SACRAMENTO - Evidently, the third time is a charm.
After coming up short in their first two appearances in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Championship game, the Modesto Christian Crusaders used a strong second half to close the door on Santa Barbara 64-55 to win the first Girls Division III title, on Friday.
After holding a narrow 27-25 lead at halftime, the Crusaders used a heavy advantage on the glass, out-rebounding Santa Barbara 64-37.
Lexi Tubbs had 11 points and 12 rebounds and Meagan Warwick also added 11 points for the Crusaders who outscored Santa Barbara 37-30 in the second half.
Santa Barbara was led by Amber Melgoza, who scored a game-high 30 points, which tied a CIF state record. She also grabbed 14 rebounds in the loss.
The Crusaders reached the state finals in Division-V but lost in 2002 and 2009.
Modesto Christian's season ends with an overall record of 27-8.