Oh so close | TheUnion.com

Oh so close

The Bear River boys basketball team saw its chance to salvage its snakebitten season slip through its collective fingers in its home game with Lincoln Thursday.

Bear River, which snapped a 16-game losing streak with a three-point win at Oakmont (Roseville) Tuesday, had the Sac-Joaquin Section’s second-rated Division IV squad on the ropes, but couldn’t score the knockout in a 57-53 loss.

“We were playing good basketball, but for some reason we just went flat. We have to find away to finish these games,” Bruin assistant coach Steve Box said. “We had a golden opportunity, (but they came through when they had to). Lincoln showed why they’re near the top of the league, and why we’re near the bottom.”

Lincoln (18-4 overall, 5-2 Pioneer Valley League), which was without the services of its primary scoring threat Haven Piatt due to a shoulder injury, entered the game in a three-way tie for second place in league play.

Bear River’s (2-17, 1-6) Jacob Lazor, who tied a career-high with a game-best 28 points, including four 3-pointers, said his boys hit Jack R.. McCrory Gymnasium confident, despite the hefty task at hand.

“The last time we played, Piatt scored 39 points because we played a zone. We were going to a man-to-man tonight so we all thought we could win even with him,” the junior center said. “Except for the Colfax game, we’ve been in every game in the fourth quarter.”

The Bruins, who led by as many as 13 points, took a 51-50 lead at the two minute, 17 second mark of the fourth quarter when Jacob Murnan drained a 3-pointer from the right corner.

Lincoln answered with a 5-2 run over the next 1:30 to regain the lead.

Down by two points with 22.7 left in regulation, Bear River set up in its half-court offense.

The Zebras didn’t want Lazor to get his hands on the ball.

They got their wish.

With the shot clock running down and Lazor hemmed up, Murnan launched a 3-pointer from the right corner, but misfired.

The Bruins were forced to foul to stop the clock and the visitors responded.

Kyle McFerren clanked the front end of a one-and-one, but was fouled as he gathered in the rebound. He sank the next two to seal the win.

Jon Wood finished with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the loss.

Matt Mocek chipped in four points for the hosts. Murnan, Anthony Logan and Michael Fredrickson had three points each.

McFerren led Lincoln with 20 points.

In the junior varsity game, Bear River got 17 points from Matt Hilton and 16 more from Kevin Barker in a 51-41 win.

Bear River will host Mira Loma (Sacramento) 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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