Piedmont High School’s boys basketball team lost a heartbreaker to one of the better teams in the Bay Area in the championship game of the Piedmont Tournament on Dec. 2.
Redwood-Larkspur got out to an early lead but then had to hold on for a 57-56 victory over the Highlanders. The loss left Piedmont at 3-2 on the young season.
Brennan Woodley took a pass from B.J. Fisher and buried a 3-pointer with just 16 seconds left in the game to lift the Giants (3-0) to the victory. The Highlanders had gone ahead on a Brit Burden 3-pointer with 49 seconds to go.
Piedmont’s Declan Linnane missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds and Burden’s off-balance follow bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
“First of all, I couldn’t be more proud,” Highlanders coach Ben Spencer said. “We’ve grown up tremendously in three games in this tournament. We fell behind by double-digit deficits in all three games. Lots of teams fold this early on. We didn’t. We battled.”
Redwood had taken a 17-8 lead in the first quarter and extended it in the second before Piedmont rallied to close the gap to 37-31 at halftime.
It was 46-40 entering the fourth quarter and 50-46 around the midpoint. Linnane scored on a baseline drive and Burden had a steal and layup to tie the score. Both teams struggled to break the tie. Dillon Casey finally ended the drought with a 3-pointer with one minute, 43 seconds left to put the Highlanders up, 53-50.
Then came a key sequence. Woodley was fouled by Ravi Silverberg on a drive. The ball went in and the free throw was an opportunity for Redwood to tie the score.
However, Woodley missed the shot. But his teammate Mason Garbo was right there for the rebound and putback and the Giants were up, 54-53.
Casey led the way for Piedmont with 25 points. Burden and Silverberg each scored 13. Jake Vasquez led Redwood with 22 points.
In the Dec. 1 semifinals, the Highlanders beat Acalanes, 54-50. Silverberg and Burden led Piedmont with 14 points apiece. Linnane added 13. Brady Quinn and Gavin Dodge each scored 12 to lead the Dons. Ian Salmon had 11.
In the first round on Nov. 30, Piedmont beat Hayward, 60-47. Burden had 18 points and Dillon added 15. Jaydon Barnes led the Farmers with 19 points.
Piedmont suffered a 45-41 loss to visiting Alhambra on Nov. 28. The Bulldogs got out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter. Dillon had nine points to lead the Highlanders. Samuel Gillaspy had 18 points for Alhambra.
Piedmont opened its season on Nov. 25 with a 64-51 victory over visiting Analy-Sebastopol. Burden had 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to lead the way. Silverberg hit four 3-pointers and had 22 points. Casey had 14 points and eight rebounds and Linnane had eight points and seven rebounds.
The Highlanders were next scheduled to play Dec. 5 at Campolindo. They will then begin the Acalanes tournament on Dec. 7 with a game against Monte Vista.