Center Eric Hunsicker worked his way under the basket in the final seconds, and banked in the game-wining shot as host Petaluma upset the second-place Piner Prospectors, 54-50, in an exciting Sonoma County League contest Friday night.
The steadily more competitive Trojans had led from the opening basket, but a gut-wrenching 3-point shot by Marquis Camp of Piner knotted the game at 50-50 with only 10 seconds remaining.
Petaluma worked the ball to the left side of the floor with time running down, and got it to the inside to Hunsicker, who maneuvered for good position on the low block. The poised senior pump-faked and softly laid the ball in off the glass with only 0.9 of a second remaining to the wild approval of the partisan crowd in the Trojan gym.
Piner coach Mike Erickson quickly called time out for one desperation play for his team, but a frantic length-of-the floor pass sailed harmlessly out of bounds with no time lost. Petaluma lined up under its own basket only having to inbound to run out the clock and Hunsicker knocked in another basket for good measure at the buzzer.
There wasn't anything fancy about the Trojan win, as they led from an opening 3-pointer by Jaymes Potts, and the team never eased up on the throttle until the final heroics by Hunsicker. The Trojans didn't use any defensive tricks, but got the job done with old-fashioned man defense at mid-court. Both teams got the most out of a set offensive style, and it proved to be a crowd pleaser that delighted the Trojan faithful, as Petaluma notched its first victory over a team with a winning record.
Only once, late in the game, was there a number of turnovers by either team, and they came as a result of a late-game press by Piner.
Petaluma held a 30-23 advantage at halftime and grimly held on to the lead until the long shot from well behind the arc by Camp almost drained all the energy out of the gym.
Dependable guard Clay Swanson carried the early scoring load for the Trojans with 13 first-half points, including a couple of well-executed back door cuts. The Prospectors targeted Swanson in the second half, crowding him on each ball possession. The high-scoring senior finished with 15 to tie Hunsicker for game honors.
First year Trojan coach John Behrs got a productive rotation going throughout the game, with almost everyone contributing. Senior Bryce Kawaguchi earned extended time on the floor with a couple of key hoops, two free throws and controlled ball handling.
The Trojans (2-6 in league) evened the season series with Piner at 1-1 after an earlier 65-58 defeat in Santa Rosa.
Piner (4-2) came into the contest with four victories in its last five games, but the Prospectors were slow warming to the task, and trailed at every break. Keith Adams led the way for Piner with 12 points, followed by Natbu Hezghias, who tossed in 10.
The Prospectors had an edge in team quickness, but Petaluma was able to close off everything underneath with strong board work by Hunsicker and Potts. The ability of the Trojans to get the ball to the low block when it counted made the difference.
Petaluma wound up with seven second-chance shot attempts, while limiting Piner to one shot per possession almost every time down the floor.
Road Repair Projects
Ferguson Road Mile Marker 10–11.31 (Pavement chip seal)
Furlong Road Mile Marker 10-11.73 (Pavement chip seal)
Poplar Avenue Mile Marker 10-11 (Pavement chip seal)
Bohemian Highway Mile Marker 13.93–18.78 (Pavement overlay)
Grove Street Mile Marker 11.79–13.87 (Pavement overlay)
River Road Mile Marker 30.00-34.21 (Pavement overlay)
Willowside Road Mile Marker 10.16-11.17 (Pavement repair)
Wallace Road Mile Marker 10-11.49 (Pavement repair)
River Road Mile Marker 30-34.24 (Ditching)
Los Alamos Road Mile Marker 10.94-14.30 (Ditching)
Bohemian Highway Mile Marker 10-13.60 (Ditching)
Ross Road Mile Marker 10.61-11.86 (Ditching)
Neeley Road Mile Marker 14.92 (Viaduct replacement)
Summerhome Park Road Mile Marker 10.41 (Viaduct replacement)
Porter Creek Road Mile Marker 19.89–20.19 (Pavement grind and patch)
River Road Mile Marker 12.14–12.54 (Pavement grind and patch)
Tomales Road Mile Marker 10-10.30 (Pavement grind and patch)
Arnold Drive Mile Marker 13.30-13.60 (Pavement grind and patch)
Mountain Road Mile Marker 10.54 (Culvert replacement)
Coleman Valley Road Mile Marker 17.57 (Culvert replacement)
Salmon Creek Road Mile Marker 12.29 (Culvert replacement)
Chiquita Road Mile Marker 11.69 (Culvert replacement)
Bonness Road Mile Marker 10.13 (Culvert replacement)
Bonness Road Mile Marker 10.42 (Culvert replacement)
Lytton Station Road Mile Marker 11.14 (Culvert replacement)
Lytton Station Road Mile Marker 11.16 (Culvert replacement)
West Dry Creek Road Mile Marker 14.96 (Culvert replacement)
West Dry Creek Road Mile Marker 10.45 (Culvert replacement)
Windsor Road Mile Marker 11.99 (Culvert replacement)
Windsor Road Mile Marker 12.21 (Culvert replacement)
Irwin Lane Mile Marker 11.19 (Culvert replacement)