SAN JOSE -- Leigh's lead was gone, and time was not on its side in the Blossom Valley Athletic League boys basketball tournament final Friday night against Piedmont Hills.
But Kyle Morrison rescued the Longhorns. The 5-foot-11 junior guard scored two baskets in the final 30 seconds of regulation, the last on a twisting drive and layup as time was about to expire.
That sent a wild and tense game into overtime, and Leigh went on to defeat the BVAL Mount Hamilton Division regular-season champion Pirates 61-54 at Independence High.
"We practiced that a million times," Morrison said of his last-second tying basket. "Ten seconds left, I get a high screen and just take it and go to work. It feels incredible. There is nothing like it."
It was Leigh's second consecutive victory over Piedmont Hills in the tournament's championship game. Piedmont Hills beat Leigh in the final in 2011. But neither of those games was as dramatic as Friday's.
Leigh overcame a sluggish start to take charge in the second half as sharpshooting senior Kimo Francisco made one 3-pointer after another on his way to 27-point outburst.
But Piedmont Hills had seen similar scripts before. And as it did against Willow Glen and Leland this season, the Pirates stormed back. They erased an eight-point deficit with a 14-2 surge -- the highlight coming when J.J. Espanola stole the ball in the backcourt, drove down court and hit a soft jumper to give Piedmont Hills a
Piedmont Hills' cheering section burst into pandemonium, and it stayed that way as Walter Bateast made three free throws with 37 seconds left to stretch the Pirates' lead to 53-49.
But then Morrison went to work. His drive to the basket made it 53-51, and after a missed free throw, he drove and scored again to force overtime.
"Two great basketball teams," Leigh coach Patrick Judge said. "The best part about these games is it's five guys on the court, each team battling, playing their hearts out. And we were able to pull away in overtime."
Morrison finished with 20 points. Bateast led Piedmont Hills with 15.
WCAL tournament: Two weeks after Serra handed Archbishop Mitty its only league loss in the regular season, the teams will meet Saturday night at Foothill College for the West Catholic Athletic League tournament title.
Serra, led by Henry Caruso's 30 points, advanced with a 71-60 victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Connor Peterson had 24 points and Aaron Gordon added 17 as Mitty edged Archbishop Riordan 72-69.
In the BVAL girls tournament final, Branham's Taylor Morway aggravated an ankle injury early in the first half and grimaced in pain as she returned to the bench. But she was not finished. The 5-foot-11 senior scored 28 points as Branham held off a late charge by Santa Teresa to win the championship 49-46.
"It was our last BVAL game, and I had to go out there and give 100 percent for the team," Morway said.
The victory was Branham's third this season against Santa Teresa.
"It was a battle," Branham coach Sam Hernandez said. "They're big and strong. To beat anybody three times in one year is an accomplishment -- especially a team that caliber."
Cassidy Sanders-Curry had 13 points for Santa Teresa.