A 10-point second-half deficit was too much for the San Luis Obispo High School boys basketball team to overcome as Bakersfield Christian held on for a 56-54 win in the first round of the CIF State Division IV playoffs on Wednesday night in San Luis Obispo.
Leading by two, Bakersfield Christian (26-7) missed two free throws with eight seconds left, leaving the door open for SLO High to tie or take the lead. But the Tigers were frantic on the final possession, and a desperate heave by sophomore Carson Leedom at the buzzer failed to hit the rim.
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Leedom finished the game with 11 points. Addasson Wright led SLO High with 12 points.
SLO High struggled to find its rhythm on offense in the first half with Bakersfield Christian dialing up the full-court pressure leading to a 31-22 halftime deficit after being outscored 19-10 in the second quarter. The Tigers inched back in the game and got to within one point when freshman Assani Berkeley hit a 3-pointer with less than two minutes to play. But that would be as close as they would get.
The loss ends one of the best boys basketball seasons in school history. SLO High won its first league championship since 2008-09 (splitting the PAC 8 title with Mission Prep), reached the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs and qualified for the CIF State tournament for the first time in school history.