A unique ending in the final second of overtime pushed No. 8 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) to its first California state title since 1981 with a 65-64 victory against No. 10 Mater Dei (Santa Ana).
The Dragons had lost their eight consecutive finals appearance since then. Mater Dei was attempting to win its fifth consecutive title and first without Stanley Johnson, now a 6-7 freshman at Arizona.
Dragons star Ivan Rabb was fouled as he attempted a five-footer with the game tied at 64-64 as time expired in the Open Division final. Officials determined he was fouled with 0.8 seconds left and put time back on the clock.
Rabb stepped to the line with the state title on the line and airballed the first free throw. He then made the second.
The Monarchs’ 60-foot heave at the buzzer fell short.
With the title game on Cal’s homecourt, there was speculation that Rabb would announce afterward that he would be joining the Bears. Cal is viewed as the front-runner over Arizona.
“I was planning on making it today, but I’m not sure right now,” Rabb told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I don’t want to rush into a decision. I think it’s coming very soon, though.
“I’m very heavily considering this school for sure, without a doubt. I want to make that clear. I still want to talk with my family, Make the right choice.”
Cal quarterback Jared Goff lended his support to Rabb on Twitter after the game.
Mater Dei had chances in regulation to win it. After O’Dowd’s Austin Parker tied the score at 58-58, La’Vette Parker missed a shot from the baseline. MJ Cage grabbed the rebound but his putback rolled off the rim.
According to the Orange County Register, an O’Dowd player might have signaled for a timeout that the Dragons did not have. That would have led to a technical foul but the officials did not see the signal.
Rabb finished with 19 points, including 13 in the second half, and had 21 rebounds. Paris Austin scored 21.
For Mater Dei, Notre Dame-bound Rex Pflueger had 19, KJ smith had 13 points and eight rebounds. Cage had nine points and 13 rebounds.