Boys Basketball: Blazers 4th quarter comeback falls short

Golden West loses in the seconds after going on a 6-0 run in the 4th quarter to take the lead

VISALIA – After going on a 6-0 run to take the lead with one minute left, Golden West could only watch as Kennedy High School sunk a three-pointer to end their playoff run.

In its Feb. 17 game in the second round of the Division V playoffs, the Trailblazers led 43-42 with a minute to play. Kennedy’s Gamier Helm found a way to drive in for a layup and give the Thunderbirds a one point lead. After a missed rebound on the other end of the court, Kennedy’s Jeremia Guerra put the game out of reach with a three-pointer to seal the 47-43 victory. 

“I thought we played pretty well, we just left some opportunities there at the end,” Blazers head coach Drew Hall said. “We had a couple of turnovers, had some bad possessions there at the end and couldn’t get a rebound, but credit to them they got to the ball first, they dove on the floor and did whatever they needed to do to win.”

The two teams battled throughout the game. Golden West’s Abel Moreno opened the game with a three-pointer and continued to play hard despite a disappointing 10-0 losing streak in league play. 

“It was definitely a tough season a lot of ups and downs, it didn’t actually go the way I wanted it to but you know you got to get through the season and keep fighting day in and day out,” Moreno said.  

The first quarter ended in a 13-13 tie. Kennedy’s Daniel Rodrigeuz opened the second quarter with a quick score but both teams traded scores throughout the second quarter. The Thunderbirds entered halftime with a slight edge, 26-25 over the Trailblazers. Golden West took the lead on a Braden Barcelona three-pointer to end the third quarter with a 37-34 lead. The Trailblazers dropped to a six-point deficit in the final quarter but battled back before eventually losing the game.

Golden West entered the playoffs losing all 10 of its league games and finishing the regular season with a 7-21 record. Prior to meeting Kennedy, Golden West played a spectacular game against McFarland. The Trailblazers blazed past the Cougars with a 67-53 win in the first round of the playoffs. Kennedy advanced to the Division V semifinals and took on the top-seeded Spartans in Strathmore. The game happened after press time.

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