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For Hoover, a season that began with state title aspirations will end without one. Facing Compton in the second round of the Division II state playoffs on Thursday night, the Cardinals didn’t play a complete game, losing 69-53.

“We just weren’t together on the same page for the whole game,” said Hoover head coach Ollie Goulston. “By the time we decided to do that it’s too little too late. You can’t do that against good teams.”

Down two midway through the second quarter, fourth-seed Hoover (27-7) only scored two points for the rest of the quarter and trailed fifth-seed Compton 30-19 at the half. The Cardinals were still down 11 in the third quarter when guard Terrence Ingram sparked a 6-0 run to get them back in the game.

With 1:15 left in the third quarter, Hoover guard Chris Jones made a layup to make it a four-point game. But Compton (20-14) closed out the quarter with consecutive transition buckets to give the Tarbabes a 48-40 lead headed into the fourth.

“Instead of digging in defensively we just had some mental mistakes,” Goulston said. “You fight back to get it in and then you make mistakes and good teams take advantage of that.”

Compton scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to take the life out of a Hoover comeback. After the Tarbabes’ run, the Cardinals never got closer than 11 on their way to a disappointing 16-point defeat.

“All season long we fought together and the last week we didn’t fight together,” Goulston said. “We’re disappointed and we’ll be disappointed for another year until we get another chance to play for the championship.”

Similar to their section finals loss against Lincoln on March 6, Hoover played well in stretches against Compton, but looked out of sync for most of the game. And the Cardinals lapses were simply too much to overcome.

“I’m not convinced they were a better team than us. In stages they were on the on the same page and ultimately we weren’t,” Goulston said. “At the wrong time all season long we’ve had maturity issues.”

Ingram led Hoover with 15 points and center Angelo Chol added 10. Chol faced different defenses nearly every possession and ended up without a point in the fourth quarter.

“It’s nothing that we haven’t seen all year. They had a lot of big bodies they could throw at Angelo,” Goulston said. “When you have more than two big bodies in a zone that makes it tough and if we don’t shoot well we can’t change the pace and we didn’t shoot well.”

Guard Allan Guei led Compton with 20 points and was one of three Tarbabes in double figures. Compton bussed down students for the game, and their boisterous cheering section filled half of Hoover’s upper seating section and made themselves heard throughout the game.

“It cost money to get them out here,” said Compton coach Tony Thomas. “It was almost a home game for us.”

Compton – 69 (14-16-18-21)

Guei 20, Hill 15, Sims 13, January 6, Black 3 (starters) Lewis 6, Kellum 2, Thomas 2, Lanier 2

Hoover – 53 (11-8-21-13)

Ingram 15, Chol 10, Wells 9, Ndiaye 8, Moore 0 (starters) Jones 7, Lathan 4


Hoover guard O.C. Basey puts up an acrobatic shot around Compton forward Shelton Black

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