Pinole Valley had a tremendous advantage on the offensive boards, but missed nearly a dozen second-chance shots in the paint. The Patriots’ Jimmy Enomoto nailed a three-pointer, and his hustle and veteran savvy helped Heritage take a 12-6 first-quarter lead.
In the second frame the Spartans began to show signs of life, hitting several treys and getting a few putbacks to fall, closing the gap to two points at the half.
In the third quarter, both teams started nailing their shots, but baskets by senior Jordan Knox and junior Mark Winthrop gave the Patriots a slight cushion. Enomoto provided an emotional boost with a gorgeous assist to sophomore Justin Bunting that brought the Heritage fans to their feet.
But the Spartans didn’t wilt, tying the game at 28. From that point on, however, it was all Patriots, as the Spartans could not put the ball in the hole. A 14-4 Heritage run spanning the third and fourth quarters was capped off with a driving layup by Chris Santucci, giving Heritage a 45-35 lead. Despite multiple second- and third-chance shots to draw closer, Pinole Valley continued to miss golden opportunities in the post. Meanwhile, Heritage milked nearly each possession for 20 seconds, many of which resulted in either a back-door layup or a trip to the free-throw line. The Patriots outscored the Spartans 19-4 in the final period.
The Patriots traveled to Hayward High School on Wednesday to take on the Hurricanes in third-round NCS action, the results of which were not available at press time.
Unfortunately, the Lady Patriots will not be joining the boys in third-round play. They were defeated by Pinole Valley 64-48, marking the end of a stellar 19-8 season.