RICHMOND -- This Division IV Northern regional boys basketball quarterfinal was decided by one team's dependency on three-point shooting and another's shooting accuracy from the foul line at Albany High School.
Second-seeded Salesian (22-14) converted 16 of 22 free throws in the pivotal fourth quarter to hold off a pesky Sacred Heart Prep squad intent on the upset. The Gators (21-8) lived and died by the shot from beyond the three-point arc in falling to the Pride.
The Pride, which lost in dramatic fashion last weekend to Moreau Catholic in the North Coast Section Division IV finals, got tight in the third quarter and Sacred Heart responded by hitting four three-pointers in the frame, two by senior guard Corbin Koch.
"You know it was a little like last week," Salesian coach Bill Mellis said. "It's a little hard to say we're a little inexperienced, heck, we've played thirty something games. But every now and then we can do some boneheaded things on the court. I'm just glad we were able to make our free throws when we had to."
A Corbin trey midway through the quarter, knotted the score at 37-all. But Salesian continued to push the ball up the court and converted at the free throw after the Gators got into foul trouble in the final quarter.
"We can look great when we're making the three-ball, but when they're not falling we don't look so good," Sacred Heart coach Tony Martinelli said. "You have to give them credit. They made the free throws when it counted most."
For the game, Salesian converted 26 of 29 attempts from the line. Center Jonathan Galloway led the way for the Pride with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Guards D'Angelo Hernandez and Marquel Johnson also finished in double figures. Johnson and Bernard Ward each converted six of seven from the free throw line and Brandon McGhee contributed 10 points, including four of five from the line.
Mason Randall paced Sacred Heart Prep with 19 points. Koch added 17 points, before fouling out with 3:04 left in the contest.
Division IV Salesian 69, Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton 58
Sacred Heart Prep (21-8)
McLean 5 0-1 11, Koch 6 3-4 17, Martella 0 3-4 3, Moses 1 0-0 3, Galvin 3 1-2 7, Randall 4-6 18, Harmon 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 11-18 58.
Johnson 2 6-7 12, Ward 1 6-7 8, Shepard-Creer 1 1-4 3, Hernandez 6 0-2 13, Dunn 1 2-4 4, McGhee 3 4-5 10, Toailoa 0 2-2 2, Galloway 6 5-8 17. Totals 20 26-39 69.
Sacred Heart 5 15 20 18-- 58
Salesian 12 17 20 20-- 69
3-point goals: Randall 3, Koch 2, McLean, Moses. Johnson 2, Hernandez. Fouled out: Koch. Highlights: S -- Galloway 9 rebounds, McGhee 9 rebounds, Johnson 4 assists.