SACRAMENTO, Calif. —
The 32nd modern California State Basketball Championships are underway. Below are running gamers from Friday's play at Sleep Train Arena.
DIVISION IPleasant Grove (Elk Grove) 73, Santa Monica 57
It wasn’t just historic. It was flat out a ball.
Pleasant Grove punctuated the Sac-Joaquin Section’s first state Division I boys title with a couple of late highlight-reel plays that sent the large local following into a frenzy.
Senior point guard
threw an ally-oop pass to 6-foot-7 sophomore Marquese Chriss
, who threw the ball straight down, and then on the team’s next possession the two hooked up again.
This time Chriss, under heavy duress, missed the dunk but the ever-present Colfax "Cole" Nordquist
was there to follow it home and the Eagles (28-6), a league and SJS runner-up, were on their way to a complete and thorough 73-57 win over Santa Monica (29-7) Saturday at Sleep Train Arena.
The sequence came with two minutes remaining and put the Eagles up 69-53. A minute later, Thames and Chriss exchanged pleasantries near midcourt basking in the moment.
“We talked about finishing a championship game that way before,” Thames said. “It couldn’t have been sweeter.”
Thames, a 6-1 senior, orchestrated everything and finished with 16 points. His backcourt mate and shooting guard
added 19 points and Nordquist had 13 and nine rebounds. Chriss added nine points and nine rebounds.
The Eagles were in control throughout and benefited from foul trouble to Santa Monica standout and Cal-bound 6-4 guard Jordan Mathews
, who played just 12 minutes before fouling out early in the fourth quarter.
He managed just 10 shots, nine points and four turnovers, a stark contrast to when he hit the game-winning 3-pointer to get his team to the state title game.Chris Smith
, a 6-5 senior, led the Vikings with 20 points and eight rebounds and Erron Vaughn
contributed 10 points.
Pleasant Grove, playing in its fourth game at Sleep Train Arena, shot like it was familiar with the arena, shooting almost 50 percent (25 of 52), including 6-for-14 on 3-pointers. Three of those were made by Hayes.
“I’m so happy I can’t even describe it,” Hayes said. “This feels like our second home and we played relaxed and just played our game. We had fun.”
Santa Monica managed to shoot just 22 of 64 (34 percent), which was above average on the first day of play on Friday. Many teams shot in the 20 percent range.
Pleasant Grove also held a big 43-32 edge on rebounds, including eight in 10 minutes by 6-6 junior Thomas Fitzgerald
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Pleasant Grove coach John DePonte said. “I couldn’t be happier for our guys who have been through so much but stuck with it and focused on the goal at hand.
“We didn’t get the league title or the section title, but we got the state crown. That’s very special.”
It was special to because it was Northern California’s only win of the day following five defeats.
“We definitely wanted to represent,” Hayes said. “A girl on Berkeley (Rachel Howard) told us to win one for NorCal and that’s what we did.” Pleasant Grove 73, Santa Monica 57
SANTA MONICA (29-7)
Trevis Jackson 2-12 4-4 8, Erron Vaughn 4-10 2-4 10, Troy Maloney 1-5 0-0 3, Jordan Mathews 3-10 3-5 9, Chris Smith 9-15 2-2 20, Jason Conner 1-1 0-0 2, David Sandoval 0-1 0-0 0, Spencer Cramer 0-2 0-0 0, Nuwriyl Williams 2-8 0-0 5. Totals 22-64 11-15 57. PLEASANT GROVE (28-6)
Malik Thames 6-15 3-4 16, James Watson 2-2 0-0 4, Matthew Hayes 7-16 2-2 19, Colfax Nordquist 4-8 4-10 13, Marquse Chriss 3-5 3-6 9, Todd Crivello 0 2-2 2, Matthew Smrekar 1-3 1-3 4, Thomas Fitzgerald 2-3 2-2 6. Totals 25-52 17-29 73
Santa Monica 14 13 13 17 - 57
Pleasant Grove 18 18 20 17 - 733-point shooting:
Santa Monica 2-12 (Williams, Maloney), Pleasant Grove 6-14 (Hayes 3, Thames, Smrekar). Rebounds:
Santa Monica 32 (Smith 8), Pleasant Grove 43 (Nordquist 9, Chriss 9). Assists:
Santa Monica 6, Pleasant Grove 3. Turnovers:
Santa Monica 9, Pleasant Grove 13. DIVISION IIISt. Augustine (San Diego) 59,
Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 52 (OT)
said he was a little nervous. He made one of his first three free throws earlier in the game. But the game was on the line this time. The season. The state championship.
