The Sports Informant

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Sac High takes one, drops one in Division III title games

By Patrick Ibarra

Sacramento High School entered Arco Arena Friday with two teams vying for a Sac-Joaquin Section title. One came away a winner, a second-straight section title claimed for the proud school. The other finished a not-so-close second.

Divison III Boys

The Vista del Lago Eagles’ attempt to finish a fantastic season with a Sac-Joaquin Section title was uprooted by a familiar face in the Division III championship Friday, as the defending champion Sacramento Dragons took a 65-55 win in Arco Arena.

After a semifinal game with No. 6 seed Center High on March 3 at Cosumnes River College that lasted four quarters and three overtime periods before Vista del Lago took a narrow 69-66 victory, the Eagles mounted one last effort two days later in Arco Arena in attempt to gain the school’s first section title. Standing in their way, though, was defending Division III section champion Sacramento High, who showed Vista del Lago a run-and-gun performance it hadn’t seen all season long.

The win gave Sacramento back-to-back section titles. A year ago, the Dragons rode their section title winning season all the way to the Division III state championship, where they lost in a battle with Santa Margarita.

After a dominant first half Friday by Sacramento, Vista del Lago mounted a furious second-half comeback, getting within three points at 54-51 with 1:37 left to play in the game. But Sacramento’s grit and experience in big games paid off down the stretch, as the Dragons perservered, nailing 11 of 12 free throws to seal the win.

Sacramento (24-6) and Vista del Lago (28-3) aren’t done, yet. Both teams, and Center High, qualified for the expanded California Interscholastic Federation Northern California regional playoffs starting on Tuesday. All three still have a shot at the state championship.

For Sacramento, it’s unfinished business, as the Dragons look to rebound from last year’s state championship defeat to redeem themselves with a run to the title. For Vista del Lago, the section title defeat left something to be sought after: a championship banner. To get it, ironically, it may have to go through Sacramento again.

Division III Girls

Battling a team ranked No. 1 in the entire country was too tall a task for the Sacramento High girls team in the Division III section final Friday. Despite an impressive run for the No. 3 Sacramento Dragons (25-5) this season, the local squad was no match for the 30-1 St. Mary’s Rams, who dominated from start to finish in an easy 75-45 win.

Prior to the disappointing yet understandable performance on Friday, Sacramento had put together a magical run this season. The Dragons handed Division I champion Oak Ridge one of its only four losses this season, and also beat Division I runner-up Kennedy and a talented McClatchy squad this year.

A run-in with St. Mary’s was a different story, though, as Sacramento struggled throughout the game. Only one player scored in double figures as Brittany Shine dropped in 16 points for the Dragons. St. Mary’s, meanwhile, distributed the ball well, and finished with five players in double figures in scoring.

An 18-7 first quarter lead turned into a 34-18 halftime one. A 24-point third quarter by St. Mary’s put the game out of reach.

Sacramento isn’t through yet, and if lucky, could get another crack at St. Mary’s. Both qualified for regionals, which begin this week, and if both continue to win, could end with another matchup between the two on the road to a state title.


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  1. March 7th, 2010 at 11:10 pm by Sac High takes one, drops one in Division III title games | The … | Drakz Free Online Service

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