Amanda Habel 8:46 p.m., Sept. 2
Francis Parker falls to talented Price in regional finals
Francis Parker guard Dalante Dunklin goes up for a shot between two Price defenders
Facing a squad that started three Division I recruits in the Division IV Regional Finals, Francis Parker had its state title hopes dashed. The Lancers kept up with talented Los Angeles Price for a half before falling 69-48 on Saturday at Ontario Colony High School.
“It’s rough to lose in the end like this, especially when you’re working on something that’s an accomplishment,” said Francis Parker guard Deon Randall. “You work all season for the section title, then southern California, then state and it’s a cold feeling coming up short.”
In the first half, second-seed Francis Parker stuck with Price despite a huge size disadvantage. The Lancers played nearly mistake-free basketball while forcing seven Knights turnovers, and trailed by five at the half.
“Our game plan was to not let them get second chance points, to stop them in transition – because they’re athletic – and just to play some good defense,” Randall said.
After an even start to the third quarter, Price used their transition game to slowly pull away from the Lancers. Price’s Montana State-bound point guard Casey Trujeque made a layup at the buzzer to give the Knights a 16-point advantage heading into the final quarter.
“They’re definitely an experienced team and it showed in the second half,” Randall said. “They knocked down some threes and we kind of struggled.”
Francis Parker couldn’t get any closer the rest of the way en route to a 21-point loss. Coming into the game, the Lancers had already made their deepest state run in school history.
“It’s has been great. We accomplished a lot of great things,” Randall said. “It sucks that it ends here, but we played our hearts out and a lot of success this year at Parker.”
Forward Allen Crabbe led Price with a game-high 25 points. Both Crabbe and teammate Richard Solomon will play basketball at California next year.
In a losing effort, guard Dalante Dunklin led Francis Parker with 18 points. Forward Eric Norman added 17, including four three-pointers.
“Things just didn’t go our way tonight,” Randall said. “The ball didn’t go in when we wanted to and we struggled a little bit defensively.”
Price – 69 (22-11-25-11)
Crabbe 25, Trujeque 13, Booker 11, Solomon 9, Spencer 5, Twiggs 3, Murray 2, Woods 1
Francis Parker – 48 (14-14-14-6)
Dunklin 18, Norman 17, Randall 7, Greenberg 3, Fitzner 2, Mitchell 1