Following a three-point play by Victor Elijah late in the game to give Sierra the lead, teammate Parmvir Singh hit two free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining, and Golden Valley of Merced missed a desperation shot at the buzzer as the host Timberwolves hung on for a 52-49 non-league boys basketball win.
“Fortunately we made some plays,” Timberwolves coach Scott Thomason said. “When we got up by six or seven I thought we would have a chance to go for the throat a little bit but they made some buckets inside and we had a hard time rebounding the ball.
“They took a one-point lead and Victor came in and got a three-point play and that was huge, and Parmvir making two free throws at the end was big.”
Elijah’s three-point play on an offensive rebound – one of his 10 rebounds to go with 22 points – with 1:38 remaining put Sierra (1-0) ahead for good at 50-48.
“Pretty much all I do is box out my man,” Elijah said. “That is what coach told me to do is to rebound and get the ball to my teammates when they are open.”
With 36 seconds remaining the Timberwolves were whistled for a shot-clock violation. Twenty seconds later there was a scramble for the ball after a Cougars miss and Bikram Thiara saved the ball and as it was going out and got it to a Sierra teammate, enabling the Timberwolves to take a timeout.
“It was just instinct,” Thiara said. “Making plays like that is part of the game.”
Jamille Grady directed the Timberwolves offense most of the night and finished with 12 points.
“I was just trying to follow coach’s game plan,” Grady said. “We just had to go out and work hard and execute our plays.”
Miguel Sequeira ignited a 7-0 run late in the third quarter that put the Timberwolves ahead 37-31 when his shot was blocked and he recovered to put in a short jump shot.
“At first I thought I was open,” Sequeira said. “But I did get swatted.
“Then I was the ball and I was open so I just shot the jumper and ended up making it.”
Sierra went to the bench early and often and substituted freely throughout the game.
“I liked our guys coming off the bench and producing,” Thomason said. “We went nine or 10 deep tonight, and I anticipate a different guy each night getting it done.
“We are a team, we have good balance and we don’t have any superstars. I’m proud of our attitudes right now. Our purpose has been really good and it is a fun group to coach. We are going to build on this.”
Cyrus Allen led Golden Valley (1-1) with 18 points.
Golden Valley 65,
John Elijah led the Timberwolves with 17 points.
Golden Valley 53,
Cooper Cannon had eight points for the Timberwolves and David Kakala seven.