The Dougherty Valley boys basketball team clinched the Mission Valley Athletic League Mountain Division title Friday night with a 65-50 win over visiting San Ramon Valley.
Sixth-ranked Dougherty Valley (20-6, 10-0 MVAL) improved to 16-0 at home and secured its 15th league title.
“Our guys understood that we had an opportunity to win that league championship tonight and they knew what it meant,” DVAL coach Warren Carey said. “We haven’t lost a league game at home since January of last year.”
The first-place Rams (11-13, 6-3) would have been able to win the title outright with a win. But an ugly free-throw shooting game, particularly in the fourth quarter, is costing them, coach John Goodwin said.
“It was a low-scoring game with tough defenses on both sides,” he said. “We just couldn’t hit free throws. We were a percentage point away from the free-throw line.”
The DVAL leaders in free-throw shooting are Justin Kozlowski, 14 of 14 in DVAL play, and DVC’s only other top-20 free-throw shooter is Garrett Skowronski, who is 15 of 19 in league.
San Ramon Valley made nine of its first 13 free throws in the fourth quarter, yet still trailed the hosts by nine points entering the final quarter. The game was tied for less than a minute in the final period.
At one point in the game, the teams combined for three missed free throws in a six-second span.
“The foul line was the difference in the game,” said San Ramon Valley’s Jared Chin, who led all scorers with 22 points.
The DVAL game was scoreless for 1 minute, 40 seconds in the first quarter. Each team hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter, when DVC’s Jason Hester scored seven points to fuel the rally. The Titans then took a 19-18 lead into halftime.
Chin, who connected on four 3-pointers in the game, scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half.
Dougherty Valley’s free-throw shooting helped it build a 19-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Chin had another 16 points to lead San Ramon Valley, which trailed 59-35 with 2:45 left.