In his Saturday night SCL home game against Piner, Analy’s 6’ 3” Senior Mo Halaweh had a two point, one rebound line. In the category that timing is everything, Halaweh pulled down the rebound and put it back in with 2.4 left to give Analy 49-47 win over Piner in what was one of the most entertaining games of the season.
Halaweh’s score came after Theo Avila drove down the lane and put up a shot too hard. Piner did get off a 60 foot desperation shot at the buzzer that was an air ball.
The fact that the game ended in that direction was not a surprise. Not the result, but the game mostly had been between the Analy size and the Piner speed. In the game’s biggest moment, the size won out.
It appeared fifteen minutes earlier that it would be the speed. After a wild start in which there was six lead changes and three ties in the first quarter, Piner took the lead with 1:40 left in the second quarter and kept in until the last two minutes of the game. The score was part of a ten point run in which wiped out a 17-11 Analy lead, which was their biggest of the night.
That was the first of two big runs in the game.
The second came when it look like Piner was taking control. They had edged out to a 36-27 lead, which would be the biggest spread of the game, with 1:30 left in the third quarter. By the end of the quarter, that lead was almost gone as Analy scored seven straight to make it a two point game going into the fourth quarter.
The speed vs. height matchup changed uniforms a bit in the fourth quarter, especially the rebounding part on a series that looked like it swung the game Piner’s way. With three minutes left Piner had a three rebound possession, two of them by Nebi Gedlu (he had only one other on the night). As he got the last one he was fouled Malcolm Jenkins, which fouled him out of the game. Jenkins is the Tigers leading scorer on the season and had a team high 15 in this game. Even though he had struggled at the free throw line, he had scored the last seven Analy points to keep them in screaming distance.
Piner led 45-41 with 2:41 left. Piner, who was only shooting its third free throw of the game, missed the front end of a one and one and that started a series of events that turned thing back to Analy.
On the next possession Theo Avila, who averages three points a game, dribbled the ball for about ten seconds before taking it down the lane to cut the lead to 45-43. It was his first points since early in the third quarter and gave him 13 for the night, which was his season high and the second time he has hit double figures.
Then Piner, who had taken care of the ball most of the night, committed three straight turnovers and Chance Ortega scored twice at the other end to give Analy a 47-45 lead with :50 left. It was the first time that Analy had the lead since midway through the second quarter when it was 17-15.
A driving basket by Nedi Gedlu tied the game with :37 left and set up the frantic finish.
Piner’s Andonay Efriem was the game’s leading scorer with 16 points, but was held scoreless the last five minutes.
For the most part Sonoma County League takes a back seat to the North Bay League. The league had Saturday mostly to itself and they took advantage of it with some thrilling games.
In one of them, Sonoma Valley behind a season high 26 points from Jesse Summers edged Petaluma 51-49. Sonoma Valley joins Analy as two of three teams since undefeated in the SCL race. The other one is Elsie Allen who had the night off.
The race gets serious this week. Elsie Allen, who overall is 10-4 on the season, mets hosts Piner on Tuesday and then goes to Analy on Thursday. Also on Thursday Piner is at Sonoma Valley.
There should be good stuff this week.
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