The 6-foot-4 junior stepped the line with 2.9 seconds left in regulation and sank three straight free throws to force overtime and from there, he and his teammates had more than enough to defeat a tough and scrappy Sacred Heart Cathedral team.
Kell finished with 30 points — more than half of his team's total — and a game-high 11 rebounds as St. Augustine won its first state title.
“I was a little nervous,” Kell said of his game-tying free throws. “I just kept thinking I had to make the next one.”
Said St. Augustine senior guard
, who had 10 points and seven rebounds: “I knew they were going. There was no doubt.”
There seemed little doubt St. Augustine was going to win this one. It held a big size advantage and was in control throughout. But the Irish (21-12), who lost in last year's state-title game but graduated three starters including two Division I players, looked like they had stolen this one. Literally.
The Irish looked dead, down 42-36, when Liam O'Reilly
scored a layup and Deondre Otis
drove in for another interior hoop to close to 42-40 with 37.5 seconds left.
Kell made two free throws to go up 44-40 with 26.8 seconds left, then David Parsons
took a pass from Herman Pratt IV
(17 points, six rebounds) and drilled a 3-pointer from the corner, cutting it to 44-43 with 16.8 seconds left.
When the Irish forced a five-second call on the inbounds, remarkably they had a chance to take the lead and after a timeout, coach Darrell Barbour drew up a perfect inbounds play and O’Reilly (10 points, nine rebounds) swished a 12-footer from the baseline.
Sacred Heart Cathedral had its first lead since 9-8.
“These kids don’t quit,” Barbour said. “Their effort was off the charts.”
When Parsons intercepted the inbounds pass, was fouled and sunk two free throws, the Irish were up 46-43 with 10.2 seconds left and the upset seemed imminent.
But Kell was fouled by O’Reilly taking a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left. And Kell delivered.
"We knew when they got the lead we couldn't lose our composure," Lemar said. "We never lost our control."
"Sacred Heart is a really good team and we knew it was going to be a very tough game," St. Augustine coach Mike Haupt said. "(Winning the first state title) is a big deal." St. Augustine 59, Sacred Heart Cathedral 52ST. AUGUSTINE (29-4)
Nate Samaniego 0-4 0-0 0, Drew Madsen 2-5 1-4 5, Trey Kell 9-15 10-13 30, Brent Jones 3-7 0-0 9, Brynton Lemar 3-9 4-4 10, Jake Ryan 1-3 0-0 3, Martin Tombe 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-45 15-21 59. SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL (21-12)
DeOndre Otis 5-15 0-2 12, Khalil James 1-11 0-0 2, David Parsons 3-12 2-2 9, Herman Pratt 6-14 2-2 17, Liam O'Reilly 5-9 0-4 10, Evan Davison 0 0-2 0, Elliot Santiago 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 21-63 4-12 52.
St. Augustine 13 10 14 10 12 - 59
SH Cathedral 9 7 14 17 5 - 523-point shooting:
St. Augustine 6-15 (Jones 3, Kell 2), Sacred Heart Cathedral 6-25 (Pratt 3, Otis 2, Parsons). Rebounds:
St. Augustine 41 (Kell 11), SHC 34 (O'Reilly 9). Assists:
SA 4, SHC 5. Turnovers:
SA 25, SHC 16. DIVISION VHorizon (San Diego) 47, St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 46
In the long and prosperous coaching career of Don Lippi, he said he never lost a regular-season game at the buzzer.
Horizon’s Ethan Underwood picked one heck of a time to break that spell.
The 6-foot sophomore guard drilled a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to stun Lippi and the Pilots (25-12), who were after their fifth state crown and in control throughout. Underwood’s shot, in fact, was only Horizon’s third lead of the game. The others were 2-0 and 32-31.
St. Joseph missed at least a dozen layups, most of them contested, and more vital it missed four free throws in the final 11.3 seconds, setting up Underwood’s heroics. It was a brutal way to lose a game and the uncontrollable tears and wailing on the St. Joseph bench afterward proved it.
The loudest wails came from 6-6 junior center Temidayo Yussuf
, who had a game-high 20 points and Division V championship record 19 rebounds.
