Capital Christian sent its two basketball teams to Sleep Train Arena on Friday night to win Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championships.
One lost a crusher, the other won a thriller.
The girls fell to Brookside Chrisitan 72-28 in their second trip to the NBA arena in wearing a collective look of shell shock, but thrilled for the opportunity nonetheless.
Some two hours later, the Capital Christian boys celebrated a 40-39 victory over Brookside Christian ro repeat as small-school champions.
The boys expect to earn a high D-V seed when the Northern California Regional field is announced Sunday. The girls will also advance, albeit as a lower seed on the road. Nicole Colbert led Cougars (20-10) with seven points and seven rebounds. Guard Tiara Tucker scored 24 points for Brookside (26-4), which repeated as section champions.
"We're really happy to just get here, and we fought to the end," said Suzanne Baker, in her 17th season coaching the Capital Christian girls. "This is new for us. I'm proud of how the girls played. We've overcome so much - serious injuries, the flu. It's a big stage here. Our guys team is used to it."
Tyler Jennings made a free throw with .07 left to account for the final score. .
"I was nervous," Jennings confessed. "I knew I couldn't let my team down."
Capital Christian (24-4) prevailed despite going cold in the second half and not having the services of explosive 6-foot-8 wing D.J. Wilson. The junior prospect is out with a back injury, suffered Thursday. Forward Trey Belton and guard Uchenna Iroebgu had nine
points each, guard Justice Shelton-Mosley had eight and post Nifae Lealao had seven to go with six rebounds. Belton had 11 rebounds and keyed a defense that stalled the Knights, who lead all D-V teams in scoring at 86 points a game.
Capital now seeks the school's first state championship in any sport and just the area's fifth state basketball title.
"We've been through everything - flu, broken bones, torn ACL's, bad backs - and we keep with it," Jones said. "We've gone through all of that and I like our chances. These guys want more. They have great character.
Read Saturday's Bee for more...
Bee photo by Jose Luis Villegas: Capital Christian's Trey Belton spins on Knights Nick Payne before hitting a jumpshot in there second quarter in Friday nights D-V championship game between Capital Christian and Brookside Christian on March 1, 2013 at the Sleep Train Arena, in Sacramento, California.
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- Joe Davidson joins Mike Finnerty on the SureWest Sports Radio Show to break down the season with season honors for all girls and boys basketball divisions on Saturday from 8-9 a.m. on ESPN1320. Show is linked later to ESPN1320.net