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Placer outlasts Lincoln in nail-biter, 67-64

Last second shot misses mark
By: Jim Linsdau/News Messenger Sports Editor
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The boys basketball game between Lincoln High and Placer High came down to the wire last Thursday with the Hillmen coming away with a 67-64 victory, and perhaps preserving their spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs. The two clubs came in tied in the Pioneer Valley League with matching 3-5 conference records. However, Placer was rated 15th in the SJS Power Ratings with a 16-9 overall record; Lincoln was rated 17th at 12-13 overall. The 16 top teams in the power ratings qualify. The Fighting Zebras appeared ready to repeat their winning performance over the Hillmen after defeating them 70-56 in Auburn a couple weeks ago. The boys in blue took an early lead and were up by eight going into intermission. But things would abruptly change in the third quarter. Placer’s Cody Riggs caught fire in the third period scoring 13 of his game-high 28 points helping the Hillmen to go up 49-43 at the end of three. “We told (Riggs) we thought we could get him in transition and we wanted him to go,” said Placer head coach Mark Lee. “He was looking to make the next pass and that wasn’t there so he was attacking the basket.” Ironically, Riggs gave the Zebras a fighting chance to win the contest in the final seconds of the fourth quarter when he missed two, crucial free throws. Lincoln grabbed the rebound with 16 seconds remaining and raced down the court where Marcus Salgado hit a floating jump shot. But the basket was waved off when timeout was called prior to the shot. Lincoln coach Robert Ash then set up a play that got Travis Miskell free for a three-point shot. Although contested, Miskell got the shot off but it missed the mark. The Zebras fouled and Placer made the final two free throws for the final margin of victory. “I thought we played well. I’m proud of them,” Ash said of his team. He felt badly for his four seniors whose last home game ended in a loss but said the team is turning the corner. “(Placer) is good. They’re really well coached. It came down to a last-second shot and we missed it.” Lincoln was scheduled to finish their season at Colfax, Tuesday; the Falcons, although 1-8 in the PVL, defeated Bear River 58-50 in their game last Thursday. It will be the final basketball game for the four Zebras’ seniors if the club’s playoff aspirations are not realized. Even though this season didn’t turn out as well as Lincoln would have hoped, there is plenty reason for optimism in the coming years. “I’m glad from last year when we weren’t very good to this year improving,” said senior Kyle Lowe, who had 10 points and was 5-5 from the free-throw line. “Our underclassmen are amazing, and not just on the varsity team but on the JV team as well. There’s some really good freshman and sophomores.” Lowe said those moving up to varsity next season could well take the Zebras to a section title. JV _ The Lincoln junior varsity took an early lead on Placer and cruised to a 65-49 victory. The Zebras’ Matt Shirley led the scoring with 20 points, knocking down six three-pointers. Teammate Jackson Sterling scored 15. With one game to go, the JV is 17-8. Head JV coach Chance Peterson said some of their losses came as the result of his freshmen wearing down because of the long season. He said they played only half as many games in middle school. PLACER 67, LINCOLN 64 Hillmen 13 11 25 18 – 67 Zebras 15 17 11 21 – 64 Placer – Riggs 12-21 3-9 28, Kean 4-10 3-3 13, Knox 3-4 3-3 9, Pineiro 4-11 3-7 11, King 1-2, 0-0 2, McNamara 2-4 0-0 4. 3-Point Goals – 3 (Kean 2, Riggs 1). Fouled Out – None. Rebounds – 28 (Pineiro 9). Turnovers – 18. Lincoln – Miskell 5-18 2-2 14, Everett 6-10 3-4 15, Lowe 2-6 5-5 10, Salgado 4-12 2-3 10, Pallas 1-3 0-0 2, Felt 2-8 3-4 7, Venturino 1-2 0-0 2, Gonzales 1-8 2-3 4. 3-Point Goals – 3 (Miskell 2, Lowe 1). Foulded Out – None. Rebounds – 35 (Everett 11). Turnovers – 19. SENIOR NIGHT Basketball – Trenton Keeler, Kyle Kramer, Travis Miskell, Kyle Lowe. Cheerleaders – Jasmine Brown, Mariah Coffer, Haylee Cota, Brianna Kincaid, Gabby Lewis, Jasmine McCoy, Hannah Pedri, Silvy Pena, Brianna Schnider, Kimberley Ussery.