Video: Highlights of Vanden-Mater Dei girls D2 finals
See Vanden's remarkable comeback from 17 points down in the fourth quarter.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —
Here are results from the second day of the two-day CIF Basketball Championships are Saturday at beautiful Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings.
Southern California captured four of the six titles on Friday, but a sophomore girl from a Division 5 Northern California team stole the show, along with a record-setting boys squad from San Francisco. Add in a pair of Southern California boys coaches who won titles with a second team and two other first-time champions and it made for an eventful day in Sacramento.See all of the action from Friday night
On Saturday, the two regions split six games, with the South taking both Open divisions and the D2 boys. The North took both D4 games and the D2 girls.
Below are results from D2 and D4 title games. In games featuring four nationally ranked teams, see Clovis West's stunning comeback win in the Open girls
and Bishop Montgomery's crowning jewel victory in Open boys
. Division 2 boys
Esperanza (Anaheim) 72, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 65
Both teams took, then delivered big punches but Esperanza (30-3) responded well to the biggest blow en route to its first state title in first state-title game.
Long (6-foot-8) and fluid Stanford-bound guard Kezie Okpala
filled up the stat sheet with 22 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks to lead the way for the Aztecs (30-3), but he got plenty of help from sharp-shooting Brendan Harrick
The 6-6 junior and grandson former college coach Jim Harrick made 10 of 20 shots, including three key three-pointers, en route to 25 points.
Super 6-foot-6 freshman Kyree Walker
very much looked like the best ninth-grader in the country with 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Mariners (25-9), who had their 21-game win streak snapped.
Teammate and fourth-year starter
completed a brilliant career with 22 points, but made just 6 of 21 shots largely because of the defense of Okpala and plenty of weak-side help.
Milstead missed his first five shots and Okpala had a hot hand, leading Esperanza to leads of 22-7 after the first quarter and 32-15 early in the second.
Milstead had one thought: “déjà vu,” he said.
That was in reference to his team’s 41-point loss to Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) in the D4 title game three years ago when he was a freshman. It was the most lopsided defeat in state history.
“We laid down in that one,” Moreau coach Frank Knight said.
Not this time.
Milstead began orchestrating and Walker kept driving and willing his team to buckets. Slowly, methodically the Mariners chipped away at the lead. When Walker drilled a three pointer with 5:05 left in the third, Moreau had taken a 37-36 lead, completing a 22-4 run.
The Moreau fans went into a frenzy.
“We showed a lot of heart and will to fight back and take the lead,” Knight said.
Esperanza flurried right back. Garrett Geiger
powered in a deuce, starting a 9-0 run putting the Aztecs up for good. Moreau made several more charges, closing to two points twice in the final two minutes.
Free throws by Okpala — he was 11 of 15 on the day — and another key layup from Geiger clinched it down the stretch.
“We hit a tough stretch there for a while,” Esperanza coach mark Hill said. “But we answered immediately after Moreau took the lead. It was a matter of character and will. It was a hard-fought game.”
Said Harrick: “We had to stay composed when they took the lead. We didn’t panic. We came right back.”
Milstead, who led Moreau to 102 wins and scored more than 2,300 points in his career, sat stoically from the scorer’s table as Esperanza celebrated wildly at midcourt right after the game.
“We didn’t play well enough in the beginning,” he said. “I missed a lot of shots early, and I’m disappointed about that. But I’m proud of how we came back.”
Division 2 girls
Vanden (Fairfield, Calif.) 64, Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 61
Vanden coach Allison Johnson has claimed all year that her team’s story hadn’t been written yet.
Boy did the Vikings and their star Julia Blackshell-Fair
have a finish.
one of the greatest comebacks in state history – gender or division –
Vanden fought back from a 17-point deficit with 6:42 remaining – to pull
off the stunning victory, the city of Fairfield’s first girls
Blackshell-Fair, the school record holder in
every category according to coaches, was the catalyst on both ends,
first locking down Mater Dei’s super talented 6-1 junior Cydni Lewis
(23 points, 12 rebounds).
she completely took over on the offensive end, finishing with 20
points, 21 rebounds, eight assists and five steals. She also made the
game-winning play — a steal at midcourt, drive acrobatic layup and free
throw to complete a three-point lead with 11.2 seconds left.
back must be sore because she put our team on it,” Johnson said. “When
you have one of the top 100 players in the country anything is
Johnson said she never stopped believing – even
though she couldn’t remember much after Blackshell-Fair’s go ahead
basket. Mater Dei senior Jayda Adams
' 3-point from straight away banked off the rim, bounced high and Blackshell-Fair grabbed the rebound.