“They all hurt because they all care,” said Lippi, who has 726 wins with four teams in his career. “Give that kid credit, but it’s a heck of a way to lose. He could shoot that 100 times and probably miss 80 or 90 times. But that’s why they call it March Madness.”
It was a spectacular way to win a game for Horizon, which was fighting uphill the entire game.
"That's Ethan for you," Horizon coach Tyrone Hopkins said. "He's never afraid to take the big shot. He's got ice in his veins."
Up 46-44 with 4 seconds left, St. Joseph sent the team’s best free throw shooter Marcus Harris to the line. He missed two, and Horizon’s
(17 points, 14 rebounds) got the carom, dribbled to near midcourt, then found Underwood, who took two dribbles and swished it from well beyond the top of the key. Hopkins said it was the fifth buzzer-beater for his team to win a game this year.
It wasn't the play Hopkins drew up during the last timeout before the free throw. His team improved to 21-11.
“When Darren got me the ball I knew I was going to make that shot,” said Underwood, who made 6 of 9 shots including three 3-pointers, and had 15 points. “I didn’t know if it went in because a big kid was in my face. I heard my teammates scream and knew it was in.”
Said Carrington: “When I got the rebound I thought should I do the play coach called? I thought 'no.' A guy cut me off and I saw Ethan was open. I could see it was going in. I was right behind him. It was a miracle. I was shocked.” Horizon 47, St. Joseph Notre Dame 46HORIZON (21-11)
Cody Underwood 1-9 6-7 8, Markel Byrd 1-9 0-0 3, Darren Carrington 7-14 2-5 17, Eric Harris 0-1 1-2 1, Ethan Underwood 6-9 0-3 15, Donte Cretain 0-2 0-0 0, MicahGoeglein 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 16-47 9-17 47. ST. JOSEPH NOTRE DAME (25-12)
Marcus Harris 3-6 0-2 7, Marc Voisenat 1-7 2-3 4, Justin Brown 2-10 1-2 5, Lamont Banks 3-6 2-7 8, Temidayo Yussuf 6-14 8-11 20, James Lafollette 0-1 0-0 0, James Choyce 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 16-47 13-25 46
Horizon 9 8 14 16 - 47
St. Joseph 9 16 9 12 - 463-point shooting:
Horizon 6-17 (E. Underwood 3, Byrd, Carrington, Goeglein), St. Joseph 1-6 (Harris). Rebounding:
Horizon 34 (Carrington 14), St. Joseph 39 (Yussuf 19). Assists:
Horizon 3, St. Joseph 8. Turnovers:
Horizon 14, St. Joseph 13. GIRLS
DIVISION ILong Beach Poly 46, Berkeley 28
Carl Buggs has been to Sleep Train Arena plenty of times - four, in fact, with his staff. Beating Berkeley is not something new for Buggs and the other coaches.
But the rest of the young Jackrabbits, primarily made up of freshmen (four), a sophomore and juniors (five), haven't made it to the big arena, so Friday's wire-to-wire victory was ever so sweet.
Poly used a stifling defense, forced 26 turnovers and got 14 points and eight rebounds from 6-foot junior Jada Matthews and 11 points and stellar defense by 5-8 guard Arica Carter to win the school's fifth state title, the fourth time over Berkeley (22-12).
Poly, which finished 30-5, came into the game No. 12 in the MaxPreps national Freeman computer rankings. The 28 points allowed was the lowest in state Division I girls championship game history.
"I don't take this for granted," Buggs said. "Getting to this point is a blessing. I'm proud for this team. This was a unique experience for all these girls and they made the most of it."
Carter, who made five of 12 shots, helped lock down USF-bound Rachel Howard, who made just 3 of 14 shots and scored 11 points. Most of those were in the fourth quarter when the game was long decided.
Howard scored 23 in the regional final in the same building.
"We kind of felt that if we stopped her from scoring we'd have a good chance to win," Carter said. "At first I just tried to lock her up so she couldn't get a shot off because she's a really good shooter. Then I tried to cut off her drive. It all worked out."
Right from the start it worked out as Poly raced to leads of 16-6 and 20-9 at the end of the first two quarters. The Yellowjackets were held to 24 percent shooting for the game, 9 of 38.
The Yellowjackets, who won four games as the 12th seed in the NorCal playoffs, were just over-anxious said Berkeley coach Cheryl Draper. Desire Finnie and Jaimonie Welch-Coleman combined for 13 points and 10 rebounds for Berkeley.
