SACRAMENTO, CA – Of the five area high school basketball teams competing in the Northern California regional title games on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena, only the Pleasant Grove Eagles of Elk Grove advanced to a State Championship.
The Eagles defeated Deer Valley of Antioch 73-60 in the Nor Cal Boys Division I Final behind a game-high 20 points from Matthew Hayes. Pleasant Grove now advances to the State Title game where they will face Southern California Champion Santa Monica next Friday, Mar. 22 at Sleep Train Arena beginning at 8:00 p.m.
Malik Thames, playing on his 18th birthday, scored 17 points and Cole Nordquist ended up with 16 points despite a rough shooting night. Nordquist went just 3-for-14 from the floor but was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
The Eagles only missed one free throw all game and finished 27-of-28 from the line.
6-foot-10 McDonald’s All-American Marcus Lee, who is one of the nation’s top recruits and committed to Kentucky was held to just 10 points, but grabbed 16 rebounds in the defeat.
The area’s other schools, all hailing from the Sac-Joaquin Section lost in their regional finals. Sheldon and Capital Christian fell in the boy’s regional title games, while Oak Ridge and St. Mary’s of Stockton were eliminated in the girl’s finals on Saturday.
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net