Keeping a cool head is essential when the outcome hangs in the balance. Renaissance Academy’s Anthony Cost approached the free-throw line and less than six seconds remained.
In a steady and calm fashion, the French-native point guard sank two from the charity stripe as the Wildcats held off Ribet Academy last Friday evening, 56-53, in a Harbor League boys’ basketball contest.
The win gave Renaissance the league title and a trip to the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
The Wildcats and Brethren Christian were ranked No. 5 in the Division 5-A poll, and are 20-6 overall, 8-0 in league, and have beaten the Frogs twice this season.
Cost, a senior, scored 11 points, and added a game-best 10 assists, with three steals and two free throws that cemented the victory.
“I like to do whatever I can to help my teammates, and for us to win,’’ Cost said.”If I can give them assists, then I’m doing my job.”
Cost added: “I’m glad we were able to win the league, but now we have to get ready for the playoffs.”
A hoop by Gerrick Uneau pushed the Wildcats’ lead to 54-47 with 1:37 left in the fourth quarter.
The host Frogs (15-12 and 6-2 in league) went on a 6-0 spurt and closed within one point when King Brown drilled a three-point shot and 41 seconds left.
It was Cost’s three-pointer that gave the Wildcats, who have won 15 straight, a 50-42 lead with 4:10 showing in the final stanza.
Cost’s six second-half assists stood out, and his play helped Renaissance build a 31-28 halftime lead.
Renaissance had steady outings from Jess Cantinol, who dropped in 17 points, Nick Troplant, who had three steals and nine points, and Troy Fontanilla, who tallied eight points.
On the same day, the Glendale High boys’ hoop squad also qualified for the postseason by finishing fourth in the Pacific League.
Actually, the Nitros (12-14) were locked in a three-way tie with Burbank (16-11) and Muir (14-10), with all three having a 7-7 league record.
In the past, a coin flip has determined the order, but this time each team’s record versus the others would dictate the standings.
The Mustangs went 3-1 for third, the Nitros 2-2 for fourth, and the Bulldogs 1-3 for fifth.