Shawnee Baldwin High sophomore basketball guard Andy Hannon lives for the chance to shine in important games.
"My teammates tell me to be a leader, and I made a decision to help out my team," Hannon said.
On Friday night, Hannon, who scored 20 points, carried the offensive load for the Bulldogs, pouring in 15 of their 19 second-half points.
Unfortunately for fourth-seeded Baldwin, it wasn't enough to sneak by Spring Hill (21-1), the top seed in the Mill Valley Class 4A sub-state.
The Broncos used a 19-9 fourth quarter to defeat Baldwin, 55-48, at MVHS.
Hannon seemed to be the only Baldwin player who could make anything happen on offense.
"He's a spectacular talent and he is going to have many good days of basketball ahead of him," Baldwin coach Jeff Haas said. "For a sophomore campaign, it was spectacular."
The Broncos, who defeated Baldwin by 14 and 26 points in their previous meetings this season, halted the dribble penetration of Baldwin senior Eric Brown in the second half. Brown scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half.
BHS junior Joe Gipp, who had five assists, nailed a couple of deep three-pointers in the first half.
Haas said the Bulldogs played their best game of the season on Friday night.
"We played like champions tonight and I couldn't be more proud of our effort," Haas said. "We knew that we wanted to come out and dictate the tempo and we did a fantastic job."
Baldwin sophomore Micah Mason held Spring Hill's senior standout Paul Ray to five points in the first half.
With a 39-38 lead, the Bulldogs passed the ball around for a minute and a half to wear down the Broncos' defense.
"We were trying to stall a little time," Hannon said. "We wanted them to be relaxed, so we could go in and score."
The Broncos pulled ahead 43-42 on a Clint Whitson three-pointer with 4:15 remaining.
The Broncos sealed the victory when the referee called an intentional foul on Gipp when he appeared to be going for a steal from Ray with 10.6 left.
Ray led Spring Hill with 18 points.
KC Piper 52 Mill Valley 45
Mill Valley coach Justin Bogart knew exactly what KC Piper senior Chris Hargis was capable of doing to his Jaguars.
"We made a plan of emphasis in the last two practices (to stop Hargis), and that kid was just unconscious tonight," Bogart said.
Hargis, who scored a game-high 26 points, lit up the Jaguars for eight three-pointers as the second-seeded Pirates (18-4) defeated Mill Valley in the nightcap at MVHS. The Pirates outscored Mill Valley 19-9 in the fourth quarter.
"It was disappointing, but we were glad that we had a chance to go to the championship," Chavez said.
KC Piper will face Spring Hill at 7:30 p.m. today at MVHS with a trip to the 4A state basketball tournament on the line.