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Placer shines in extra time

Riggs puts up another gem as Hillmen survive two OTs for third place
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Placer High didn’t win the Kendall Arnett Tournament title Friday night. But after packing four overtimes and two memorable wins into the three-day event, senior Cody Riggs was all smiles. “I’m a little tired, but it was a really fun tournament,” Riggs said after the Hillmen outlasted Nevada Union for a 66-64 win in the third place game. “We lost last night, so we wanted to come out tonight with a lot of energy.” Riggs had the Placer fans chanting his name after another signature performance following a 35-point explosion in the tournament opener. He poured in 29 points Friday, including seven in the second overtime. His 3-pointer with 55 seconds left put the game out of reach. Riggs’ big shots ended a battle of attrition that included two players from each team fouling out. The Miners had built a 45-40 lead going into the fourth quarter before Placer roared back to take the lead with less than two minutes left. Nevada Union junior Ian Davis’ two free throws tied the game at 53-53 with 30 seconds left. Riggs nearly won it, but his tough double-clutch shot in the lane rolled off the rim and the game went to overtime. Placer had another shot to win in OT as Peter Kean delivered a nice alley-oop pass to Isaiah Pineiro. But the junior came up short on his attempt and the teams played four more minutes. “We played much better tonight, much more within ourselves,” Placer coach Mark Lee said. “It was fun because we were executing and we were communicating on defense.” Placer’s supporting cast struggled in Thursday’s loss to Woodcreek, but the Hillmen got significant contributions from all eight players that saw time Friday night. There were Kean and Michael McNamara scoring seven points apiece and coming up big in the second half. Andrew Dahlin played key minutes and added five points. Cedric King chipped in four points and soared for a rebound in the second overtime to help seal the win. “We had Isaiah out there with four guards and Cedric got way up there to get that rebound,” Lee said. Pineiro held his own against the Miners’ impressive big men. He was limited to 11 points on the offensive end, but he pulled down 13 rebounds and blocked two shots. “Isaiah played really well,” Riggs said of his fellow all-tournament selection. “He worked hard.” Samuel Barber – Nevada Union’s 6-6 senior – scored 14 points and senior Alex Ward added 12. Placer (11-3) finished third for the fourth time in as many tournaments in December. Lee said the Kendall Arnett performance will give his team confidence going forward, but more importantly, a truly memorable three days at the state’s oldest high school basketball tournament. “They’ll take some great memories with two double-overtime wins,” Lee said. “They’ll remember this their whole lives.” Placer will be back on the court at Earl Crabbe Gym on Friday, hosting Marysville in a non-league contest.