Wildcats back in playoff picture

The Mount Si Wildcats boys' basketball team's hopes for a postseason berth look a lot better now thanks to a very good week that started with a huge victory Jan. 22 at home over the third-place Newport Knights.

Tanner Riley's basket with four seconds left capped off a late Mount Si rally and gave the Wildcats a thrilling 57-56 victory.

"We tried to get a sideline out of bounds play, but they doubled where [we] were going to go and we just played basketball," said Mount Si coach Sloan Strohl. "We tell our kids, 'If all else breaks down, make a basketball play.'"

The heroics started with about 30 seconds left. After Newport's Bryce Bennett hit a bucket to make it 56-52 Knights, Wildcat Keegan Riley hit a three-pointer to make it 56-55. Newport turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and Mount Si called time out with 21 seconds left. On their possession following the time out, Tanner Riley got open and hit a relatively easy jump shot from close range to put the Wildcats in the lead. Newport had one last chance, but Brandon Mezistrano missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer and the Mount Si student section celebrated at midcourt.

Keegan Riley had 11 points to lead Mount Si. Tommy Abbott pitched in 10 to pace the Wildcats, and Tanner Riley finished with nine points to help the effort. Brian Dec also scored nine points for Mount Si to contribute to the cause. The loss for Newport spoiled a 20-point effort by Richard Woodworth, while Matt Winter with 15 and Colin Bennett with 12 helped pace the Knights.

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