One winning streak had to end Saturday night in the NCS Division 6 championship boys basketball game between Anderson Valley and Emery.
Unfortunately for the visiting Panthers, it was their eight-game road victory skein that was snapped as Emery earned the first-place trophy with a 59-46 win.
For the Emeryville school, it was their 10th consecutive home victory this season.
Anderson Valley trailed 27-18 at halftime but narrowed the gap to three points midway through the third quarter.
“That was as close as we got,” coach Luis Espinoza said. “We dug a hole that we couldn’t get out of.”
Emery runs an up-tempo offense and Anderson Valley had trouble getting back in transition. That led to layups by the Spartans.
“They’re very quick,” Espinoza said. “They took us out of our game.”
Emery also did a good job scouting Anderson Valley. Cesar Soto, the reigning NCL III most valuable player, was held to single digits.
Jared Johnston was the only Panthers player to reach double figures. He had 10, one more than teammate Alejandro Soto.
For Emery, Kevin Byrd led the way with 19.
Had Anderson Valley won, it would have been the first NCS basketball title in school history.
“We had a great turnout of fans and wish we could’ve gotten it done,” Espinoza said.
“We had a tough one in the semis against Archbishop Hanna and that game took a lot of our focus,” he said. Anderson Valley won that contest on Wednesday, 63-61 in overtime.
“I’ve been coaching eight of the players on this team since they were in second grade,” Espinoza added. “They’re great kids and one of the best, if not the best, team to come out of Anderson Valley.”
Espinoza will have at least one more game to coach his team. The Panthers will play in the CIF state tournament. The first round is Wednesday.