A large rooting section and lots of moxie wasn't quite enough for Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa against star-studded Pacific Hills of West Hollywood today in the CIF State Division IV boys basketball championship game at Sleep Train Arena.
Despite twice taking a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, Cardinal Newman couldn't hold on against a talent-ladened Pacific Hills team that pulled away for a 58-52 win.
Marcus Jackson (Rice signee) had 23 points, Jahmel Taylor (Oregon) 14 and four-star junior recruit Namon Wright 17 and 11 rebounds for Pacific Hills (29-4), which won its second state title in four attempts.
Tim McCullough and Corey Hammel each had 14 for a Cardinal Newman (32-4) team now 0-4 in state finals.
Cardinal Newman took a 46-45 lead midway through the fourth quarter on two free throws by Hammel, but Pacific Hills outscored the Cardinals 13-6 the rest of the way.
A large contingent of Cardinal Newman fans drove down from Santa Rosa to support their team. Pacific Hills, a small private school, only had a handful of fans, but that didn't bother Jackson, a 6-3 guard.
"We're really a small school, so every game is an away game, even in our own house," Jackson said. "I love the atmosphere here."