Antelope High School players grimaced when they saw leading rebounder and top muscle man Isaiah Ellis go down in a heap in the first half Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena.
The powerful 6-foot-7 senior would not return, but his teammates absorbed his loss and gained another win.
Pulling away late from upstart Grant, the No. 2-seeded Titans defended their Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship with a 70-63 victory that featured highlight plays for both sides and tough second-half defense for Antelope.
For Antelope, forward Gabe Bealer scored 24 points and had seven rebounds, soaring for dunks and powering inside. He matched buckets with Grant's equally impressive De'Sean Parsons, who had 27 points and eight rebounds and some dunks of his own.
Tyler Winston, the football star receiver headed to San Jose State on scholarship, was effective at guard, scoring eight points with a game-high five assists. Rashard Thornhill, a 6-3 guard, had 14 points and six rebounds, and his corner three-pointer with 55 seconds left gave his team a 69-61 lead.
Isiah Quintero had seven points and eight rebounds, Leonard Hazewood had four rebounds, Nick Golovko had four points and Mister Harriel contributed three rebounds and three steals for Antelope, which along with Grant will advance to the Northern California Regional playoffs that start next week.
Read Sunday's Bee for more.
- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD