They badly wanted a rematch, needed it for their soul.
They got it, grinded out the desired results and now the celebration figures to continue a lifetime.
Sacramento Adventist High School, the tiny school in Carmichael that could and did, became the region's first CIF Northern California basketball champion this season. The boys team defeated top-seeded Ripon Christian 57-47 on Tuesday night in Ripon to win the Division VI title.
The D-VI schools do not advance past this round, unlike the other divisions. But no one was complaining that the season didn't extend another week.
Not only did the Capitals show once again that the small schools can play big-time ball with crisp passing, sharp shooting and ferocious defense with stellar coaching to match, they stand as trailblazers on their campus. This is the first NorCal trophy for any sport since Sacramento Adventist, best known for academics, opened in 1958.
In fact, when the Capitals won the Sac-Joaquin Section D-VI title a year ago, it was the first section banner for any sport in school history.
Senior star guard Griffin Trull, the school's all-time leading scorer, had 17 points for the Capitals (28-5), who avenged a 49-38 loss to Ripon Christian in the section D-VI final March 2 in Stockton. Sacramento Adventist proceeded to go 3-0 in the NorCal field as the No. 6 seed in an 8-team field.
It opened with a 60-49 win at Laytonville, some 186 miles and 3 1/2 hours northwest of Carmichael. Then it was a 48-31 victory at second-seeded Redding Christian in Redding, a tidy 171-mile, nearly three-hour trek. So traveling 90 minutes and 73 miles in the rain to Ripon was a pleasure cruise, especially the ride back.
The Capitals were inspired by their seeding, and they wore shirts with "6" on the back. Against 10-time section champion Ripon Christian, Shane Jones had 15 points, Bryce Beaman 11, and freshman point guard Breckin Beaman "ran the show like a maestro and controlled the tempo of the game without scoring a point, and he had no turnovers in 32 minutes," Capitals coach Scott Tedmon said.
If you think the Capitals were excited, check out the coach. A newly appointed judge after years of accomplished work as a local attorney, Tedmon digs this sort of thing. He dresses the part of corporate leader with a suit and tie and nice shoes, but he cheers with the best of them.
"Amazing job and unbelievable team win," Tedmon said.
Did the coach jump for joy with his players?
"Jump for joy?" he said. "We wear Jordan gear, and MJ would have been proud of my airtime! I'm ecstatic tonight, and tomorrow I'll ice my knees!"
Division IV girls
Bradshaw Christian 62, Notre Dame 31 – With a roster of just six players, the Pride doubled-up the No. 2-seeded Tigers of Belmont on the road to reach their first NorCal final, doing so in D-IV.
Cookie Marques scored 20 points and Anaya Mejia 15 for Bradshaw Christian, which held on at Union Mine in a quarterfinal game with just three players after others fouled out.
Seeded 11th, Bradshaw Christian (23-12) will play at No. 1 Woodside Priory on Saturday for the title.
West Campus girls 71, Sacred Heart Prep 34 – After winning the CIFNorCal and State D-IV titles a year ago, Nia Johnson, Kiara Jefferson and company now seek a similar sweep in D-III after routing the Gators of San Francisco. West Campus will host Clovis of Fresno on Saturday at 6 p.m. Clovis beat Christian Brothers 47-45 in another semifinal.
Johnson scored 29 points to lead all scorers. She is a senior guard headed to Cal State Bakersfield. She and the UCLA-bound Jefferson make for one of the best backcourts in the state.
Division V boys
Colfax 52, Gridley 49 – The third-seeded Falcons scored the final seven points to stun the No. 2-seeded Bulldogs of the Northern Section in a D-V semifinal to earn a rematch on Saturday at Argonaut, the top seed that defeated No. 4 Urban of San Francisco, 51-44, in the other semifinal.
Argonaut (28-5) beat Colfax (24-9) for the section title 74-57 on March 3.
Mason Ahrens scored 13 to lead Colfax, which last played for a NorCal title in 1999 at D-IV. Max Wolff had 11 and Garren O'Keefe 10 for the Falcons. Brian Wilkerson scored 15 for Gridley (25-7).