“We were going 180 miles per hour instead of just playing our pace,” she said. “He were in a hurry rather than just being fast.”
It was Berkeley’s record 13th appearance in the state finals, but it has recorded just two victories. Poly lost in the Southern Sections quarterfinals and had to wait a week before being invited into the Southern California regional.
"It was like we got new life when we were selected," Buggs said. "The girls made the most of it."
Long Beach Poly 46, Berkeley 28
LONG BEACH POLY (30-5)
Tania Lamb 2-10 2-2 8, Justyce Dawson 0-2 0-0 0, Jada Matthews 5-10 4-5 14, Arica Carter 5-12 0-0 11, Keyla Morgan 2-4 1-5 5, Mishaelle Kemp 0-1 0-0 0, Briana Johnson 2-4 1-2 6, Airica Carmon 1-4 0-0 2, Others 0-7 0-0 0. Totals 17-55 8-12 46.
Breona Eskridge 1-3 0-0 2, Desire Finnie 2-8 3-4 7, Rachel Howard 3-14 4-5 11, Gariana Youngblood 1-2 0-0 2, Jaimonie Welch-Coleman 2-6 2-2 6. Totals 9-38 9-11 28.
Long Beach Poly 16 4 17 9 - 46
Berkeley 6 3 11 8 - 28
3-point shooting: Long Beach Poly 4-20 (Lamb 2, Carter, Johnson), Berkeley 1-8 (Howard). Rebounds: Berkeley 38 (Matthews 8, Carter 8). Assists: Long Beach Poly 4, Berkeley 3. Turnovers: Long Beach Poly 15, Berkeley 26. DIVISION IIIAlemany (Mission Hills) 46,
Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 40
It took a tough, rugged, scrappy 32 minutes of play, but Alemany (32-5) captured its first girls state championship — and exacted some long standing revenge in the process.
Alemany (32-5) overcame 27 percent shooting and got 16 points and four 3-pointers by Leslie Lopez-Wood
and 12 points and 11 rebounds by Hannah Johnson
to avenge the team's only other appearance at state, a 48-38 loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral in 1998.
Alemany was exalted on by an exuberant, enthusiastic band of fans, close to 1,000 strong that has regularly made Alemany road trips. The large section of fans is tagged the War Zone and they thoroughly enjoyed this rough and tumble contest.
"It was a chance of a lifetime to play here and be in this game and play in this arena," Lopez-Wood said. "We always feel the support of our fans and school. We don't want to let them down."
They didn't, even though Sacred Heart Cathedral (26-6) overcame a long scoreless spell — seven minutes — in the first half to take a 34-32 lead with 5:23 left in the game.
But the Warriors finished on a 14-6 run started with a driving layup and 3-pointer by Lopez-Wood and four free throws by Clarissa Larios
. The Irish eventually closed to 42-38 on a putback by talented 6-foot sophomore Ashanti Coleman
(14 points, game-high 12 rebounds), but four free throws down the stretch clinched it for Alemany, which won its 16th straight.
"I've been blessed with some very talented players," Alemany coach Bryan Camacho said. "I trust in them and they trust in me. The girls just play so hard. I'm so proud of them."
Sacred Heart Cathedral made just 16 of 56 shots (28 percent) but it was actually better than 27 percent for Alemany (14 of 52). The rest of the game was also just about even, as the Irish held a 44-39 rebounding edge and committed one more turnover (19-18).
“We just didn’t put the ball in the basket,” Sacred Heart Cathedral coach LyRyan Russell said. “No excuses. Our defense was strong. It was just a little lull.”
Trailing 31-22, the Irish (25-7), who fought back from a 19-point deficit to win a WCAL playoff game, clawed back to go on a 12-1 run keyed by four points each from Briannah Smith
and Coleman and finished off with a left-handed layup by Kayla Coloyan
to take their last lead, 34-32 with 5:23 left in the game.
From there, however, they managed just two buckets.
“We were a little jittery at times,” Coleman said. “And we didn’t pay attention to details.”
Among those were a couple of defensive lapses in the fourth quarter, allowing wide open layups. Other than that and not shooting well, these are the kind of games SHC has pulled out all season.
