Four technical fours were handed out, with two going to La Canada coach Tom Hofman, one to Malik and the other to Mission Bay’s Demsas Tsegai, who was ejected in the fourth quarter after punching his own teammate. “This game was as physical as they come,” Malik said. “We got a little bit out of control for a while, but I’m proud with the way we responded. We stayed under control in the second half even without our coach.” “As far as the scoring goes, I just play the game. If the team needs me to score 40 points to win, then that’s what I’m going to try and do.” While Malik’s third-quarter trey gave the Spartans their first lead since the opening minutes, third-seeded Mission Bay (24-7) took a 55-54 lead with 4:25 left on a layup by James Hancock. The 6-foot-6 wing scored a team-high 22 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, to keep the Buccaneers close. Malik responded with a layup to put La Canada ahead 56-55 with three minutes left, when Tsegai committed his technical foul. Malik made both of the ensuing free throws, and La Canada never trailed again. LA CANADA – Adam Malik let out a scream as he high-stepped up the court after hitting a 3-pointer Saturday night, one hand high in the air and the other beating the No.11 on the front of his jersey. The 6-foot-7 La Canada boys’ basketball standout had grimaced as his coach was ejected in the second quarter. He scowled when the Spartans fell behind by 11 points going into halftime. But his 3-pointer from the right wing with 56 seconds remaining in the third quarter gave the Spartans their first second-half lead, and La Canada held on for a 65-58 victory over Mission Bay of San Diego in an intensely fought CIF state Div. III regional semifinal at La Canada High. Malik finished with a career-high 43 points, including seven 3-pointers, and his trey in the waning moments of the third quarter put La Canada ahead 47-45. Malik scored 25points and hit four 3-pointers in the second half for second-seeded LaCanada (30-3), which advances to face either top-seed Artesia of Lakewood or No. 5-seed Twentynine Palms in the Div. III regional final Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. “Adam is the best athlete I’ve ever played with,” said La Canada point guard Darren Ho, who contributed 10 points, including a pivotal 3-pointer in the fourth. “What he did tonight was amazing, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score 70. “Things got pretty scary there for a second, and Adam bailed us out.” Mission Bay threatened to run away with the game in the opening minutes, jumping out to a 12-3 lead with 5:15 remaining in the first quarter on a pair of technical free throws by Isaac Parham. The senior guard was awarded the shots when Hofman argued a foul called on LaCanada guard Ho, which resulted in a 3-point play by Hancock. La Canada responded to tie the score at 23-23 a minute into the second half on a 3-pointer from the left corner by Jackson Ridd, but that momentum was stymied when Hofman was ejected with 4:04 left after drawing his second technical foul. Hofman was charged with the technical for arguing a blocking foul on Ho and given 30 seconds to exit the court. A raucous scene ensued, as LaCanada fans hurled insults at the referees from the remainder of the game, particularly when the Spartans went into halftime trailing 40-29. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!