High School Sports

Basketball roundup: CC, MC boys hoops advance to section title games

Central Catholic’s Justin Traina advances the ball during the 2018 Mark Gallo Invitational game with Stagg at Central Catholic High School in Modesto, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Central Catholic won the game 53-39.
Central Catholic’s Justin Traina advances the ball during the 2018 Mark Gallo Invitational game with Stagg at Central Catholic High School in Modesto, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Central Catholic won the game 53-39. aalfaro@modbee.com

Entering Wednesday’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal home game against Modesto Christian, Folsom was 9-0 at home.

The Crusaders snapped that streak as they beat the Bulldogs, 68-50 to advance to the D1 title game where they will face No. 1 seed Sheldon (22-10) in a rematch of last year’s championship won by the Crusaders.

“Other than a five minute stretch when all five of our starters were on the bench with foul trouble, we executed perfectly,” Crusaders coach Brice Fantazia said via text. “Folsom rarely loses at home so it was going to take an effort like that to win.”

Senior forward Aaron Murphy had 19 points and 11 rebounds while junior guard Michael Pearson had 17 points.

The Crusaders led by three at halftime before outscoring the Bulldogs, 19-7 in the third quarter to take control of the game.

Junior forward Alex Merkviladze added 12 points 12 rebounds, five assists, and two steals while senior guard Earv Knox had eight points, eight assists, and four steals.

Central Catholic 55, Wood 38: Central Catholic (23-9) advanced to its fourth straight section title game where the Raiders will face No.1 seed Weston Ranch. The Raiders are the defending D3 champions.

Liberty Ranch 72, Ripon 51: The Indians (19-13) trailed by 13 at halftime in their loss.

Brookside Christian 74, Ripon Christian 60: The Knights (20-10) trailed by double-digits for much of the night as they fell in the Div. V playoffs.

Sonora 93, West Campus 87: The Wildcats (26-4) advanced to the D4 championship with a win over the Warriors in overtime. Sonora will face Liberty Ranch.

Turlock Christian 60, Big Valley Christian 55: Big Valley Christian (17-10) fought back in the fourth quarter after trailing by nine points in the third but fell to the Eagles (17-13).

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Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.


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