The Golden Valley High boys basketball team capped off one of their most successful regular season in program history with a 47-28 win over Merced on Vince Clemons Court on Friday night.
The Cougars tied a program record with their 23rd win in the regular season. Golden Valley also made a perfect run through the Central California Conference at 12-0. That’s just the second time the Cougars have gone undefeated in conference play. The last time was 2013 with a 10-0 record.
“It’s hard staying focused every single game, not having a bad night,” said GV coach Keith Hunter. “It’s very difficult. It doesn’t happen very often.”
The Cougars fought through an off shooting night early against a Merced team that did its best to slow down the game.
Golden Valley went into the half with just a 17-14 lead.
The shots started falling for the Cougars in the second half. Aurrion Harris, Etrell Bowers and Joseph Sanchez all connected on 3-pointers to propel a 11-2 run by Golden Valley that opened up a 32-18 lead late in the third quarter.
The Cougars carried the momentum over to the third quarter as they extended the lead to 40-21 midway through the final quarter.
“We didn’t shoot it,” Hunter said. “We shot it very poorly in the first half. Merced helped by holding the ball and shortening the game. They gave themselves the best chance to compete. We just have a little more depth and started to make shots in the second half.”
Bryan Livesay was the only player on either team to score in double figures with 12 points. Zack Fernandez added eight poins for the Cougars (23-5 overall, 12-0 CCC).
Dhameer Warren and Jadin Loy both led Merced (11-17, 5-7 CCC) with seven points.
The Cougars will find out who they will face in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday. The Sac-Joaquin Section office will announce the playoff matchups at 4 p.m.
Buhach Colony 66, Atwater 43 in Atwater – Anoop Nagra connected on three 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 17 points to lead the Thunder past the Falcons.
Buhach Colony finishes with a 16-12 record overall and 7-5 in the CCC. The Thunder qualify for the playoffs as the third-place team in the CCC.
Gerald Braxton added 14 points Tennessee Jenkins finished with 12 points for Buhach Colony.