Kids these days. Can't underestimate them or appreciate them enough.
Area high school boys and girls put on a show over the weekend at Power Balance Pavilion in the Sac-Joaquin Section basketball playoffs, which remain a highlight of the school year for this region.
Here's a closer look at the weekend that was:
Kennedy girls 62, Oak Ridge 58 (2 OT) Neither team won its league, but both got hot in the playoffs. The Cougars shook off early nerves (1 of 13 shooting in the first quarter) to become the weekend's only non-No. 1 seed to win a title. That's six divisions, both genders.
Lori Wong, Jessica Lauderdale and Katie Lee of Kennedy combined to make 7 of 14 three-point attempts. Team star Lynette Johnson had 24 points to match the hot shooting of Oak Ridge sophomore Jenn Hoffman (six threes, 24 points).
Sheldon guard D'Erryl Williams dug deep in a slugfest against rival Jesuit and carried the Huskies in the Division I boys game. The junior played exceptional defense, as did the Huskies, and muscled inside for three late baskets to key a 49-44 victory to seal a section three-peat.
Jesuit guard Bryce Pressley deserves kudos for gutting out an ankle injury so tender that he required crutches the day before. He labored against Sheldon but stayed in the game, explaining, "This is our last shot as seniors."
Full speed ahead
The Sacramento girls know two speeds: fast and much faster. Dragons coach Michele Massari said she unleashes her team with the understanding that foes can't match the frenetic pace on defense and on the break. It was all on display in a 73-36 demolition over Modesto Christian (a team Sac beat by four during the season) in the D-III title game. Among the Dragons' burners is Jasmine Ware, who, fittingly, is the niece of all-time area 400-meter champion Johnny Ware of Sac High in the mid-1970s.
Stand tall, senior
The Capital Christian boys team is heavy on underclassmen, but the leader is 6-foot-6 senior Matt Donlan, who can run the floor, bang inside and hit the three. He had 22 points as the Cougars beat Central Catholic 64-50 in the D-V title game.
Best game face
Drew Hibbs of Foothill appears only slightly less miserable in victory than defeat, grimacing his way off the court at halftime of the D-III boys game with a 40-18 lead over Sierra of Manteca. Later, the only area coach to win two state boys titles spoke glowingly of his team's 74-52 triumph. He then reminded that more work is to be done in the Northern California playoffs. Game face back on.
Three's a crowd
High school teams are used to two-men officiating crews until the last two rounds of the playoffs. The intent is to reward referees with a big game, and some crews had fine efforts, while others overofficiated. On more than one instance, the extra referee barked at coaches, with one telling Antelope coach Rob Richards, "Don't look at me. Just coach."