NCS basketball playoffs roundup: Anderson Valley pulls off
 upset over St. Elizabeth

Cardinal Newman's Kylie Kiech is fouled as she drives to the basket between Justin-Siena's Haley Weaver, left, and Catherine Cronwall, right, during the game held at Cardinal Newman High School, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Cardinal Newman’s Kylie Kiech is fouled as she drives to the basket between Justin-Siena’s Haley Weaver, left, and Catherine Cronwall, right, during the game held at Cardinal Newman High School, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

By HOWARD SENZELL

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Anderson Valley’s boys team, the No. 7 seed, pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the North Coast Section tournament so far by defeating No. 2 St. Elizabeth, 53-51, in Oakland on Saturday night.

Jared Johnson’s layup with 35 seconds turned out to be the game winner. St. Elizabeth was unable to score in the final seconds.

Johnston’s basket culminated a fourth-quarter rally by the underdogs.

Anderson Valley trailed by 10 at the start of the fourth quarter.

“It came down to heart and our guys responded to the challenge,” coach Luis Espinoza said. “Trailing by 10 on a strange court against the No. 2 seed, a lot of teams would’ve given up.

“The kids believed we could come back and we did. It was our best game of the season by far.”

Anderson Valley began the game by pressing on defense.

“We weren’t having success doing that,” Espinoza said. “We switched to a box-and-one and that worked a lot better.”

St. Elizabeth scored only six points in the fourth quarter, while the Panthers put 18 on the scoreboard.

Anderson Valley will travel to Archbishop Hanna for Wednesday’s semifinal.

ARCHBISHOP HANNA 78, RINCON VALLEY CHRISTIAN 63

At Sonoma, Armani Perry led Hanna to victory with a game-high 21 points.

Joe Lin took scoring honors for RVC with 19.

CALIFORNIA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF 58, RIO LINDO ADVENTIST 54

At Healdsburg, the home team couldn’t hold on to a second-half lead.

“We used most of our energy to catch up,” Rio Lindo coach Kevin Hardesty said. “After we finally took the lead, we ran out of gas.”

CSD led 29-24 at intermission.

Three sophomores scored in double figures for the Spartans — Julian Boyd (17), Coby Brown (16) and Jordan Lee (14).

“It’s tough being on the short end of a playoff game,” Hardesty said. “But on the bright side, most of our players will be back next year.”

In girls action Saturday night:

CARDINAL NEWMAN 59, JUSTIN-SIENA 30

At Santa Rosa, the Cardinals won their 19th in a row and advanced to the semifinal round of Division 4.

Newman’s defense held the visitors from Napa to under 10 points in each of the first three quarters.

“I was really happy with the way we defended,” coach Monica Mertle said. “It was a team effort led by Julia Bertolero.

Her effort in this game, and really all season, has been phenomenal.”

Eleven of the Cardinals’ 12 players scored, led by Tiffany Salinas and Hailey Vice-Neat with 12 each.

Kylie Kiech finished with nine and also had six rebounds and six assists.

Justin-Siena’s top scorer was Morgan Malloy with 11.

ROUND VALLEY 52, ANDERSON VALLEY 44

At Covelo, the Mustangs’ girls team became the first squad in school history to advance to the semifinal round of NCS.

“It’s something this group is proud to have accomplished,” coach Eddie Whipple said.

Round Valley led all the way but couldn’t put Anderson Valley away.

At the end of one quarter it was 15-8 and the lead grew to 28-18 by halftime.

“The second half, our largest lead was 12 and the closest Anderson Valley got was eight,” Whipple said. “We felt in control all the way.”

The schools played three times this season, with the Mustangs winning the first two times much more easily.

Christina Phillips was Round Valley’s top scorer with 11, two more than teammate Taylor Gravier.

For Anderson Valley, Liset Aijio scored 10 and Jayna Mariqiz had 10.

Round Valley will take a 17-6 record to Ferndale on Wednesday.

Anderson Valley falls to 11-8.

ST. BERNARD 68, RINCON VALLEY CHRISTIAN 34

At Eureka, the top-seeded Crusaders made nine 3-point shots en route to the Division 6 victory.

“We came out playing zone and they just shot it over our defense,” RVC coach Richard Higgenbottom said. “They had us down 18-4 after the first quarter.

“They’re the best team we played, no question about it. They’re very athletic and quick.”

The Crusaders pressed for three quarters and led 58-22 heading to the final period.

Caroline Hogan led the Eagles’ offense with 13 points. Kylie Olson pulled down 11 rebounds to go along with seven points.

For St. Bernard’s, sophomore Makenna Schoenhofer scored 23.

The Crusaders shot 55 percent from the field, compared to RVC’s 34 percent.

RVC, the No. 9 seed, ends the season 13-13. St. Bernard’s plays on with an 18-9 record.