The unseeded Pajaro Valley boy’s basketball team notched its first Central Coast Section playoff win since 2009 in comeback fashion, edging No. 12 Soledad in the first round of the Division III bracket on the road on Tuesday night.
Pajaro Valley (17-8), the second-place finisher in the Monterey Bay League Pacific division, trailed until the final minute.
The Grizzlies would complete the comeback from the free-throw line, seizing the lead with a little under 40 seconds left, according to second-year head coach Andre Bailey, and holding off the tall and athletic Aztecs (10-14).
Freshman guard Christian Quintero scored a team-high 13 points, while senior forwards Jonathan Chavez and Raymond Escobar each added 11 for Pajaro Valley, which bounced back after suffering a pair of losses to end its league season.
“This was big,” Bailey said. “I don’t know how big it was to the kids. I was proud of them. It was big because I wanted to see if I could coach at this level. I wanted to see if we could come back and play well after their last two losses in conference.”
They did just enough to advance to tonight’s second round. The Grizzlies, which are enjoying their first playoff action since 2013, will travel to No. 5 seed Saratoga for a 7 p.m. game.
Bailey said his group is not satisfied with only one win.
“I think they’re hungry to keep this going,” Bailey said.
• Leland 70, Watsonville 46 – The Watsonville Wildcatz boy’s basketball team lost 70-46 in the first round of the CCS D-II tournament to the defending champ Leland, the No. 9 seed, on Tuesday night in San Jose.
Senior guard James Gomez Jr. and junior wing Gio Gonzalez each scored 12 points and senior forward Andres Valez added seven for unseeded Watsonville (12-13), which earned its first postseason appearance since 2012.
The Wildcatz will graduate 10 in the spring, including Gomez Jr. and Valez.
• North Monterey County 40, Del Mar 39 – Senior point guard Amanda Torrez and freshman wing Rebecca Castro each scored 16 points to lead the North Monterey County girl’s basketball team past No. 12 Del Mar, 40-39, in overtime to its first CCS playoff win since 2010 on Tuesday night in San Jose.
The unseeded Condors (13-12), second-place finishers in the MBL-P, will advance to tonight’s second round. They travel to No. 5 Aptos at 7 p.m.
UPDATED CCS SCHEDULE
>> Division III: No. 9 North Monterey County at No. 8 Gunderson, 7 p.m.
>> Division III: Pajaro Valley at No. 5 Saratoga, 7 p.m.
>> Division III: No. 4 Aptos vs TBD (at St. Ignatius), TBD
>> Division IV: No. 4 Monte Vista Christian vs No. 5 Santa Cruz (at Hartnell College), TBD
>> Division V: No. 1 St. Francis vs TBD (at St. Francis), TBD
>> Division III: No. 5 Aptos vs North Monterey County, 7 p.m.
>> Division IV: No. 8 Monte Vista Christian vs No. 9 Santa Cruz, 7 p.m.
>> Division V: No. 2 St. Francis vs TBD (at Alma Heights Christian), TBD