The St. Francis High basketball player found himself involved on both ends of the court in overtime and had enough energy to finish a daunting task.
Ibarra made a game-winning three-point shot with five seconds remaining and then blocked a shot on the ensuing possession to lift St. Francis to a 62-60 victory against Hoover on Thursday in the Glendale Community College Classic summer league.
Ibarra said everything happened so quickly and had no time to celebrate his shot.
“So much happened right there,” said Ibarra, who finished with 18 points, including all seven of St. Francis’ points in the two-minute overtime session. “I saw the shot go in and then I had to run back to get on defense and make a stop because you never know what’s going to happen.
“It was quite a series of plays that happened so fast. It was great to hit the shot, but it was important to get back and make the block.”
Hoover and St. Francis were tied at 55 following 40 minutes of regulation. The Tornadoes got a basket from Chris Sarkissian to take a 57-55 lead with 1:40 remaining. Ibarra knotted it at 57 on the ensuing possession and then scored on a layup with 38 seconds to go to give the Golden Knights a 59-57 advantage.
Argin Sarkissian then made a three-pointer to give Hoover a 60-59 lead with 24 seconds remaining before Ibarra made the game-winning shot.
St. Francis co-Coach Ray O’Brien, who, along with Jeff Stephens, piloted the Golden Knights to the CIF Southern Section Division III-A championship contest last season before reaching the second round of the state tournament, said Ibarra might be an important piece to the Golden Knights next season.
“He’s a tenacious rebounder and defender and you saw that on the last play with the block,” O’Brien said. “He seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
“He’s been doing a lot of good things. We needed to make some shots and he came through in the overtime.”
St. Francis received a game-high 21 points from Michael Allen. The Golden Knights participated without John Carroll and Kyle Leufroy, the reigning All-Area Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year, because of previous engagements.
Hoover knotted the game at 55 on a basket by Chris Sarkissian with 1:15 left in the second half. Chris Sarkissian finished with 14 points for the Tornadoes, who received 16 from Argin Sarkissian and 11 from Kevin Nazari, who made a short jumper to give Hoover a 49-47 lead with 4:59 to go in the second half.
Chris Sarkissian wrapped up the first half with a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Tornadoes a 28-25 lead.
Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten said the Tornadoes did some things well.
“We were able to execute in a lot of different areas for most of the game,” said Van Patten, whose team then fell, 57-55, in double overtime to Pacific League-rival Burroughs following the St. Francis game. “That was a good game and there are things you can take from it and learn.”
Hoover will compete in a pair of games Friday at GCC. The Tornadoes will meet L.A. Marshall at 2 p.m. and Grant at 3:15.
St. Francis will face Burroughs at 4:30 p.m.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .