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By Henry A. Barrios / The CalifornianGarces High's Rashaad Jackson goes up for a shot against a host of Hanford West defenders in their D ll Central Section Finals championship game Friday.
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By Henry A. Barrios / The CalifornianGarces High's Tim Pena splits 2 Hanford West defenders in the 1st half of their D ll Central Section Finals championship game Friday.
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By Henry A. Barrios / The CalifornianGarces High's Sheldon Croney keeps the ball inbounds against a tenacious Hanford West defense in their D ll Central Section Finals championship game Friday.
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By Henry A. Barrios / The CalifornianGarces High's Calvin Winkler battles with Hanford West's Josue Salaam in the 1st half of their D ll Central Section Finals championship game Friday.
BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
FRESNO -- Garces lost the battle of attrition Friday night in the Central Section Division II boys basketball championship game.
After the Rams and Hanford West each staged dramatic comebacks in regulation and the first overtime period, respectively, Hanford West held on for an 88-84 double-overtime win over the Rams in a wild one at Selland Arena.
"It was a great battle and Hanford West outlasted us," said Garces coach Gino Lacava. "It was anyone's ball game about 15 times."
Rashad Jackson had 34 points and 17 rebounds for Garces (20-9) before fouling out with eight seconds left in the first overtime period on the play that allowed Hanford West (18-12) to tie it.
Hanford West senior Josue Salaam had 35 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Huskies. His four-point play -- a long 3-pointer and a free throw when he was fouled on the play -- helped the Huskies rally from a 76-71 deficit in the final 1:06 of the first OT period.
Garces had rallied back at the end of regulation.
Down 67-61 with 1:24 left in regulation, the Rams got a break when the Huskies turned the ball over on consecutive possessions.
It was senior guard Tim Pena's layup with eight seconds left that tied it 67-67 to force overtime.
Pena finished with 21 points and Eric Parra scored 13 for Garces.
"It's heartbreaking to lose this my senior year," Pena said.
It was a back-and-forth game, which Lacava said he expected.
"It was one play after another for both of us," he said. "The way these teams played tonight, a 5- or 10-point lead didn't mean much. It was going to come down to who made the late run."
By the second overtime period, Garces' Jackson and Sheldon Croney had fouled out.
Salaam picked up his third and fourth fouls in the final minute of regulation but managed to avoid fouling out. Shooting guard Davon Edmund, who hit three key 3-pointers, and center Demario Carre also had four fouls but managed to avoid No. 5.
Garces had its chances to win. The Rams scored the final six points of regulation over the final 1:18 but missed two free throws during that stretch.
Croney also missed a layup in traffic at the end of the first overtime period that would have won it.
Hanford West pressured the Rams fullcourt throughout the game, and the Rams were hurt by 25 turnovers.
The Rams will find out Sunday if their season will continue in the Southern California playoffs.