Saturday was a good day for three area girls basketball teams. They played in showcase games that have become the norm in January and February for top teams trying to test their mettle against Bay Area and Central Valley powers in preparation for the playoffs.
Here's a short recap:
Behind Najah Queenland's game-high 17 points and superb all-around play, and senior Marisa Boras' 11 points, including four free throws in the final 90 seconds, No. 8 St. Francis beat visiting Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco 46-38. The Fightin' Irish were ranked No. 11 in Northern California by NorCalPreps.com entering the game.
Arizona State-bound Dejza James had 21 points, four blocks and three steals, and Avonna Lee had 21 points, six rebounds and four assists in No. 9 Pleasant Grove's 51-41 win over visiting Modesto Christian.
Freshman Jikara Sellers hit the game-winning basket to lift No. 10 Florin over Washington of San Francisco 46-44 in the Campolindo-Bentley showcase in Moraga. The game featured six lead changes in the fourth quarter.
Trojans' rare loss While Florin won in Moraga, No. 2 Oak Ridge suffered its first loss to a Northern California team, falling 55-36 to Heritage of Brentwood in the same showcase.
Saint Mary's-bound Sabrina Engelstad, a 6-foot-3 post, had 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Heritage.
Oak Ridge's previous defeats were to Mater Dei of Santa Ana on Nov. 30 in the Central Valley Showdown in Clovis and to Pflugerville, Texas, on Dec. 31 in the KSA Disney Holiday Tournament in Orlando, Fla.
Saturday's loss dropped Oak Ridge from No. 8 to No. 10 in Northern California in NorCalPreps.com's top 20 rankings. The Trojans flip-flopped places with Bee top-ranked Sacramento, which is now No. 8.
Kennedy, at No. 15, is the only other area team ranked in the top 20.
Falcons have PVL edge No. 18 Placer and No. 13 Bear River entered Pioneer Valley League play as the front-runners after going a combined 30-3 against nonleague opponents.
But No. 17 Colfax has moved into the title picture, too, after beating Placer 51-44 Thursday. The Falcons, who play at Bear River on Thursday, already have a win over the Bruins.
Entering this week, the Falcons had won seven of their past eight games. The only loss was 48-43 to Placer to open league play Jan. 9.
Competitive SFL No. 11 Del Oro appeared to have a leg up in its bid for an eighth consecutive Sierra Foothill League title after beating No. 6 Nevada Union 58-53 in Loomis on Wednesday.
But unranked Woodcreek made things interesting Friday by outscoring the Golden Eagles 18-8 in the fourth quarter to post a 50-45 upset in Roseville.
Aliya Davis had 12 points and Liz Gehweiler 11 for Woodcreek, which handed Del Oro only its second league loss in 74 games.
On fire River City played one of the area's toughest nonleague schedules, losing once each to Oak Ridge and No. 7 Christian Brothers, twice to No. 15 Monterey Trail and three times to No. 3 Kennedy.
After beating Cosumnes Oaks 69-31 Monday, the Raiders have won 11 in a row and are 8-0 in the Sierra Valley Conference.
Senior Katie King, a Cal State Northridge signee and the daughter of coach Jamie King, is averaging 16.6 points and 4.5 rebounds. Junior Tori Torres averages 14 points and 2.8 assists, and sophomore Aliyah Brantley 6.5 points and 7.7 rebounds.
Sizzling Blue Devil A big reason No. 14 Davis entered the week 18-4 overall and 5-1 in the Delta Valley Conference is the performance of senior Ashleigh Vandenbrink.
She is averaging 15.7 points and 9.8 rebounds but has been even more formidable in league.
In a 57-40 win over Elk Grove on Friday, the 5-10 forward scored 29 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had five steals and five assists.