The boys and girls squads from Deer Valley moved on to the state tournament after reaching the North Coast Section finals. Heritage’s girls team pulled a major upset and made it to the second round of the NorCal bracket. After a stellar regular season, the boys from Freedom performed well at NCS and made a brief showing in the state tourney.
Deer Valley’s teams, as well as those of Heritage, all advanced to the second round. While the Wolverines were favored, the first-round 53-46 victory over Oakland Tech was a stunner for the Patriots.
Heritage entered the tournament as the lowest seed – No. 12. The Bulldogs were seeded fifth.
Senior forward Jaszmyn Arsenault was locked on from the perimeter, sinking five three-pointers for a total of 15 points on the night. “The win felt amazing,” Arsenault told The Press via Twitter. “We started out rocky with a lot of turnovers but we pulled it together in the end and got it done. … This is the furthest HHS girls basketball has ever made it and we have all worked hard to get to this point.”
But another upset wasn’t in the cards for the Patriots, who fell to No. 4 seeded Oak Ridge 44-29 in the second round.
After the Deer Valley boys team defeated Bethel 92-89 in overtime in the first round, the Wolverines were again required to clock extra minutes against McClymonds at Laney College.
The Warriors emerged with an 87-79 victory over Deer Valley in overtime. Junior center Marcus Lee, the BVAL co-MVP, led the Wolverines with 22 points. Fellow co-MVP junior guard Kendall Smith contributed 16 more.
Deer Valley’s girls team started the state tournament in style, knocking off Armijo in a 54-49 victory.
After a third quarter that saw the lead change hands a handful of times, Deer Valley took control and gained the win. “My teammates stepped up a lot,” senior guard Monique Mulder said. “We came out hard. We didn’t want to go home tonight.”
The Wolverines were confident heading into a matchup against Kennedy in Sacramento, but came away with a 58-52 loss to the Cougars.
Freedom’s boys basketball team qualified for the state tournament, but was dealt a tough hand to start, facing the Piedmont Hills Pirates. The Falcons led early on, but succumbed in the second half, losing 56-47.
Junior guard James O’Neal was the highest-scoring Falcon of the night, turning in 17 points. Senior guard Jelani Hardway netted 10 for Freedom.