LIVERMORE — The student section at Granada High School exploded onto the floor after the Matadors held off San Ramon Valley’s comeback bid to come away with a 60-58 win at home Thursday night.
After trailing by as much as 11 in the third quarter, the Wolves took a brief two-point lead in the fourth period and were down two points with 9.9 seconds left in the game. San Ramon Valley Junior forward Elliot Conley stole Granada’s inbound pass to give the Wolves one final shot to tie or win the game.
Granada’s Marco Wilde (11) makes a shot against San Ramon Valley High during a basketball game at Granada High School in Livermore, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
But as the Wolves were searching for an open look with time running down, Granada forward Cortevious Taylor returned the favor and blocked the Wolves’ 3-point attempt as time expired to seal the win for the Matadors.
Taylor ended with a game-high 23 points and was doused in water by his teammates after making the game-winning stop.
“At the end of the day, we just remained calm and got the win,” Taylor said.
Granada went into halftime with a 30-25 lead, but almost blew the game open in the third. After Taylor’s third 3-pointer of the quarter, the Matadors held a 49-38 lead with a minute left in the third.
San Ramon Valley’s Mason Thomas (10) makes a shot against Granada’s NaVaughn Long (2) during a basketball game at Granada High School in Livermore, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
The Wolves slowly got back into the game in the fourth and took their first lead of the game after point guard Mason Thomas scored a reverse layup to put San Ramon Valley up 54-53 with 3:24 left.
Thursday’s win was just the second time in seven meetings Granada has beaten San Ramon Valley since Quaran Johnson became the Matadors’ head coach in 2018.
Johnson said the win was much needed after Granada’s 17-game winning streak was snapped in a loss at De La Salle on Tuesday.
“We just lost a game that we felt like we didn’t play our best,” Johnson said. “Coming into this game, we knew it was going to be tight. It really felt like we could turn a page with just one big stop and we did that.”
Granada’s NaVaughn Long (2) makes a shot against San Ramon Valley High during a basketball game at Granada High School in Livermore, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
It was a valiant effort from San Ramon Valley as it trailed for most of the game. Junior Luke Isaak scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half, which gave the Wolves a much needed scoring boost down the stretch.
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“It was just another typical (East Bay Athletic League) game,” San Ramon Valley coach Brian Botteen said. “This was a great environment to be tested in and with nine seconds left, it could have gone either way.”
Senior NaVaughn Long added 17 points and Spencer Langowski had nine points for the Matadors.
Granada improved to 19-2 and 5-1 in league play. The Matadors will play Dublin on Saturday.
San Ramon Valley dropped to 19-4 and 5-1 in the league.