Antelope and West Campus could celebrate twice this weekend.
Boys and girls teams from both schools will play for Sac-Joaquin Section basketball championships Saturday at Sleep Train Arena.
Antelope’s boys, seeded second in Division II, will seek their third title since 2013 when they play Sacramento, the No. 1 seed and The Bee’s top-ranked team at 4:30 p.m.. The top-seeded girls, in a section title game for the first time, will play second-seeded Vanden at 1 p.m.
Antelope’s boys, seeded second in Division II, will seek their third title since 2013.
Antelope principal John Becker, sporting school-color checkered red and white pants, hustled through Sleep Train on Wednesday to ensure that students who wanted to attend Saturday’s games could get tickets.
“Just awesome,” boys coach Rob Richards said. “We’re all in this together.”
The West Campus girls, the No. 2 seed in Division IV, will play top-seeded Brookside Christian at 11:30 a.m.. The Warriors, in the Division IV final for the third time since 2012, seek their first title.
The West Campus boys will play for a section title for the first time after beating the only unbeaten team in Northern California. The Warriors, the third seed in Division IV, beat No. 2 Liberty Ranch 88-69 in Wednesday’s semifinals to earn a shot against top-seeded Central Catholic of Modesto at 3 p.m.. Isaiah Bates, Dorien Davis, Monty Khela, Jeryn Lucas and Robert Yang all scored in double figures for West Campus.
Double trouble – The Sacramento boys beat Whitney 88-57 in a Division II semifinal to remain unbeaten against section schools.
Four-year starters Solomon Young (26 points) and Christian Terrell (20 points) led the Dragons (28-1). Young, a 6-foot-7 forward, made 10 of 12 shots and had 14 rebounds. Terrell, strong in the open court as a driver or passer, may match up against Antelope’s Kai Tease, who had 25 points in a 66-59 victory over Vanden.
Holy finale – St. Francis, which beat one red-hot team in the girls Division I semifinals, now will play the hottest team in the country. After snapping Oak Ridge’s 25-game winning streak with an 88-61 win, the third-seeded Troubadours will face St. Mary’s of Stockton (26-0), the top-ranked girls team in the country, on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Leading St. Francis were guard Tia Hay (23 points) and center Lauren Craig (18 points).
“I really like our team,” St. Francis coach Vic Pitton said. “They play together, play hard. Very unselfish. We’re having fun out there.”
St. Francis has won eight section titles, including three under Pitton. St. Mary’s has won 16 titles in 20 postseason appearances, including eight in a row in various divisions, the past three in Division I.
Wounded but unbowed – Christian Brothers, the top-seeded Division III girls team, is without leading scorer Kalani Mark, a 5-8 junior guard who has been out since suffering a late-season knee injury. But the Falcons have continued to win as several players, including 5-8 freshman guard Brianna Juniel (11.7 points), have compensated for Mark’s absence.
CBS, the last team to defeat St. Francis, will play third-seeded Rio Linda in Friday’s championship game at 7:30 p.m. Rio Linda is led by guard Brandy Huffhines (14.5 points).
Rematch time – In the Division I boys championship game, top-seeded Folsom will play No. 2 seed Modesto Christian on Saturday at 8:30 p.m..
Folsom seeks its third consecutive title after winning in Division II in 2014 and Division I last season. Modesto Christian can extend its section record with its 18th title in 20 seasons, spanning three divisions.
Folsom seeks its third consecutive title after winning in Division II in 2014 and Division I last season.
Folsom beat Modesto Christian 53-51 in the Bulldogs’ season opener when Mason Forbes made two free throws in the closing seconds. Modesto Christian (29-1) hasn’t lost since. Leading Folsom (27-3) are guards Alec Andrews, Tre Finch, Jordan Ford (two-time Bee Player of the Year) and Jared Wall.
Modesto Christian features 6-3 guard Christian Ellis, who had 32 points in a 74-67 semifinal win over Sheldon while holding the Huskies’ leading scorer, Matt Manning, to four points over the final three quarters.
Both teams will be placed in the prestigious Open Division for the NorCal playoffs based on their recent section championships and NorCal appearances. All section semifinalists advance to the NorCal rounds that start next week.