch," Maranatha coach Doug Ravasdy said. "I thought that we let a bunch of opportunities get away but I think, down the stretch, that we wanted it a lot and it paid off for us."

The win gave the Minutemen (18-7, 7-1), the No. 3-ranked team, their second consecutive league crown.

"These guys are all juniors and seniors and have worked so hard, and they deserved it," Ravasdy said.

Maranatha guard Mark Elffers missed a jumper just inside the free-throw line. Cole dove in to grab the rebound, and put in the game-winner.

"I don't even know what was going through my mind," said Cole, who had six points. "Mark shot it, and I got the good position, and was able to put it up."

Pacific Hills (15-11, 6-2) defeated Maranatha 69-56 on Jan. 26 at Pilibos School, and led by as many as 10 points in the rematch.

But the Minutemen overcame a six-point deficit after three quarters by outscoring the Bruins 12-5 during the final eight minutes.

"They're a really good team, but we were able to come through in the second half and play our game," Cole said.

Maranatha won the game despite a dismal performance at the foul line.

Although they hit 4 of 6 in the fourth quarter, the Minutemen were just 9-for-21 at the line on the night.

"You know what's crazy is, I thought we had to play pretty close to perfect to win this game," Ravasdy said. "And I don't think we came very close to perfect today. We missed a lot of layups and a lot of free throws, and to still persevere and win shows that we have a lot of character, and that we're a team to be reckoned with."

Derrick Simms led Maranatha with 14 points. Anthony Morton scored 13 and Daniel Dingle had nine.

The Minutemen held last year's Division V-AA Player of the Year Derick Flowers to 11 points. Alex Osbourne led the Bruins with 12.

scott.galetti@sgvn.com

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 4456

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