It came down to a final shot in the closing seconds. The Mariners had the ball with 10 second remaining but could not convert on a potential tying or winning shot. The final 71-69 score in favor of Napa was a far cry from the way the game began.
The Mariners opened the game on a 16-6 run punctuated by an emphatic alley-oop from Franco Barefield to Jalen Chandler. The Mariners looked poised to cruise to an easy win before the visitors from Napa Valley, stormed back into contention. A 12-6 run brought Napa within four with 6:34 left in the first half. Marin battled back and rebuilt their lead at halftime 39-28.
The Mariners kept their foot on the gas to begin the second half. As they led 52-42 with 14 minutes left and 59-50 midway through the period. Napa intensified their pressure as the clock ticked down and Marin was unable to keep the visitors at arm's length. With 5:37 Marin led 62-61 but a bucket by Napa put them ahead by a point with four minutes left.
Napa held a five-point advantage before an Alfonso Murrie layup brought the Mariners within a possession at 67-64. Napa led 71-68 before Murrie split free throws with 38 seconds left to pull within a pair at 71-69. Napa ran the clock down and missed a close range shot before the Marin controlled the board. With 10 seconds remaining, Barefield drove left and got into the paint, but his layup try was wide and Napa grabbed the rebound as the clock expired.
The loss was the Mariners second in as many Bay Valley Conference games as they continued to look for their first win in conference.
Murrie led all scorers with 20 points. He added 14 rebounds and an assist too. Barefield had 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and a trio of steals while Julian Bryant added 13 points in the game.
The Mariners open 2020 on the road with a game against the Contra Costa Comets on Thursday, January 2nd at 5:30pm.