Video: Sheldon vs. Dublin highlights
2020 Arizona State signee Marcus Bagley leads Sheldon to 59-58 win over Dublin in regional semifinal.
Hours after receiving a last-minute reprieve into the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs on Tuesday afternoon, the Sheldon (Sacramento)
boys basketball team — grounded temporarily by the coronavirus scare — pulled out a dramatic last-minute victory Tuesday night.
, brother of Sacramento Kings' forward Marvin Bagley, scored a game-high 27 points including the go-ahead bucket with 17.5 seconds left as the Huskies went on the road and fought off an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat a very determined and game Dublin
team 59-58 in a dramatic Northern California Open Division semifinal game.
After Bagley's tough runner in the lane, Dublin had three shots in the final sequence, but the last one — a three-point attempt by Elijah Alonso
— glanced off the rim at the buzzer, advancing Sheldon to Thursday's NorCal finals to face Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland
On the other side of the bracket awaits Sheldon's arch rival Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth)
, which scored the last 13 points of the game to defeat Etiwanda
63-61 in the Southern California Open finals. Sierra Canyon has defeated Sheldon in the last two state Open Division finals.
SIERRA CANYON WINS ON BUZZER-BEATER
A remarkable block by Dontrell Hewlett
in the final sequence saved the victory and epitomized Sheldon's grit and fight to even stay alive in the tournament.
A driving layup hit off the backboard into the waiting arms of what appeared a wide open Malik Jackson for what appeared a game-winning follow. But out of nowhere, Hewlett, a 6-foot-8 wing, came from seemingly nowhere to spring off the floor and fly swat the ball into the corner.
The ball was dug out and ended up in the hands of Alonso, who took one dribble, but his shot, straight as a string, missed and Sheldon is still in the hunt to win its third straight NorCal Open title, something that has never been done.
"Resilient,” Sheldon coach Joey Rollings told Sacramento Bee
reporter and MaxPreps correspondent Joe Davidson. “A
real adrenaline rush for all of our guys and coaches at the end.
Amazing. It���s been a roller coaster of a week. We’re playing a game,
then we’re not playing a game, then we’re losing in the game, then we
win it — up and down.
“We stuck together. We don’t quit. Even when it feels like it’s over, it isn’t over.”
All looked over on Saturday.
The Huskies were thrown into the national headlines after the Elk Grove Unified School District pulled the team from the postseason and shut down campuses for the week after Sacramento County Public Health quarantined one of the district's 64,000 students over coronavirus suspicions.
Public outcry and political pressure following Saturday's announcement ensued and the CIF brokered a compromise to allow the Huskies back into the field if certain benchmarks were met.
On Tuesday morning it announced all athletic and academic activities are on, though its schools remain closed for the week. That plus clearance from Sacramento County health officials was all Dublin and CIF needed to hear to reinstate the team.
"Our kids are ready to go," Rollings told the Sacramento Bee
earlier in the day. "We haven't had a practice since Friday. It's a weird situation. You just don't know what to expect."
Dublin athletic director Tim Sbranti said the fourth-seeded Gaels (24-6) are also ready.
"If there were any kind of health risk, the game would obviously not go on," Sbranti said. "The fact that county health officials signed off and put their reputations on the line is all we had to hear. We would never put our players or fans at risk."
Sheldon faces semifinalist Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland
), which won its 17th straight game with a 73-60 win over Archbishop Mitty on Saturday. The NorCal finals have been rescheduled for Thursday.
Sheldon has lost the last two seasons in the state Open Division finals to star-studded Sierra Canyon teams. This is considered the most talented Sheldon squad in school history.
The state finals are slated 8 p.m. Saturday at the Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings.
After overcoming so much turmoil since Saturday, then Dublin on Tuesday, Marcus Bagley thinks it's going to be hard to deny the Huskies. He thought Hewlett's block summed up his team's will and desire.
“Dontrell Hewlett had the play of the game with that block,” Bagley
told Davidson. “That won it for us. I’m proud of all of our guys, our team. I’m
happy. We’ve been resilient all year. Learned a lot about our team.
We’re built for this. That’s why this game meant so much.”