RANDY PENCH / rpench@sacbee.com

Sheldon's Dakarai Allen (4) tries to split Pleasant Grove defenders Thomas Fitzgerald, left, and Cole Nordquist, but loses the ball in first-half action.

Sheldon wins fourth straight D-I boys basketball title

Published: Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 3, 2013 - 3:04 pm

He's seen this sort of late-game dramatics unfold for four seasons now, and the view and results never get old.

Joey Rollings is the coach of the first four-time successive Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion, and two players who have had a hand in every one of those victories are Dakarai Allen and D'Erryl Williams.

The best of friends headed to San Diego State on scholarship didn't score in bunches Saturday night against a familiar foe as they have so many times before, but they contributed plenty otherwise.

Allen and Williams keyed a 60-57 win over rival Pleasant Grove in the Division I final at Sleep Train Arena.

Williams, a 6-foot-4 guard, scored on a putback off a Ryan Manning three-point miss for a 60-57 lead with 14.9 seconds left, and he wound up with the ball after Cole Nordquist was just short on a three at the buzzer.

Williams had just six points, but he grabbed seven of his game-high 10 rebounds in the fourth quarter and expertly ran his team from the point.

The Huskies (25-5) are 3-0 against the Eagles (24-6) this season, each game increasingly more intense and meaningful. The first two decided the Delta River League and this one was for bigger bragging rights. Both teams advance to the Northern California Regional playoffs.

Allen, Sheldon's 6-6 wing with an inside-outside game, had eight points, nearly 10 below his average, but he's hardly just a scorer. He had an emphatic block that triggered a fast break with Darin Johnson (21 points) finishing with a dunk for a 56-50 lead with 2:24 to play.

Moments earlier, Allen ended the third quarter at the buzzer with a baseline alley oop lob and dunk by Johnson for a 43-42 lead.

Antonio Lewis had 14 points and nine rebounds and earned game Sportsmanship Honors with Pleasant Grove's Matt Smrekar.

"D'Erryl and Dakarai are amazing," Rollings said. "We've been here so many times. I normally don't call time out, but I did here and just told them, 'take care of business.' They did."

Pleasant Grove's Big 3 of Nordquist, a forward, and guards Malik Thames and Matt Hayes played well enough to win. Thames had 18 points, Hayes 13 and Nordquist 19 with nine rebounds. His soaring dunk with 54 seconds left cut it to 58-57.

Allen wore the championship banner as a makeshift cape after the game with a look of pride and exhaustion.

Allen said this is exactly where the Huskies expected to be, at Sleep Train Arena, four-peating with more goals to accomplish in the form of a repeat Northern California Regional title.

"We were supposed to do this," Allen said. "We wanted to play Pleasant Grove. That's a good team."

Said Williams, "Ever since (Allen and me) have been kids, we played unselfish and hard. We've been here. We're used to it."

Next for Sheldon is the first Open Division NorCal field, which puts the heavyweight programs in one bracket, regardless of division.

"We want to play the best," Allen said. "We can't wait."

Division IV

Summerville 63, Liberty Ranch 52 – Connor Morningstar scored 12 points and fellow 6-7 senior forward Rosendo Amaya-Wood had nine points and 14 rebounds to give the Bears (25-3) of Tuolomne their first championship in any division.

Michael Meserole had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks (22-9). Both teams advance to the NorCal Regional tournament.

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Read more articles by Joe Davidson



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