"I think we were a little more gassed [Tuesday] than Monday."
St. Francis (2-1) led only once against Chatsworth (5-1). The Golden Knights, who yielded the game's first 12 points, grabbed a 39-38 lead on a jump shot by junior guard Zack Gardea with 6:59 left in the third quarter.
The Chancellors owned a 57-45 advantage entering the fourth quarter. In fact, Chatsworth held a 67-57 lead with 40 seconds left when Gardea (game-high 23 points) made a three-pointer to cut it to 67-60.
Emerson Castaneda then connected on a three-pointer on the Golden Knights' ensuing possession to make it 67-63 with 19 seconds left.
Chatsworth saw Gardea register a steal and turn it into a basket to further cut the deficit to 67-65 with 15.1 seconds remaining.
However, a pair of free throws by Chatsworth's Derrick Hector and Terrell Funches, who finished with 22 points, in the closing seconds sealed the victory.
Gardea said the Golden Knights need to avoid falling behind quickly.
"It's never good to be trailing by double-digits just like that," said Gardea, who contributed seven rebounds and four assists. "We had [seven first-quarter turnovers] and they had good pressure going against us.
"We got flustered early, then we calmed down and started rolling. They play a fast-paced game and we had to try to slow it down to make a comeback."
St. Francis received 13 points from Castaneda, 10 from senior guard Greg Stratz and nine from senior guard Sevan Zarifian.
Chatsworth got 16 points from forward Jessie Hernandez and 14 points, eight assists and three steals from Hector.