The Hoover Cardinals earned their seventh trip in 10 years to the San Diego Section finals last night, overcoming the deep and long San Marcos Knights, 68-63.
After leading 3-0 at the outset Hoover did not take the lead again until the fourth quarter.
A turnout of about 1,200 rocked the East San Diegans’ 77-year-old gymnasium, with encouragement from coach Ollie Goulston, who exhorted the mostly Hoover crowd to turn up the already piercing volume.
The Cardinals lagged throughout, trailing 13-8, 20-11, and 30-21 at the end of two quarters. Their shots began to fall in the second half, although Hoover still trailed, 43-35 late in the third quarter.
Damonte Holiday, who at one point in the fourth quarter had to be helped off the floor, apparently felled by cramps, fired a 27-point fourth quarter which put away the visitors.
Goulston’s youngsters, including four underclassmen in the starting lineup, were a measure of balance. Miles Nolen-Webb led with 17 points, followed by Holliday (16), Tyrone Johnson (14) and Dominique Whitfield (11).
Freshman Johnny McWilliams, Jr. led San Marcos (26-6) with 16. The Knights play Lincoln Thursday night in the Southern California playoffs “play-in” game.