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Loss leaves Portland Lutheran crying foul


The Blue Jays miss on a couple chances in the closing seconds, fall in league to SW Christian

by: THE OUTLOOK: PARKER LEE - Portland Lutherans Matt Risser looks to go up to the hoop during Tuesdays loss to SW Christian.

Nobody was surprised when it came down to the final play. Portland Lutheran and Southwest Christian both jockeyed for a leg up all game, but neither team could pull away. In the second half, neither squad led by more than one possession. In the end, Portland Lutheran came up one basket short, losing to the Wildcats 48-46.

When the game was tied for the 11th time with less than a minute remaining, Southwest Christian’s Patrick Contino put the Wildcats in front with an easy layup. The Blue Jays quickly advanced the ball past half court and called their final timeout with 9.8 seconds on the clock.

Portland Lutheran coach Chad Rush drew up an isolation play for junior forward Jonathan Parrish, who led the team with 17 points.

When Parrish was about eight feet from the hoop, he took one final dribble and, just as planned, he received heavy contact from three Southwest Christian players. Parrish slammed into the floor, the whistle sounded and the Portland Lutheran faithful jumped to their feet in celebration.

To the Blue Jays’ astonishment, the referee did not call the foul. Instead, the official signaled that Parrish had traveled and awarded possession to Southwest Christian.

Rush clearly vocalized to that official what every Portland Lutheran fan was thinking.

“It is unbelievable that you decided this game,” Rush said to the official, and everyone in the arena. “This is supposed to be about the players, and you made it about you.”

Rush’s plea went unheard and the call stood.

Look for extended game coverage, along with a recap of the girls game, in the Friday, Jan. 11, print edition.