It all came down to one play — and Emerald Ridge’s Andrew Boston.
Boston blocked the soft shot of Curtis’ John Moore at the buzzer, securing the Jaguars’ 71-69 win over the No. 5 Vikings at home in a 4A South Puget Sound League game.
Moore’s final shot came on a lob from guard Tashon Brown with 0.5 seconds left, but Boston just got his fingertips on the ball.
“I wasn’t in position when the ball was in the air, but somehow I was able to make an adjustment in air and get just enough on it,” Boston said.
With the big early-season win, Emerald Ridge (5-1, 5-0) moves into the top spot in the league standings, with previously unbeaten Curtis (5-1, 5-1) falling to second before the winter break. It is the first time since the 2011-2012 season the Jaguars have beaten Curtis in the regular season.
“I know it’s been a while, but like we told our kids — just keep grinding and keep seeing what happens,” Emerald Ridge coach Pat Mullen said.
“It’s still early. This is December,” Mullen added. “It’s nice to get a good win. But we still got a lot of basketball to play, and we still have to get better.”
Behind the sharp shooting of Daniel Gregory (29 points), Emerald Ridge was able to maintain a lead after every quarter.
“I just looked for my shot and shot it,” Gregory said.
Emerald Ridge built an eight-point lead by the half, 35-27, behind Gregory’s 13 first-half points. He was 3 for 3 from beyond the arc before halftime.
Curtis was able to claw back into the game after Moore (22 points) backed down Boston and hit a turn-around jumper to cut the Jaguars’ lead to two, followed by Sindou Diallo (10 point) cutting to the basket to tie the game at 39-39.
Diallo hit a 3-pointer on Curtis’ next possession giving the Vikings their first lead, 42-39, with 2:40 left in the third.
Emerald Ridge used three consecutive 3-pointers to open the game’s final quarter to take control, and at the 2:00 mark, the Jaguars had a 67-60 lead.
But the Vikings wouldn’t go away, eventually cutting the lead to 70-69 on Brown’s 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left.
After Gregory was fouled, he hit one of his two free-throws to set up the game’s final sequence.