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Grand finish for Mariposa boys

LE GRAND -- Trace DeSandres can't wait to play Le Grand again.

Two weeks should be enough time to let the sweat dry from the hair and shirt of the Mariposa coach.

DeSandres had plenty to sweat about on Tuesday night as he watched Mariposa pull out a 64-58 thriller in double overtime against Le Grand in the first of three matchups this season between the Southern League's top two teams.

"Oh boy!" DeSandres said. "They're all going to be barnburners. You can just see it.

"I'm looking forward to it As hard as it is, that's what this is all about."

Mariposa (4-0 SL, 11-5 overall) overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force the first overtime.

DeSandres' boys did it with patience.

Mariposa pounded the ball into its 6-foot-6 center Cody Wichmann.

The junior finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Le Grand center Ian Thompson helped counter Wichmann's effort with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Wichmann scored 13 of his points in the second half.

"We kept telling our guys, 'Look, if you pass the ball three or four times, Wichmann will get open in the lane,' " DeSandres said.

"When we decided to do that, Cody found some space and he started converting."

Mariposa used an 11-0 run to take a 41-40 lead with 3:05 left in regulation.

"We hit a dry spell for a little bit," said Le Grand coach Raul Alvarez, whose team dropped to 3-1 and 9-2.

"We stopped attacking and that changed the game."

The lead changed hands down the stretch before LG's Zach Moreno hit a free throw to tie the game at 45-45 with 31 seconds left.

Le Grand's Noel Rojas hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the first overtime only to see Mariposa fight back again to tie the game at 53-53.

Mariposa's guards were the difference in the second overtime.

Frankie Pena, Jarrett Miller and Hank Northrop all came up with big plays to finally put Mariposa out in front.

"Le Grand has been our rival as long as I can remember," Wichmann said.

"It's a great feeling to get out of this place with a win."