The Sheldon boys basketball team will have some Bay Area rooters tonight when it plays national power Mater Dei of Santa Ana in the CIF Division I championship game at Power Balance Pavilion.
Salesian of Richmond, which beat Price-Los Angeles 70-56 in Friday afternoon's D-IV boys title game opener at Power Balance, is ranked No. 2 in California by Cal-Hi Sports, one spot behind Mater Dei.
Salesian (34-2), which didn't lose to a California team this season, beat three of Sacramento's best - Sheldon 63-61, Jesuit 51-49 and Sacramento 62-41.
The Pride won its past 27 games, losing only on the road to Florida powers Monteverde Academy and Blanche Ely, nationally ranked No. 15 and No. 18, respectively, by USA Today.
Against Price (26-9), Salesian overcame a slow start, then rode the dunks, layups and jumpers of 6-foot-5 forward Jabari Bird, one of the nation's top juniors, and the interior play of 6-8, 305-pound senior center Freddie Tagaloa.
Bird finished with 24 points, hitting 10 of 16 shots, and had four rebounds.
Tagaloa, a Cal football scholarship signee, had a team-high nine rebounds and two blocks and made all three of his shots while battling Price's 6-8 Skylar Spencer (14 points, nine rebounds) and 6-7 Khalil Johnson (17 points, seven rebounds).
La Jolla Country Day 72, Salesian-Richmond 41 in the Division IV girls final Junior guard Kelsey Plum scored 32 points, including a record-tying five three-pointers, to lead the Torreys (32-1) past the Pride (31-5). Plum's five three-pointers tied the state D-IV title game record held by former La Jolla Country Day star Candice Wiggins (2004).
Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 56, JW North-Riverside 54 in the Division II girls final Emily Dinger and Kalyn Simon each had 16 points, and Pepperdine-bound Amanda Lovely added eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds to lead the Monarchs (28-5) past the Huskies (30-6). It was the 557th win and fifth state title for Mitty coach Sue Phillips.
Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 78, La Costa Canyon-Carlsbad 57 in the Division II boys final Behind 6-7 junior forward Aaron Gordon's 33 points and 20 rebounds, the Monarchs (31-3) made it a school-first state title sweep. David Travers, who scored 18 of his team's first 21 points, led the Mavericks (35-3) with 22 points.