HUNTINGTON BEACH – Going into Friday’s nonleague game between Marina and Edison, the Chargers had won 20 in a row over their crosstown rivals, Vikings coach Nick Racklin said.
The streak came to a dramatic end, as freshman guard Eric Hodgkins hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Marina a 56-55 victory that stunned the Chargers and their fans in the Edison High School gymnasium.
“He made five threes in our last game, so I know he can shoot the ball,” Racklin said of Hodgkins. “My assistants told me to sub him in and I did.”
Aiden Garnet had given the Chargers a two-point lead with five seconds remaining by sinking a pair of free throws.
After Racklin called a timeout, the Vikings (11-9) inbounded the ball from their end of the court.
Senior forward Jackob Alamudun, the Vikings’ top scorer, dribbled up the left side of the court, was double-teamed and threw a cross-court pass to Hodgkins, who had had missed one shot earlier in the game.
Hodgkins got a good look, and then put up a shot from well beyond the arc. The ball hit the backboard and fell through the hoop.
BUZZER BEATER Marina freshman Eric Hodgkins nailed a game winning 3-pointer to upset Edison 56-55 in tonight's Sunset Conference crossover game. @FoxSportsWest @CIFSS @MHSVikingNews @MarinaVikings @latsondheimer @ocvarsity @SteveFryer @mjszabo pic.twitter.com/VUw0hkWuAD
— Beverly Pham (@BeverlyPham) January 5, 2019
“I gave the ball to my best player and let him do what he had to do,” Racklin said of Alamudun’s decision to pass the ball rather than drive to the basket. “He’s become very unselfish this year and he passed that ball. That’s a testimony to how far he’s come.”
Since Alamudun made the pass through defenders, Hodgkins thought the play would result in a turnover.
“Next thing I knew it was in my hands,” Hodgkins said. “I knew there wasn’t much time left so I decided to put it up.”
The freshman said he wasn’t expecting to be put into the game for the final play.
“He called my name and I just decided to be ready for it,” Hodgkins said of Racklin putting him on the court for the final play. “I knew I might be open, but the plan for me was not to get the ball. It was a last resort.”
Marina led 19-13 when Alamudun committed his second foul early in the second quarter and he sat out for about four minutes of the period.
The Chargers (14-7) went on a 12-2 run with Alamadun on the bench, but the Mariners held the lead, 29-27, at halftime.
Ethan Barnella’s 3-pointer gave Marina a 53-48 lead with 3:30 remaining in the game.
But then the Vikings went scoreless for the next 3:25, enabling the Chargers to take the two-point lead prior to Hodgkins’ winning shot.
“We were playing from behind a lot of the night and that takes a lot of energy out of you,” Edison coach Rich Boyce said. “But when we took the lead, we thought we had a good shot. Congratulations to him (Hodgkins). He made the shot.”
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