In his final performance, Ripon Christian High senior forward Andrew Vander Weide hit a magical chord.
Vander Weide led the Knights to their first Sac-Joaquin Section championships in 22 years, returning one of the most decorated small-school programs in Northern California history to the state spotlight.
Ripon Christian (21-10) reached the CIF Northern California Division VI championship game as the No. 1 seed, losing a heartbreaker to Sacramento Adventist, the same team the Knights ousted in the section final.
"We had our ups and downs, but overall, I'm pleased with our performance with the teams we beat," Vander Weide said. "We faced some good competition and we competed well.
"I wouldn't have chosen another team to end my high school career with. These guys, they've been my basketball buddies since we were in kindergarten."
Vander Weide, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, was named to the All-District Small-School basketball team. On Wednesday, he learned of another recognition: He is the MaxPreps All-State Division VI MVP.
Vander Weide topped a local list that includes the following all-state honorees: Junior Ballard of Modesto Christian, an honorable mention for the all-state overall team; Joshua Hamilton, a Division III first-team pick; and Argonaut's Adison Cramer, who made the D-V second team.
"I'm humbled," said Vander Weide, who averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and shot 56 percent from the floor. "That's one of the best awards you can get.
"I was hoping to go out on a good note. I think that's a pretty good note to end on for my favorite sport of all time."
There's more to this 6-foot-7 senior than points, rebounds and floor burns, though. He's an accomplished vocalist, and he'll sing on scholarship at Cal Baptist University in the fall.
If the last act of his basketball career was a deep postseason run with a state MVP award, Vander Weide, who smile stretches as wide as his shoulders, will gladly take it.
He may attempt to walk onto the Cal Baptist men's basketball team, which transitions to Division I in the fall, but he's not sure his knees or smaller frame can handle the rigors of life in the post.
Safe to say, in the Knights' pursuit of section and regional banners, Vander Weide emptied the tank.
"That is one of the biggest accomplishments I've had with sports," Vander Weide said of the Knights' 59-51 victory over Sac Adventist in the section final at the University of the Pacific.
"Winning the first section championships in the 2000s is one of the biggest things to happen in my life. Being able to get into the NorCal championship as the No. 1 seed, even though we didn't win, was also huge."
Now, he'll look to hit the same high notes as a 6-foot-7 scholarship ... vocalist?
"I know, I know, it's a huge turn on things," Vander Weide said, "but I've always loved to sing. When I look at basketball and see the competition in college, I really think it's beyond me. I'm not the quickest. I'd be playing in the post the whole time and I'm only 6-7, which isn't big. My knees aren't doing too well, so I figured singing was better."