With Peninsula clinging to a three-point lead late in a Bay League boys basketball showdown with Palos Verdes, the Panthers’ Caleb Hall came through with his biggest shot of the season Tuesday night.
Hall took a pass from Troy Simpkins and made a 3-pointer from the corner to extend his team’s lead, and the Panthers held on for a 48-40 victory.
“(Palos Verdes) was making a run, and I just felt like we needed points,” Hall said. “It was a great pass from (Simpkins).”
Palos Verdes (14-5, 3-2) opened the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run that turned a 34-26 deficit into a three-point game.
Peninsula coach Ryan Quinlan said Hall’s clutch shot was something he’d been anticipating all season.
“This was one of (Hall’s) better games, and it’s great to see him shoot well,” Quinlan said. “I hope a game like this gives him confidence moving forward.”
Hall came up big in the second quarter. The 6-foot-5 forward opened the scoring with a layup and hit a 3-pointer with 1:07 left in the period to help Peninsula (15-8, 3-2) take a 20-15 lead.
Hall scored seven of his team-high 17 points in the second quarter.
The Sea Kings set the tone at the outset. Blake D’Angelo and Dane Dawson combined to scored 10 of PV’s 12 points, and Dawson’s layup with two minutes to play in the opening quarter put the Sea Kings up 12-9.
D’Angelo finished with 14 points, while Dawson added nine.
The Sea Kings’ problems at the free-throw line hurt them in the second quarter. PV was 1 of 7 from the free-throw line in the second quarter and finished the contest went 7 of 18.
“When you know you could have won this game, (missing those free throws) plays into the mental part of it,” Palos Verdes junior guard Elijah Simpson said. “Missing free throws has been a big thing in all of our losses, and we need to work on those in practice.”
Simpson, who finished with 10 points, played a key role in keeping PV within striking distance. He hit a 3-pointer early in the second quarter to trim PV’s deficit to six, and with 50.8 seconds to play, his 3-pointer made it 43-37.
D’Angelo made a layup after Dawson came up with a steal on an inbound play, helping make it a four-point game, but PV was unable to hit its shots down the stretch.
“(Peninsula’s) defense didn’t really bother us, we just didn’t make our shots,” Simpson said. “We played our game right, we just couldn’t get the ball in the hole.”
Peninsula was able to hit its free throws down the stretch, going 7 for 8, and Luke Frasso secured the victory with 2.4 seconds to play.
Frasso finished with 13 points, while JD Plough added 11.