The Freedom High boys basketball team set the stage for a winner-take-all showdown against Deer Valley with a hard-fought 66-60 victory over host Heritage in the Bay Valley Athletic League Tuesday night.
The Falcons (18-7, 8-1) will travel to face the Wolverines on Thursday night to conclude the league season, needing to avenge a three-point loss to break a tie for first place.
Heritage junior Shon Briggs had a game-high 38 points as the Patriots battled back gamely for most of the game, but the Falcons stayed calm and answered every salvo.
Freedom had a balanced offense and a flashy floor game. Rodney Pope led the Falcons with 16 points.
The Falcons bested the Patriots (19-6, 6-3) 77-60 on Jan. 25, but Heritage did Freedom a favor by handing Deer Valley its first BVAL loss 93-80 last week, when the Wolverines were without star center Marcus Lee.
Heritage took its first lead of the game, 46-43, on a Pierre Carter 3-pointer with 6:59 left in the fourth quarter, but Freedom's Elliot Smith responded with a follow jam and Nathan Mallett's three-point play put Freedom back in charge. They did not trail again.
Miramonte 89, Dublin 80: Playing their first game since the sudden death of former Miramonte basketball player Brandon Huang, the host Matadors raced out to a 15-point lead at halftime and went on to a Diablo Foothill Athletic League win over the Gaels.
Huang, 20, who graduated
Kiran Shastri led Miramonte (16-10, 8-4 DFAL) with 31 points and 11 rebounds. JoJo McGlaston had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Dublin (20-6, 11-1).
Moreau Catholic 50, Mission San Jose 32: Remy Puou scored a career-high 30 points as the host Mariners clinched the outright Mission Valley Athletic League title.
It's the first league crown for the Mariners (20-6, 11-2 MVAL) since it won the now-defunct Hayward Area Athletic League title during the 2007-08 season.
"This is a huge accomplishment," the 6-foot-1 Puou said. "It shows the MVAL that we're not scared just because we're the new team on the block."
Puou also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Moreau had a slim 20-19 lead at the half and watched Mission (15-10, 9-4) take a 21-20 lead on a bucket by Grace Lee to open the third quarter.
But that led to an 8-0 run capped by a Puou three-point play that gave the Mariners a 30-21 lead. Moreau closed the third with a 7-0 run and had a 37-26 lead after three quarters.
Moreau's Louisa Bevilacqua dished out five assists and teammate Kaitlin Leguidleguid scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds.
-- Steve R. Waterhouse, correspondent