Center’s final surge sinks the Hillmen
In a game that featured several long scoring runs by each team, Center had the final, decisive streak Tuesday night at Earl Crabbe Gym.
The defending Pioneer Valley League champions snapped a two-game losing skid with a 64-54 win over Placer, which saw its postseason hopes take a hit. The Hillmen fell to 2-4 in the PVL and 15-8 overall.
The Cougars (4-2, 16-6) held a shaky 51-49 lead after Isaiah Pineiro’s putback for Placer with four minutes left in the game. But the visitors were sharp down the stretch as they went on a 9-0 run to put the game away.
Cody Riggs’ jumper in the final minute ended the run, but it was too late for Placer.
Riggs was crowded by Center guard Marcus Horton all night. The Placer sharpshooter finished with 14 points.
Pineiro had a huge night on the glass. He grabbed 21 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end, to go with a game-high 18 points. Pineiro also had five blocks on defense.
Placer battled back with a 10-2 run in the second quarter to take a 20-18 lead, but it was short-lived. Center answered with seven straight points to take the lead back. The Cougars led 27-25 at the half.
The Cougars threatened to pull away in the third, but the Hillmen used a quick -0 run to take the lead again. Placer led 43-40 before Dillon Walker banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter.
Senior Myles Hunter scored 15 points to lead Center, which played without star senior Christopher Smith, who missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle.
Peter Kean scored eight for Placer, which will visit rival Colfax on Thursday. The Hillmen were No. 14 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III power ratings released Monday. The top 16 teams at the end of the season will make the postseason.
Bear River 56, Lincoln 39 at Lincoln — The Bruins stretched their win streak to three games with an impressive performance on the road.
Junior Justin Beskeen scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and added six steals as Bear River improved to 3-3 in the Pioneer Valley League. The Bruins trailed 23-20 at the half, but dominated the second half, outscoring the Zebras 36-16.
Jonny Cassar scored 15 and Trevor McGhee added 12 for Bear River, which was 14th in the Division IV power ratings to start the week.
Foothill 65, Colfax 47 at Colfax — The Mustangs raced out to a 23-10 lead after one quarter and never looked back as the Falcons dropped to 0-6 in the PVL.
Matt Larsen scored 12 to pace Colfax while Will Buell added seven. Kelly Bender scored 14 to lead Foothill (6-0 PVL).