After advancing further in the Northern California tournament than any team in program history, Half Moon Bay boys’ basketball team’s historic season came to an end Tuesday with a 60-43 loss to second-seeded Salesian.
Salesian led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter before the Cougars closed it 19-14 at the half.
Then it got ugly. Half Moon Bay was outscored 24-7 in the third quarter to run away with it.
In his fourth year as head coach of the Cougars, Rich Forslund has navigated his squad to the Nor Cal playoffs for three consecutive seasons. They previously qualified for the tournament in 1994 and ’96, but had never won a game in Nor Cal until a first-round over Calaveras in 2012 before being eliminated by the same Salesian program that ended their season Tuesday.
Cougars senior Rico Nuño earned Peninsula Athletic League North Division Player of the Year honors while tabbing 13.3 points per game heading into Tuesday’s semifinal. The highlight of Nuño’s season came on March 4 in a Central Coast Section consolation playoff game against Santa Cruz when he was one rebound shy of a triple double, totaling 15 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Senior Corey Cilia paced the Cougars that night against Santa Cruz with 22 points. Cilia didn’t garner All-League honors as he was lost to an ankle injury for much of the season. But the senior was a prolific force after he returned Jan. 24 against Terra Nova and went on to average 14 points per game on the season.
No. 1 Folsom 58, No. 4 Serra 57
The Padres led after each of the first three quarters, but the Bulldogs rallied in the fourth quarter to pull out a one-point and advance to the Northern California Division II championship game.
The loss ends the season for Serra (22-9).
The Padres led 12-11 after one period and 26-24 at halftime. They took a 43-35 lead into the final eight minutes, but were outscored 23-14 in the fourth quarter.
There were four lead changes in the fourth quarter alone as the Padres were nursing a 55-54 lead with 53 seconds left to play. The Bulldogs took a 56-55 lead with 32 seconds to play — their first lead since the first quarter — but Serra came back to take a 57-56 advantage with 25 seconds left.
Folsom scored the winning basket with eight seconds to play and Serra could not answer back.
Jimmy Wohrer scored a team-high 22 points for Serra, with Danny Mahoney finishing with 17 and Sean Watkins adding 14.