She was fouled, made one free throw and the Vikings rushed the court. It was a staggering turn of events.
we did to them in the third, they did to us in the fourth,” Mater Dei
coach Kevin Kiernan said. “(Giving up leads late) is something we’ve
fought through all season. We’ve always bounced back. If we played
tomorrow, we’d probably be in good shape. … This team knows heartache.”
the Monarchs (22-9) looked pretty much unbeatable in the middle two
quarters, especially the third when they outscored Vanden 25-9 to take a
55-38 lead into the fourth quarter.
Adams, a 6-foot senior
point guard headed to Duke, finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and
four steals. She and Lewis helped the Monarchs keep the lead at 17 –
58-41 – with 6:42. Johnson put Blackshell-Fair on Lewis and slowly
“I always thought there was enough time,”
Blackshell-Fair said. “I believed my teammates would make the shots when
we needed them and they did.” Deirdra Huff
(14 points) made two three-pointers down the stretch and Jenessa Herrera
made another. Myli Martinez
(12 points) and Cassie Alden
and Aryel Moreland
also made big plays.
Blackshell-Fair carried them in the fourth. Vanden went on a 26-6 run
and the Vikings finished off their story: A 17th straight league title,
third section crown, Northern California championship and the
ever-elusive state title.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Johnson said of the state crowd.
As far as the fourth-quarter deficit? “I always thought we could get it done. Luckily we had just enough time.”
Division 4 boys
St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo, Calif.) 59, Helix (La Mesa) 46
Derek Walker rattled off all the reasons his St. Patrick-St. Vincent
team captured Vallejo's first boys state championship.
Toughness. Balance. More specifically, a 25-7 third-quarter run after
missing 14 straight shots to finish the first half fueled the team's
impressive victory. They simply went to attack mode and four-year
players BJ Standley
(game-high 16 points) and Tavian Henderson
(12 points, 10 rebounds), a 6-foot-4 power forward, led the charge.
were settling for too many 3s," he said. "Tavian had taken only four
shots. We had scored only 19 points. We average close to 70. We knew
that wasn't us. We just needed to keep pushing."
And that they did, getting big contributions too from Marquel Johnson
(12 points) and especially Romeo Mays
, who made five of six shots, pulled down six rebounds to also score 12.Game play-by-play by Alex Landucci
of all, the Bruins (28-7) locked down on the defensive end, limiting
the longer and equally athletic Helix (31-6) to 25 percent shooting (15
of 59). A stingy and smart zone collapsed on Helix's bigs, namely 6-10
Miles Norris and Jaylen Arnold to a combined 22 points on just 6-foot-23
"They were the better than us today - they were the
better team," Helix coach John Singer said. "They played four quarters
and we just played one. On the biggest platform they got the job done."
who won a section title as a player at SPSV in 1992, said pride might
have been the biggest reason for his team's title. The school's football
team was also coming off a state title. Five players off that team,
including Johnson, Akil Edwards
and Marshel Martin
, now have two state crowns in four months.
"It's a good time to be a Bruin," Johnson said.
Henderson know it. Asked about winning a state crown in an NBA Arena,
he said: "It's really indescribable. I'm honestly so happy I can't even
capture it in words." Division 4 girls
West Campus (Sacramento) 63, Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga) 55
Led by a mountain of a coach — John Langston — and a fearless disposition, West Campus made the most its first state title-game experience by answering every Los Osos challenge, and there were many.
, a 5-8 junior, was sensational and efficient, make 10 of 13 shots, scored 24 points, while adding a team-high eight rebounds to lead the Warriors (30-4), who also got a big game from freshman Gabriella Rones
. The 5-5 guard scored 16 points, including a 30-footer buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter.
"We've worked all year for this moment," Langston said. "These girls aren't afraid of the big moments or anyone. We don't have a lot of height but we have a lot of heart. People on this team step up."Game play-by-play by Alex Landucci
Despite no player standing taller than 5-10, the Warriors held a 44-32 edge on the boards, including 22-10 on the offensive end. They also turned the ball over just nine times.
They needed to excel in all those areas to hold off Los Osos, which got 24 points from Breanne Ha
, 12 by Peyton Van Soest
and 11 by Dynnah Buckner
. Destiny Okomkwo
made all four of her shots and added a game-high 11 rebounds. After a cold first half, Ha drilled four three-pointers in the second half to erase a 10-point deficit.
"I had to keep shooting to get us back in it," Ha said.
Los Osos tied it at the end of three, but West Campus took over in the fourth with a 14-6 run to win going away. .
"We didn't get in the papers much," Langston said. "We can't hide anymore. They deserve all the attention they get. This team is a hidden jewel."
Los Osos coach Dawnesha Buckner feels the same about her team.
"It's been a dream season," she said. "We didn't come out with a victory today, but in my eyes we won. Our girls just don't quit."