Hillmen halted; Bruins stun Sonora
The Placer High boys proved they weren’t a typical No. 15 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs. But they couldn’t overcome Sierra big man Will Ward and his supporting cast of sharpshooters Wednesday night in Manteca.
Ward scored 19 points, including six straight during a decisive fourth-quarter run as the Timberwolves held off the Hillmen for a 61-45 win.
Placer (17-11) hung with the No. 2 seed the whole way and pulled within six points with less than four minutes to play. But Ward took over and the Hillmen went cold as Sierra moved on to face Los Banos in the second round on Thursday.
Junior Isaiah Pineiro led Placer with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Alec Knox also played well, scoring 13 to go with 11 boards. Junior Peter Kean finished with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
Guillermo Nunez and Tim Thornton scored 10 points apiece for Sierra (25-2).
“We really competed tonight,” Placer coach Mark Lee said. “I’m very proud of our guys. We came into a hostile environment and battled every possession. It was probably one of the most physical games we played all year and we contined to fight and scrap every step of the way. We gave it all we had and came up on the short end.”
Bear River 50, Sonora 47 at Sonora — The Bruins pulled off the biggest upset of the night, stunning the fourth-seeded Wildcats thanks to its junior inside presence and veteran backcourt.
Junior Justin Beskeen overcame the Wildcats’ formidable front line and scored 18 points while senior Trevor McGhee hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 14 to spark Bear River (12-14). Senior Jonny Cassar added 12 for the Bruins, who will take on No. 5 Calaveras on the road Friday night in the second round of the Division IV playoffs.
The Bruins led for most of the game and McGhee helped fend off the home team with a huge second half.
“The biggest thing was McGhee,” Bear River coach Duwaine Ganskie said. “He hit some big shots for us. He had four 3s in the second half. Sonora was a good team. They were formidable. But our guards played better than their guards and that was huge for us.”
Calaveras (18-8) finished second in the Mother Lode League with a 7-5 record.
Elliot Christian 65, Forest Lake 63 at Lodi — The Falcons fell a bucket short in their bid for an upset to open the Division V playoffs.
Forest Lake finished the season with a 16-12 record. The Falcons fell behind early, but battled back to take a 29-28 halftime lead. Elliot grabbed the lead in the third and held off Forest Lake to advance to Friday’s second round. The Eagles will play at Sacramento Waldorf.