SAN JOSE -- For the first time in three weeks, the Leigh High boys basketball team had its entire core intact. And for the first time in three weeks, the Longhorns won a game.

But it was not easy, even after Leigh built a 17-point lead in the third quarter Wednesday night.

Las Lomas charged to within four with 3:10 left, but host Leigh ultimately prevailed 73-65 to advance to the second round of the Northern California Division II regionals.

Leigh will face third-seeded Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove on Saturday.

Las Lomas' season is over.

Jared Williams (18 points), Joe Giacchetti (17), Kyle Morrison (16) and Devin Miller (13) led Leigh in scoring.

Ben Wood had 20 points and Matt Nerland 19 for the Knights (18-11).

"At halftime, we tried to make a few adjustments," Las Lomas coach Sol Henik said. "We knew they were killing us on the glass and with dribble penetration. They shot really well. We tried to make that adjustment for the second half and unfortunately it didn't work out for us."

For Leigh (24-4), the game marked the first time Josh Verner played since he broke his hand in practice three days after the Longhorns finished an unbeaten season in league play.

Verner didn't start, but the senior guard gave his team an immediate spark after coming off the bench with 4:02 left in the first quarter and Las Lomas up 11-6.

By the end of the quarter, the score was tied 13-13.

It remained tied, 28-28, at halftime.


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"It's like everyone's here," Williams said. "That's what we practiced with the whole summer. Josh is a part of the family. When he was gone, it was like someone was missing. Now that we've got him back, we're really confident."

Wood scored the first points of the third quarter on a jumper off the glass to give Las Lomas a 30-28 lead.

But Leigh scored the next 11 points as it started to look like the team that was 23-1 when Verner got injured.

The Longhorns eventually widened the lead to 17 points, twice, before Las Lomas started to rally.

"Las Lomas was a great opponent," Giacchetti said. "But at the end of the game, we got a few shots together, a few stops and came out on top."