SCL boys basketball: Piner dashes Analy’s shot at perfect league season

By ALLIE COLOSKY
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Down by a basket with six seconds remaining, Keith Adams pulled up and released the 3-pointer that sank the hopes of the Analy High boys’ basketball team for a perfect league season.

“My teammate set a great screen, we ran a great play and it was a great pass,” Adams said. “I just hit the shot that they gave to me.”

Piner beat the recently crowned conference winners, 52-51 and handed the Tigers the first loss of the season Thursday in the Sonoma County League finale for both teams.

“He (Adams) said in the huddle that he wanted the ball so we made the play to get him the shot,” Piner head coach Mike Erickson said of the final play.

The Tigers had one last shot but it hit off the rim as Piner fans spilled onto the court.

Analy finishes 11-1 in the SCL and drops to 18-8 overall. The Tigers have lost two straight, falling in nonleague action to Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove), 63-55, on Tuesday. Piner ends 9-2 league and improves to 15-9.

“This was the win that we wanted in the end,” Adams said. “We felt like we had to give them back what they gave us.”

Analy beat Piner 49-47 earlier. The showdown lured a loud crowd to the Santa Rosa gym.

The Prospectors jumped out to a 12-2 lead as the Tigers struggled to find their offense in front of a roaring Piner crowd.

“They rocked us in the first half,” Analy head coach Brett Page said. “Then, we didn’t make the plays down the stretch.”

Adams led the Prospectors in the first half, scoring nine of his 19 total points. Three-pointers from Adams, Nebi Gedlu, Justin Cervantes, and Jordan Williams kept Piner in the lead.

“We knew they’d be ready to play,” Piner head coach Mike Erickson said. “There are times that it could have unraveled, but we kept our poise and composure.”

The Prospectors continued to hit the outside shot as they pushed their lead to 28-26.

A big first-half effort from Chance Ortega brought Analy within two points. Theo Avila and Malcolm Jenkins helped the Tigers keep pace heading into halftime. As the Tigers got more comfortable, Page said, the offensive plays continued to come together.

Malcom Jenkins led the Tigers with 20 points, including one fadeaway and a free throw that gave Analy the lead in the final minute of the game.

Ortega and Avila finished with 12 points each, while Saul Valencia and Mohammed Halaweh chipped in two and three points, respectively.

The second half started with another offensive push from the Prospectors as Analy closed in.

A block from Ortega and a jumper from Malcom Jenkins sent the teams tied into the final quarter of the game before Adams hit the game-winning shot.

Adams finished with 19, while Adonay Efriem went 4-for-4 from the free throw line and finished with 10 points. Gedlu and Sam Dominiko each recorded six points, while Jordan Williams had four. Mike Nguyen and Daniel Latourelle both chipped in a basket.

“Piner played great and hit the shots that they needed,” Page said. “The only consolation for me tonight is that we are already the SCL champs.”

 

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