With his back to the goal, Nunez passed back to Salazar as he set up for a shot from about 10 yards out. But Salazar faked the shot and passed back to a streaking Nunez, who cruised around a defender and beat La Quinta goalie Christian Galicia for a 1-0 lead. The Blackhawks had plenty of scoring opportunities in the first half but failed to convert until tying it early in the second half. Brian Langner sent a booming shot from 20 yards out that deflected off a group of players in front of the net and past Baldwin Park goalkeeper Albert Torres to even the score at 1-1. It was the only serious mistake the Braves’ defense made until the deciding goal”I have four great defenders who know what to do,” Mira said. “It’s just that we’re a short team and the height was not to our advantage.” good protection for Torres, who finished with with 11 saves. Flores had multiple scoring opportunities at the end of the second half and into the overtime periods, and Salazar also had a breakaway opportunity with one minute remaining in the second overtime, but neither player finished. “We knew we had a good opportunity to score, we just missed,” Mira said. “We missed the opportunities we had and (La Quinta) scored that one.” That one goal wasn’t one of the better looks the Blackhawks got, but Nadler was not complaining. “That goal wasn’t a pretty goal, but it counted,” he said. , and Mira praised the defensive effort against a much bigger La Quinta squad. Mira cited senior Jerry Flores as one of the biggest defensive contributors. Flores, along with the rest of the Braves’ defense, provided [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It’s a tough loss.” But the Braves (19-6-2) had more than just those three opportunities earlier in overtime. So did the Blackhawks, in fact. La Quinta (22-5-2) totaled 23 shots to Baldwin Park’s 15, and it seemed almost every one of those 38 shots had a chance to reach the back of the net. The Blackhawks even had two shots ring off the crossbar during the first half. “This could have gone either way,” La Quinta coach Gary Nadler said. “We shot back and forth, back and forth during stretches and Baldwin Park played wonderfully. They were tough.” The Braves got on the board first in the 18th minute on a beautifully executed play by junior Juan Carlos Nunez and senior Aaron Salazar. LA PUENTE – Through 120 grueling minutes of soccer, the Baldwin Park High School boys had plenty of opportunities to clinch a victory over La Quinta in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division IV semifinals at La Puente. But soccer is a game of inches, and unfortunately for the Braves, the Blackhawks were the first to find enough room to squeeze in the one goal needed for a berth in the division final. With the scored tied 1-1 since the opening minutes of the second half, Chris Alderete’s free kick found John Espejo, who knocked in the game-winning goal from right in front of the net with just seconds left in the fourth overtime period to lift La Quinta to a stunning 2-1 victory. “It’s tough knowing we had them in the first overtime,” Baldwin Park coach Ricardo Mira said. “We had three clear opportunities.