“We always come back and fight and I had no doubt we’d come back to win,” Smith said. “But (Alemany) is a solid team. They made more plays than us down the stretch.” Alemany 46, Sacred Heart Cathedral 40ALEMANY (32-5)
Clarissa Larios 1-3 4-6 6, Leslie Lopez-Wood 6-15 0-0 16, Hannah Johnson 4-13 4-8 12, Genessa Bedoya 2-8 4-7 8, Adaora Obi 1-6 1-2 3, Byers 0-1 0-0 0, Breanna Calhoun 0-6 1-2 1. Totals 14-52 14-25 46. SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL (26-7)
Kayla Colyan 3-9 0-0 6, Asley Gainer 0-6 2-2 2, Ge'anna Summers-Luaula 1-13 0-0 2, Briannah Smith 3-11 0-0 7, Ashanti Coleman 7-11 0-0 14, Kairee Howard 4-4 6, Angela Dailey 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 16-56 7-8 40.
Alemany 11 13 8 14 - 46
SHC 12 8 10 10 - 403-point shooting:
Alemany 4-15 (Lopez-Wood 4), Sacred Heart Cathedral 1-6 (Smith). Rebounds:
Alemany 39 (Johnson 11), SHC 44 (Coleman 12). Assists:
Alemany 4, SHC 4. Turnovers:
Alemany 18, SHC 19. DIVISION VSierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 47 vs.
Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 33
It wasn't a matter of effort or execution, but simply a matter of nerves. And Sierra Canyon coach Alicia Komaki wasn't going to stand for it.
"We worked too hard all season to be nervous," she told her team at halftime.
The Trailblazers looked much more relaxed and played their quick, well-balanced game led by one of the nation's top sophomores, 6-foot-1 guard Kennedy Burke
(14 points, 16 rebounds), to outscore Pinewood 18-8 and take complete command en route to their first state championship.
Burke had a tough time shooting, but then who doesn't at Sleep Train. She made 4 of 17 shots, but she stayed patient and added game-high totals of four assists and five blocks as well.
She got plenty of help, including three big 3-pointers from Gabi Nevill
(nine points), and interior play by Cheyanne Wallace
(seven points, 11 rebounds) as Sierra Canyon (24-9) opened up a 36-22 lead heading into the final quarter.
When Pinewood (24-8) scored the first seven points of the fourth on a 3-pointer and layup from
and two free throws by Monique McDevitt
, the Panthers closed to 36-29.
But like they did all night, the Trailblazers had an answer as Zoe Goss drilled a jumper, Wallace a layup and Jorden Sneed a baseline jumper to go up 42-29. Pinewood never got within 11.
"We expected to be a little nervous, but it lasted too long," Komaki said. "But we were able to find ourselves. It was a struggle, but we finally found ourselves."
It was a struggle all game from the field for Pinewood, which made just 11 of 49 shots (22 percent), including 5-for-26 on 3s. The Panthers needed to hit 3-pointers against the much longer Trailblazers. Gabi Bade
led Pinewood with eight points and Marissa Hing
and Leeana Bade added seven apiece for the Panthers, who won five state titles previously, four under current coach Doc Scheppler, considered one of the state top coaches.
He praised Komaki for switching up her defense and Sierra Canyon for playing with great intensity.
"They play hard and with passion and that's very impressive," Schepppler said. "I thought we held our own, but we don't like to lose. We thought we were going to win this game and now it hurts a little."Sierra Canyon 47, Pinewood 33SIERRA CANYON (24-9)
Gabi Nevill 3-5 0-0 9, Cheyanne Wallace 3-10 1-2 7, Kennedy Burke 4-17 5-9 14, Zoe Goss 2-8 4-4 8, Jorden Sneed 2-9 2-2 7, Shivon Ganther 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 15-50 12-17 47. PINEWOOD (24-8)
Marissa Hing 3-9 0-0 7, Leeana Bade 3-16 0-0 7, Chloe Eackles 2-4 0-0 4, GabiBade 2-10 2-2 8, Angelina Mapa 1-3 1-4 4, Monique McDevitt 0-3 3-5 3. Kendahl Wallis-Lang 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 11-49 6-11 33.
Sierra Canyon 9 9 18 11 — 47
Pinewood 12 5 5 11 — 333-point shooting:
Sierra Canyon 5-13 (Nevill 3, Burke, Sneed), Pinewood 5-26 (G. Bade 2, Mapa, Hing, L Bade). Rebounding:
Sierra Canyon 44 (Burke 16), Pinewood 34 (L. Bade 8). Assists:
SC 6, Pinewood 3. Turnovers:
Sierra Canyon 18, Pinewood 19.