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Patton’s put-pack propels Sierra past scrappy Tokay

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POSTED December 13, 2012 12:24 a.m.

Sierra High’s boys basketball team overcame a cold shooting night and hot-handed Nico Brusa in a 46-44 win at Tokay of Lodi Wednesday night.

Justin Patton led the Timberwolves (5-2) with 14 points, and it was his final bucket that put them ahead for good. With 4.7 seconds remaining, he rebounded Guillermo Nunez’s mid-range miss and laid it in. Tokay (4-5) had an open look to win it with a 3 but was off the mark.

Brusa fired 20 points and made five of eight 3-pointers to pace the Tigers, who nearly came back from an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit. They even took a three-point lead before Nunez (11 points) drilled a 3 to knot it. Tokay turned the ball over on its next possession to give Sierra a chance to retake the lead.

“Anytime we don’t play good but grind out the win we’ll take it, especially against a quality team,” Sierra coach Scott Thomason said. “It seems like I’m saying that a lot lately. We did a poor job of shooting and our shot selection wasn’t very good. Our free throws (12-for-21) were not very good — we missed five or six in the fourth quarter.”

Sierra was still able to win it with an 20-point fourth quarter, the most either team scored in a period. The Timberwolves were up 13-7 after the first but tallied a meager four points in the second. The game was tied 17-17 at halftime.

“It was a gigantic struggle,” Thomason said. “It was like watching a hockey game. We’re having a hard time scoring right now, but the guys are playing hard. We’re competing; we just have to play smarter.”

Sierra will look to win its third straight Friday at home against Johansen.

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