LIVINGSTON — With high-scoring Gurpreet Sangha and his 18 points a game sitting on the bench in foul trouble, Brian Alvarez stepped up to try to preserve Livingston High’s pursuit of a Western Athletic Conference boys basketball title.
That task was too tall for the Wolves’ 5-foot-7 point guard, though.
Alvarez scored a career-high 44 points, including 20 in a frantic 4-minute span in the first half, but Central Catholic used its dominant inside duo of Dan Hulst and Dusty Killian to pull away in the final minutes for a 76-71 win.
The victory keeps the No.
2-ranked small-school Raiders (20-5, 11-2) in first place, now two games ahead of Livingston (18-6, 9-4). Hilmar (18-6, 10-3) is just one game back, has split its two games with Central and visits the Raiders Tuesday — and a Central win clinches the title.
CC’s 6-6 Hulst scored 23 points and 6-5 Killian had 27 points, as the Raiders dominated play within 10 feet of the basket. Sangha scored just six after picking up three fouls early in the game, but Alvarez hit eight treys to keep his team in the game.
TOO-TALL TYLER — Ripon Christian’s 6-8 Tyler Goslinga continued to have his way with foes in the Trans-Valley League, scoring 27 points as the Knights (18-5, 5-3) secured their D-V playoff berth with a 66-55 win over Hughson. The Huskies (3-18, 0-8) hung tough for a half, trailing 33-30, but lost too much ground in the third quarter as Daniel Van de Pol (12 points) and Logan Vos (13) gave Goslinga some support. ...
Gino Franceschetti scored 18 points, hit three treys and hit five of six free throws in the final minute as Escalon held on for a 59-54 win over Riverbank in the TVL. Tyler Schurrman added 10 for the Cougars, who used a 19-12 second-quarter run to move in front. ...
East Union has the fastest trigger finger in the district, and the Lancers (12-12, 7-7) exploited their willingness to shoot first and ask questions later by hitting nine 3-pointers in a 60-53 Valley Oak League win over Central Valley (3-19, 2-12). Tyler Bylow (two treys) and Teejay Gordon (three treys) scored 15 apiece for EU, which led 49-39 after three quarters, while Robert Vaughn had 14. ...
Summerville (8-14, 3-4) struggled early in the Mother Lode schedule, but the Bears continued their late-season hot streak as Zach Roberson scored 18 in a 56-47 win over Bret Harte. The Bears’ ability to control the rebounds keyed the win, coach Ben Watson said.