SACRAMENTO -- The rain only added to the misery and disappointment.
For Golden Valley.
Not Sacramento Burbank, which danced in the aisles and in the stands every chance it got.
Before the game.
Third-seeded Burbank opened the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs on Friday evening with A party.
A block party.
And Vick West Jr., a 6-foot, 4-inch junior with Gumby arms and springs in his sneakers, was the gracious host, meeting Golden Valley with arms wide open and extended.
West recorded a unique triple-double, scoring 16 points to go along with 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in a 46-29 victory over No. 14 Golden Valley.
Ken Holloway added 11 points as Burbank (21-7) avoided a first-round upset by overwhelming Golden Valley with its speed and athleticism.
"That's been on my mind for four days," Burbank coach Lindsey Ferrell said of GV's upset-ability. "No. 3s are supposed to do something, so I told the kids that I'm not going to mess this up for them. I was going to let them play.
"We didn't play so good, but we got it done."
Golden Valley (15-13) scored just six points in the second and third quarters combined, and at one point went nearly 14 minutes without a field goal.
The junior with long, flowing hair was the difference, sealing off the paint with his long reach and anticipation.
He had four blocked shots in the first 4 minutes of the second quarter, triggering Burbank's fastbreak offense.
Block No. 10 told the entire story.
Junior Trek Fayerweather, the pinnacle of Golden Valley's athleticism and hops, collected a pass near the free-throw line late in the third quarter.
He shook, spun and tried to release a turnaround jumper, but West palmed the ball.
In one motion, he blocked the shot and collected the rebound.
"He's a slicer," said Golden Valley junior center Garrett Hill, who was blocked twice in the second quarter by West.
"He comes from way up high, comes down hard and gets the ball. For somebody like me, who comes from down low, he's hard to find. And when you can't find him, you can't hit him.
"When someone's getting blocks like that, intimidation is what it is. If he's blocking everyone like that, everyone starts settling for jumpers and it changes the game."
Trailing by two early in the first, Burbank closed the final 12 minutes of the first half on a 22-4 run.
West had six points during the stretch. Holloway connected on both of his 3-pointers during the flurry, including a jumper from the wing to make it 29-13 at the half.
Golden Valley was never the same.
In survival mode for more than a month, Golden Valley motored into the playoffs on a two-game winning streak, riding the emotional high of an upset victory of Pitman, a Division II playoff team.
The swagger was there early, but quickly faded.
Richard Thomas' 3 from the wing with 3:39 left in the second quarter was Golden Valley's first field goal in nearly 8 minutes.
It would also be its last for another 13 minutes, 47 seconds. All GV would muster in the third quarter were two Fayerweather free throws.
"We didn't make a shot. We got some shots. We got the ball inside, but (Burbank) said 'Get that weak stuff out of here,' " Golden Valley coach Keith Hunter said. "That's how the game is played. Their athletes were allowed to play and ours didn't step up.
"If we make 10 3s maybe we have a chance."
Instead, Golden Valley made five -- three of which came in the fourth quarter against Burbank's reserves.
Rob Martinez paced Golden Valley with eight points. Fayerweather had six, but only two after the first quarter. Sharpshooters Justin Wootten and Thomas were shut out in the second half and held to three apiece.
Myles Hamilton and Larry Moore also had three points for Golden Valley, which was blown out in a playoff loss from the second consecutive season. Golden Valley was eliminated in the semifinal round by Franklin 74-47 in 2009.
James Burns is managing editor/sports editor of the Sun-Star. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.