The No. 5-seeded Woodside Priory boys basketball team closed out its season at 25-6 Thursday when it fell to No. 1 Branson, 37-30, in the CIF NorCal Division V semifinal game.
Portola Valley-based Woodside Priory found itself in position to possible upset two-time defending state champion Branson when junior guard Kyle Berka hit a three-pointer to give the Panthers a 28-26 lead with 5:59 remaining to play.
Priory, however, went cold offensively at that point and managed just one more basket -- by 7-2 Greg Somogyi with 1:55 left to play. That tied the game at 30 before Branson's Oliver McNally completed a three-point play for a 33-30 game.
A steal by Berka set up a potential game-tying three-pointer by Ignas Pavilonis with 55 seconds to play, but Pavilonis missed. Fellow junior Andras Helmeczi misfired on the Panthers' next possession.
McNally made four free throws in the final 21 seconds to secure the win.
"It was really a 33-30 game before we had to foul at the end," said Priory coach Al Klein.
Somogyi was double- and triple-teamed whenever he touched the ball -- forcing him to kick it out to teammates. He still finished with a team-high nine points and sparked a defensive effort that allowed just one basket in the second quarter.
Priory, however, needed to shoot better than 29 percent from the floor (11 for 37) to beat Branson.
"We just didn't get it done in the end," said Klein. "We played really well. We just needed a little more scoring, and we didn't get it . . . I guess there's a reason why Branson is the (defending) state champ."