greeves@bayareanewsgroup.com

SAN JOSE -- The Leigh boys basketball team is a high-scoring team. But on Tuesday the Longhorns showed they could win a low-scoring game as well, their most important game of the season, to boot.

In a battle for first place in the Blossom Valley Athletic League Mount Hamilton Division, Leigh came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat Piedmont Hills 45-43. Leigh (15-1, 6-0) now has a one-game lead on Piedmont Hills (13-3, 5-1).

Leigh is averaging 66 points per game. The 45 scored Tuesday was its lowest-scoring game of the season.

"We were cold," Leigh coach Patrick Judge said. "This is the highest-scoring team I've had at Leigh. But I tell the kids, `we can win a high-scoring game, we can win a low-scoring game.'"

Both teams played zone on defense, a factor that contributed to the low score, especially in a first half that concluded with Piedmont Hills leading 14-13. The zone has been Leigh's staple this season.

"We've still been able to get out and run without trapping and pressing, like we've done in the past," Judge said. "This is not a real good pressing team, but it's real good in the halfcourt."

Piedmont Hills is known as a man-to-man team, but went with the zone against Leigh.

The Pirates led 26-24 after three quarters and got an offensive-rebound basket from Isaac Kiep to start the fourth quarter, giving them a 28-24 advantage, their biggest lead of the game.

Leigh may have been cold from the field but made up for it at the foul line. The Longhorns were 11 of 12 on the line in the fourth quarter, helping them go on a 21-9 run to take a 43-37 lead with 22 seconds left.

Rey Lowe made three 3-point shots in the final 26 seconds to bring Piedmont Hills close, but time ran out after the last one he made.

"Having five seniors at the end of the game really helped us," Judge said.

Joe Giachetti led Leigh with 17 points, going 10 of 10 at the foul line. Devin Miller scored 12.

Walter Bateast and Lowe scored 14 points apiece for Piedmont Hills.

For more on high school sports, see the After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools. Contact Glenn Reeves at 650-348-4345 or greeves@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/GReeves23.