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  • Hector Amezcua /

    Eric Toles, center, and Cosumnes Oaks got past Arnold Dean, left, Jeremee Churchill and Grant on Tuesday night in Elk Grove. The hosts won 87-67.

  • Hector Amezcua /

    Cosumnes Oaks’ Matt Muldavin celebrates after hitting a three-pointer during an 87-67 victory Tuesday night over Grant.

Cosumnes Oaks’ win allows fans to keep going crazy

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2014 - 11:30 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014 - 10:19 am

It happens every day now, and the yelps likely won’t let up the rest of the week.

A student will amble by Patrick Roth’s social studies class at Cosumnes Oaks High School and enthusiastically offer a hearty, “Go, Pat!” It’s an acknowledgment to the popular teacher who doubles as the Wolfpack basketball coach, the leader of a wildly entertaining team that refuses to bow out of these Northern California Regional Division II playoffs.

Seemingly the entire student body, otherwise known as the CO Crazies, and the band just as loud and spirited packed in Tuesday night, relishing every made three-pointer, every dunk, every extra pass and defensive stop that made for an 87-67 triumph of Grant in a semifinal game.

Balance was again the key, and no one wore a broader grin than the coach, who never has to demand his group play with cohesion. They just do it.

“Oh man, this school is so fun right now, to be on this campus,” Roth said, sounding like a mob of teenagers that surrounded him and players after the game. “A kid will walk by and interrupt the class with a ‘Go, Pat!’ but you can’t get mad. It’s fun.”

What’s fun for Cosumnes Oaks is knowing it earned the much-desired rematch on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena against Folsom, which beat Serra 58-57 in the other semifinal. The last time the teams met was March 8, Folsom used an 18-2 run to turn a tight game into a runaway, winning 79-62.

“That’s what we wanted, another chance at Folsom, and we want our revenge,” said Cosumnes Oaks forward L.J. Reed who had 19 points and 19 rebounds. “We know if we play like this, together with intensity, we’re hard to beat.”

Cosumnes Oaks (16-17 officially, 31-2 on the floor) bolted to leads of 12-0 and 25-6 and led 45-30 at the half, outhustling the Pacers (27-7) on both ends. Grant, as is custom under coach Deonard Wilson, didn’t quit, and it climbed to within 66-62 on a thunderous follow-up dunk by Cameron Oliver, who ended his career with 25 points and 17 rebounds. Two Matt Muldavin three-pointers ignited the clinching run, and the Wolfpack now competes for their first NorCal title in any sport.

Cosumnes Oaks guard Jaaron Stallworth scored 20 and provided superb point-guard leadership.

Donovan Brown, known as Grant’s “Little Big Man,” had 14 points, as did fellow guard Jordan Echols.

“Cosumnes Oaks is athletic, can pass and can run and shoot, and that’s hard to cover,” Brown said. “They’re really good.”

Folsom 58, Serra 57 – Jordan Ford scored 17 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner in the lane with 8.6 seconds remaining, as the Bulldogs rallied to beat the Padres (22-9) of San Mateo. Serra wasn’t able to convert a game-winner. Folsom (31-2) and Cosumnes Oaks play at noon Saturday. The Bulldogs last played for a NorCal title in 1985, in D-III, and won it under coach Stan Harms.

Pleasant Grove girls 56, Monte Vista 54 (OT) – The plucky Eagles scored five points from the line in downing the Mustangs (26-5) in Danville to win their third D-I NorCal game on the road. Aaliyah Pena scored 15 for Pleasant Grove.

Pleasant Grove (24-9) plays three-time defending champion Berkeley on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Sleep Train. Berkeley, a 12-time D-I winner, beat Deer Valley of Antioch.

Read more articles by Joe Davidson

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