The Division-VI NorCal boys basketball tournament got under way on Wednesday night, with both St. Bernard’s and South Fork losing their opening games on the road.
The Crusaders, who led by three at halftime, fell 60-49 at No. 3 seed Fall River in a game that was closer than the final score would suggest.
Just three points separated the two teams with 90 seconds remaining, before the Crusaders were forced to begin fouling late.
Lane Thrap scored a team-high 17 points in his final game for St. Bernard’s closing out a remarkable prep career.
Bode Joyner added nine points.
South Fork, meanwhile, fell 54-35 at No. 1 seed Weed.
The Cubs also led at halftime of their game, but saw a two-point advantage quickly disappear as the home team decisively took control of the game in the second half.
South Fork managed just three points in the third quarter and was outscored 30-9 in the second half.
“We just ran out of steam in the second half,” head coach David Bushnell said.
Despite their problems in the third quarter, just four points separated the two teams heading into the fourth quarter, before the Weed offense took over.
At Fall River, meanwhile, St. Bernard’s pushed the home all the way.
“A couple of breaks didn’t go our way down the stretch, but that’s the way the ball bounces,” St. Bernard’s head coach Steve Thrap said.
It was the final game for the long-time head coach, who has been coaching with the program for the past 17 years, including the past 13 as head coach of the varsity team.
“I’m very proud of the entire crew and very proud of all my boys over the years,” he said. “They have blessed me with a charmed career and I thank every single one of them
“No coach could ever be prouder and I look back on it all with no regrets.”