Dunsmuir High School’s boys basketball season came to an abrupt halt in front of a hometown crowd Tuesday night against a team the Tigers defeated twice earlier in the season.

American Christian Academy of Palo Cedro, playing its first postseason game in school history, scored 28 point in the final period to beat the Tigers, 68-51.

The No. 8 seeded Tigers finished their 2010-11 season, the last under head coach Kale Riccomini, with a 12-10 record.

No. 9 American Christian (18-8) advances to face No. 1 Paradise Adventist (21-3) in a Division 6 quarterfinal Thursday in Paradise.

In three previous non-league games this season, Dunsmuir won two and lost one against American Christian. Because of that, the Tigers got the higher playoff seed even though American Christian was ranked a notch  higher in the Northern Section point system.

Dunsmuir trailed by a point at half time Tuesday night, 27-26, held the lead after three quarters, 41-40, and led by 5 points early in the fourth quarter. Then the Tigers faded and were ultimately outscored in the final period, 28-10.

An independent school that didn’t play in a league and wasn’t eligible for the playoffs in past years, Riccomini said American Christian played with enthusiasm and excitement in its first postseason game.

“They knew us and we knew them,”?Riccomini said. “They played as if they had nothing to lose... we played tight.”

Junior Daniel Ballard and senior Collin Lattanzio combined to score 22 of the Tigers’ 26 points in the first half, 14 by Ballard; 8 by Lattanzio.

Ballard finished with 16; Lattanzio had 14 points and 16 rebounds. Junior Jake Mekeel scored all 13 of his points in the second half and grabbed 7 rebounds. Senior Christian DeLeon scored 6, and senior Kile Beck had 2 points and 8 rebounds.

Riccomini, who is changing jobs from Dunsmuir Elementary principal to Mount Shasta Union Elementary School District principal as of July 1, said he will not return next year as Tiger coach. “It’s time to be a dad and watch my boys,” he said of his 10 year old twins.

But he sees a bright future for the Tigers with the seven current sophomores on the successful JV team joining returning varsity starters Ballard and Mekeel next season.

“I’ll enjoy coming down to watch them,”?Riccomini said.