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BOYS BASKETBALL: HMB Advances with OT Thriller

Freshman Cariaga delivers in clutch to lift hosts past Monte Vista Christian in CCS Division IV playoffs; Cougars set to face mighty Sacred Heart Prep in quarterfinals.

The Score: Half Moon Bay 57, Monte Vista Christian 53 (OT).

The Star: Half Moon Bay High’s Bill Floyd delivered what coach Rich Forslund called “the game of his career here” to steer the host Cougars to an overtime victory in the second round of the Central Coast Section Division IV playoffs. The 6-foot-4 junior scored a team-high 18 points on a night when ninth-seeded Monte Vista Christian (15-15) blanketed No. 8 seed HMB’s traditional sources of offense.

The Turning Point: HMB’s Jordan Cariaga, who didn’t score in regulation, delivered at crunch time on Thursday night. The freshman guard hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to cut the Cougars’ deficit to 53-52 with about 90 seconds left and then drove for a layup off the glass to put his team in front 54-53 in the final minute. Finally, Spencer White added a putback for the final margin after Dom Williams missed the back end of a one-and-one in the closing seconds.

The Quote: “Now we have to try to go be David and beat Goliath. We only have to be the best for one day. … We just hope it’s Saturday.” – Half Moon Bay first-year coach Rich Forslund, on the mammoth challenge his team now faces in its quarterfinal date with defending champion Sacred Heart Prep.

What’s Next? The Cougars (19-9) advance to meet No. 1 seed Sacred Heart Prep (22-2) in the CCS Division IV quarterfinals on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. at Menlo School. SHP, slotted No. 3 in , is riding an 18-game winning streak.

The Bottom Line: Half Moon Bay’s experience in winning several tight games in the regular season paid off in a big way. The Cougars weathered a 34-point outburst by MVC star John Mooney. Perhaps even more impressive, HMB won a playoff game on a night when its best player, Goose Arroyo, managed just two points. Floyd and Williams (13 points) carried the offense in regulation, and then Cariaga showed again he can rise to the occasion in high-pressure situations. The reward for a pulsating overtime victory? A virtual road game against a rested, hungry and supremely talented Sacred Heart Prep. Forslund essentially said his team has a free shot – a game in which few will give HMB much if any chance. The Cougars would become the talk of the tournament if they can shock the defending champs.

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Half Moon Bay 57, Monte Vista Christian 53 (OT)

MVC – 21 7 12 9 4 -- 53

HMB – 14 8 16 11 8 -- 57

MVC: Hightower 2 1-2 6, Matiasench 2 0-0 6, Josh Mooney 13 6-11 34, Cooper 2 0-4 4, Chao 1 1-2 3. Totals: 20 8-19 53.

HMB: S. White 4 0-0 8, Arroyo 1 0-0 2, C. White 0 1-2 1, Cariaga 2 0-0 5, Simanek 3 4-6 10, Floyd 9 0-0 18, Williams 6 1-3 13. Totals 25 6-11 57.

3-point goals: MVC: Mooney 2, Matiasench 2, Hightower. HMB: Cariaga.

Records: Monte Vista Christian 15-15. Half Moon Bay 19-9.

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