Boys Basketball: Sierra Canyon season comes to a close with one-point loss to St. Joseph of Santa Maria

Crazy ending ends Sierra Canyon season

By Jacob H. Pollon


The Sierra Canyon boys basketball team’s season came to a disappointing end Wednesday after a close 69-68 setback against St. Joseph of Santa Maria in an Open Division regional quarterfinal game.

The Trailblazers miraculously took a 68-67 lead thanks to an Ethan Johnson 3-pointer in the right corner with  under 8.5 seconds remaining.

Tounde Yessoufou had previously missed two free throws allowing Sierra Canyon a chance.

Confusion ensued after Johnson’s 3-pointer, multiple times. St. Joseph coach Tom Mott yelled for timeout right after Johnson’s 3-pointer went in. The game clock never stopped and went all the way to zero. Sierra Canyon players and fans seemingly thought the game could be over. The referees correctly put time on the clock, 5.3 seconds. The ball went through the hoop with about 6.5 seconds remaining.

St. Joseph used an out-of-bounds to out-of-bounds pass to setup their final play. The clock started early. Yessoufou caught the ball off-balance in front of the Sierra Canyon bench, 80 feet away from the basket. The referees correctly stopped the game and basically did a do-over with 5.3 seconds. The clock again hit zero, although the referees already whistled for a stop in action because the clock started on the out-of-bounds pass.

Yessoufou caught the ball, passed to Julious Price and as Price was going to shoot a wild, long 3-pointer, Mott called for timeout. Again, the clock ran to zero causing even more confusion.

The referees correctly put 2.1 seconds on the clock.

Yessoufou caught a pass from the right sideline, came down and popped right back up from 15-feet and made the shot at the buzzer giving the Knights a crazy 69-68 victory.

Sierra Canyon was stunned.

Yessoufou finished with 26 points and Price had 25 to lead St. Joseph.

Justin Pippen scored 18 points, Noah Williams scored 15 and Isaiah Elohim 12 to lead Sierra Canyon.

The Trailblazers led 37-30 at one point in the first half before enduring a crazy 17-2 run from the Knights.

Sierra Canyon trailed 47-39 before going ahead 62-57 but couldn’t close it out.

This is the first time Sierra Canyon will not be in a regional semifinal game since 2017.