Piedmont boys basketball edges Sonoma Valley at NCS

(Courtesy Piedmont Athletics)

Team next looks to avenge loss to Alhambra

Piedmont High School’s boys basketball team defeated visiting Sonoma Valley on Feb. 13, 40-34. It was the opening game of the North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs.

The win advanced the Highlanders to the second round where they will face a familiar foe: Alhambra, which defeated Piedmont 45-41 back in November in the second game of the season. The rematch is Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. with the Highlanders at home.

Dillon Casey had 18 points to lead Piedmont over Sonoma Valley. Brit Burden had 14. Just five Highlanders scored in the game.

Hudson Giarritta led the Dragons with 15 points. Sonoma Valley ended the season 10-18.

“It was really a tight game,” Piedmont coach Ben Spencer said. “We just didn’t make a couple of shots early. We got a 17-7 lead.  We started missing shots, they made a couple and suddenly we got tight on the offensive end.”

The Highlanders led 23-22 at halftime and 33-31 at the end of three quarters. Their defense held the Dragons to just three points in the fourth quarter.

“Defensively we were fantastic,” Spencer said. “A wins a win at this time of year.”

Piedmont has now won 10 of its last 13 NCS games, a stretch going back to 2019. All three losses were to Branson, which is in the NCS Open Division this year.

The first matchup with Alhambra was disappointing for Piedmont. The Bulldogs used a three-quarter court 2-1-2 press then dropped back staying in the zone once the Highlanders got across halfcourt.

“They’re a slow-down team,” Spencer said. “We got great looks out of their zone and we didn’t make them.”

The Highlanders made just two out of 19 shots from 3-point range in that game and turned the ball over 19 times. They had just one point in the first quarter. Spencer said he is confident the offense will play better this time.

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