SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After opening the game trailing Modesto Christian 9-0, the Sheldon Huskies responded with a 16-0 run to take the lead and never give it back, as they defeat the Crusaders 57-48 in the CIF Northern California Open Division boys high school basketball championship.
Their victory on Tuesday night in front of a sold out crowd at Cosumnes River College is familiar territory for the Huskies (24-10), who repeat as the NorCal champs, earning them a second consecutive trip to the CIF State Championship for a rematch with last year’s champ – Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth; which was Sheldon's goal all season long.
Senior point guard Justin Nguyen had a game-high 18 points for the Huskies while Sheldon’s other senior Kaito Williams filled the box score, chipping in 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in the victory.
Marcus Bagley, the brother of Sacramento Kings rookie Marvin Bagley III, had 10 points for Sheldon, playing in just his second game of the postseason due to a sore back. He was unable to play against Modesto Christian when they met over a week ago in the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship, where the Huskies rallied from a 13 points deficit to defeat the Crusaders.
UC Davis-bound senior Aaron Murphy scored 11 points for Modesto Christian (27-8) in the loss.
Sheldon, a public school based in South Sacramento, is surrounded by private schools in the Open Division and Sierra Canyon is a national powerhouse program featuring the sons of former NBA stars Scottie Pippen and Kenyon Martin.
Sierra Canyon, who defeated Santa Ana’s Mater Dei high school on Tuesday night, took down Sheldon last season 75-62 at Golden 1 Center in the state title game last season.
“Hopefully this time we’re a little more mature,” Sheldon head coach Joey Rollings told ABC10 after Tuesday’s win. “I think we want it a little more now. We know what we’re coming up against. We’re the underdogs, so we’ll take it to them.”
The CIF Open Divison Boys State Championship between Sheldon and Sierra Canyon will tip-off Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center.