The teams played at an exhaustive, frenetic pace. Up and down, crashing the boards, bodies to the floor.
This appeals greatly to fans, but it can wear out players.
Vanden High School had fresher legs, if just barely, down the stretch, and the Sacramento Dragons sputtered when they couldn’t afford to. Vanden prevailed 56-47 to repeat as the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II girls champion on Friday night at Pacific as one of the hottest teams in the state.
The Vikings outscored the Dragons 17-5 in the fourth quarter for their 19th consecutive win and third successive title, having last won it in D-III. All section finalists advance to next week’s Northern California tournament. Vanden likely will be pulled into the prestigious Open Division again. Sacramento probably will earn a home game in D-II. Dragons coach Michele Massari reminded her team that the season still has legs, even if her girls largely did not against Vanden.
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Myli Martinez scored 14 points and Deidra Huff 12 to lead Vanden (26-5). Andriana Avent scored 15 points and Sasha Brown had 10 points and 15 rebounds for Sacramento (22-10), a section finalist for the 11th time in 12 years.
Division VI girls
Valley Christian 56, Victory Christian 40 – Angelina Contreras scored 29 points, including six 3-pointers, and the top-seeded Lions of Roseville won their third championship in four years under coach Kim Contreras, Angelina’s mother.
Valley (24-5) earned its 17th straight victory. Cloe Gunter, daughter of VCA boys basketball coach and athletic director Brad Gunter, had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Marissa Flood had 10 points.
Chi Chi Ugorji led Victory (19-8) with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Division VI boys
Sacramento Adventist 41, Sacramento Waldorf 40 – Bryce Beaman’s jumper with 1:45 left ended the scoring, and the second-seeded Capitals held on to win the first championship in any sport for the school that opened in 1958.
Junior floor leader Cyrus Jones had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Bryson Collins had 15 rebounds for Adventist (24-6), coached by a longtime area lawyer who said he gets his kicks coaching. Scott Tedmon was so excited after the win that he raced across the floor to celebrate with a large rooting section called “The Red C.”
“We’re a legit small school, not just some tiny school tucked away on Winding Way in Carmichael,” Tedmon said.
And it’s a young group with one senior starter, but it’s a good one: Jones, who smoothly led his team back against the top-seeded Waves, in the playoffs for the 27th time in coach Dean Stark’s 30 seasons. Gabe Scott scored 14 for Waldorf.