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March 6, 2014

Top seeds advance in Sac

Top seeded Jesuit and Folsom clinched spots in the section finals with wins over Kennedy-Sacramento and Grant respectively. Get the breakdowns from all four semi-finals.

Cosumnes Oaks 55, Del Oro 52: Del Oro led 30-19 at halftime, but couldn't overcome Cosumnes Oaks' pressure in taking just its second loss of the year. After turning the ball over just three times in the first half, Del Oro had 13 turnovers in the second half. Danny Becker had 15 points in the loss while Connor Drake had 12 points and nine rebounds. However, the story was junior L.J. Reed. The Wolf Pack two-sport star had 21 points and 17 rebounds, including three made threes to lead Cosumnes Oaks to the program's first section final. Alex Van Dyke, a UCLA football signee, had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Jaaron Stallworth had 10 points. The 55 points was a season low for Cosumnes Oaks, which has just one on-court loss this season.

Folsom 63, Grant 62: In the game of the night at Sleep Train Arena, Folsom held on late for the one point win and its first section title game berth since 2009. Leading almost the whole way, Folsom had to withstand numerous second half runs by Grant after taking a 35-26 lead into halftime. Sophomore Jordan Ford had 19 points and Alec Andrews added 11 points. Gavin Smith was vital late and finished with eight points. The Pacers had four players in double figures led by 17 points from Jeremee Churchill, who had a big rebounding effort and a monster block in the final minutes. Donovan Brown added 15 points while Cameron Oliver had 13 points. Oliver fouled out with 3:57 left. Both teams should be major players in the NorCal Division II bracket.

Jesuit 75, Kennedy-Sacramento 54: The game was rarely in doubt as Jesuit reaches its third Division I final in four years with a 21 point win. The story was the continued play of senior Lake Lutes and junior Isaiah Bailey. Lutes had 18 points on 11 shots with nine rebounds while Bailey finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Kennedy, which is playing with just three seniors, got 14 points from junior Colin Uda and 11 points from Matt Nakatomi. The underdog Cougars played tough early, but losing the rebounding margin by 13 and being outscored by 15 points at the three point line were too much to overcome.

Rodriguez 73, Merced 68: After a slow start, Rodriguez used defensive pressure and good driving ability to beat Merced 73-68. The Mustangs clinched a spot in their first section final since 2008, which it lost to Folsom. They were paced by 21 points and five rebounds from senior Rishod Abraham. Keanu Williams had 17 points and nine rebounds. Tim Moore Jr. finished with 16 points. Rodriguez outscored Merced by 12 from the free throw line and outscored them 23-10 in the decisive third quarter. Merced was led by a pair of underclassmen in sophomore Alexander Stewart (21 points, 10 rebounds) and freshman point guard Ulonzo Gilliam (16 points, six rebounds). This was the Bears first trip to the section semi-finals since 2010, which was followed by three straight losing seasons.


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