By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Alec Raven scored a game-high 25 as host Montgomery defeated Casa Grande, 44-35, Friday night.
Both teams now advance to the North Bay League Tournament. No. 2 seed Montgomery will host No. 3 Ukiah while No. 4 Casa Grande travels to No. 1 Cardinal Newman.
The final score was deceiving as the Gauchos were only three points down with three minutes to go.
Casa’s game plan was to slow the game down on offense and the strategy worked. Montgomery led by only two points going to the fourth quarter.
Raven, a 6-foot-5 junior, scored 14 of his points in the first half. Noah Orlik added 10.
Sophomore Jon Christy was Casa’s top scorer with 11. Cetrick Yeanay had nine.
“I liked how hard we played,” Gauchos coach James Forni said. “Montgomery’s a very good team.”
The Vikings finished 12-2 in league and take a 21-6 record into the post season. Casa wound up 7-7 in league and 14-12 overall.