The Marysville High boys basketball team can call itself Sac-Joaquin Section champions again.
For the first time in 30 years, the third-seeded Indians won the final game of the Sac-Joaquin playoffs with a narrow takedown of Calaveras, 65-63 in the SJS Division IV championship Friday afternoon at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Marysville (29-3), winners of 24 straight games, led most of the night, including by as many as 12 at 61-49 late in the fourth quarter following a free-throw from senior Amrin Mann.
Calaveras (25-6) cut it to nearly half with under a minute, courtesy in part of a late surge from Jay Clifton. Clifton, who finished with 26 points, helped bring the deficit to as close as two, but Joshua Brown Jr., Marysville’s star, would not let Calaveras get any closer.
Brown, who poured in 26 for the Indians, hit a couple free-throws down the stretch to pad the lead to 65-58 – an advantage that Marysville would absolutely need.
That’s because with about 30 seconds left, Calaveras hit a two, followed by a 3-pointer near the fourth-quarter buzzer to get it to 65-63.
In the opening half, Marysville built an early lead, thanks to the sharpshooting of Brown and Mann. Together the duo helped Marysville grab a 15-13 lead early in the second, followed by a 19-13 edge after Mann dropped in another against Calaveras.
But the RedHawks rallied behind six points in about two minutes from Clifton to pull it within two at 24-22 at the break. Marysville stayed in front to close the third with the help of a buzzer beater from Nicqwan Mills that pushed the lead to 39-34. Marysville, in its first title game since 2003, now has three championships in school history following wins in 1989 and 1993.
Faith Christian 50, Foresthill 46
Behind the Harris sisters, top-seed Faith Christian School girls basketball claimed its first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section championship with a four-point victory over Foresthill in the Division VI game Saturday morning at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Lauren Harris, just a freshman, netted 15 points on a slew of 3-pointers, while older sister, Audrey Harris, added 13 to help Faith Christian (24-5) jump out to a 31-22 lead at the break.
Freshman Presley Berry chipped in nine rebounds through the first 16 minutes for the Lions.
Still, Foresthill (24-6), a team devastated by the Mosquito Fire earlier this year, rallied to cut it to 44-39 early in the fourth.
Faith Christian was able to withstand the surge and preserve the school’s first SJS title.
Sac-Joaquin MaxPreps will have live audio, via Twitter, of each of the championship games on Saturday.