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Thriller: Placer boys top Lincoln 48-47

Entz's late bucket gives Hillmen season sweep over league-leading Zebras
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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Thrilling.

There’s really no other way to describe the conclusion of the Lincoln-Placer Pioneer Valley League game that went down at Earl Crabbe Gym Friday night in front of a packed house.

Michael McNamara inbounded a Hail Mary to Peter Kean, who dished the rock off to Brennan Entz for a breath-taking, game-winning bucket to give Placer a 48-47 victory and season sweep over league-leading Lincoln.

“We ran a long pass for Peter,” Entz said, recalling the play of the night. “Mike threw a great pass and I was open on the other side and Peter found me.”

After Placer scored the basket, time should have likely expired. But Lincoln’s Marcus Salgado called a timeout when his team didn’t have any remaining. Replays then show Salgado telling the referee he didn’t want a timeout.

Moments later the referees called a bogus delay of game call on Placer, which gave Lincoln (20-6, 7-2) one last opportunity to win the game. Salgado’s desperation heave from beyond half court nearly went in.

Salgado gave Lincoln a 47-46 advantage when he dropped a shot from the top of the key with 8.5 seconds to go. That set the stage for the dramatic finish.

Placer (19-7, 5-3), which was led by Andrew Dahlin (16 points) and Kean (15), is the only team to have beaten Lincoln in PVL play this season. But it will be the Fighting Zebras and Colfax (21-5, 7-2) battling it out for the league crown Tuesday night in Colfax. The Zebras previously beat the Falcons in Lincoln.

The Hillmen, meanwhile, head to Foothill Tuesday for a 7 p.m. regular-season finale.

Placer stormed out to a 12-6 lead Friday against the Zebras, who never led until the early stages of the third quarter.

Isaiah Pineiro (14 points) used a sweet post-up move where he schooled a Lincoln defender to the hole and converted an and-one to put Placer up 40-39 with 4:18 to go. When the Hillmen grabbed a 46-42 lead late, the game seemed like it was over.

“We almost gave it away,” said Placer coach Mark Lee. “Up four with (22) seconds to go … a couple of big mistakes there.”

Then Lincoln roared back, as both teams’ fans exchanged banter throughout the contest.

But Entz’s dagger — his only two points of the game — was the difference maker.

“It’s a big win for us,” Entz said. “They’re a good team. Good fans on both sides. It was a really fun one.”

Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel