One, two, three strikes they're all out of section playoffs

Granite Bay, Woodcreek, Valley Christian fall in Division I, II and V semifinals
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
-A +A

SACRAMENTO – Granite Bay High School came within seconds of advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I boys basketball final Tuesday night – twice.

The Grizzlies were taken to overtime on a late basket by Ramon Eaton and lost to top-seeded Sheldon 67-66 on Darius Nelson’s tip-in just before the buzzer in the extra period at Power Balance Pavilion.

Roseville schools went 0 for 3 on Tuesday night. Woodcreek followed Granite Bay by losing to Antelope 62-61 in the Division II semifinals, and in Galt, Valley Christian fell to Bradshaw Christian 61-45 in a Division V semifinal. All three qualified for the NorCal Regional playoffs.

Granite Bay built a 32-17 halftime lead behind the shooting of Jon Davis and Robert Duncan and took a 49-36 lead into the fourth quarter.

But Nelson scored the first six points in the final period, and a bucket by Armani Hampton pulled the Huskies (22-7) within 51-46 with 4:18 remaining. Nelson led all scorers with 37 points on 16-of-28 shooting. He also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Davis fouled out late in the period with 17 points, and Nelson left the game momentarily because of an injured left ankle. But the 6-foot-7 Nelson returned to the game and helped Sheldon pull even. He missed a tying shot in the final seconds, but Eaton, his 6-9 senior cousin, made the tip to force overtime.

Nelson drew a charge from Duncan on the first possession of overtime, fouling out Duncan, but the Grizzlies took a 66-63 lead on two free throws by Nate Brillington with 54.8 seconds left. Brillington scored seven of his eight points in overtime.

Leading 66-65, Granite Bay defended an inbounds pass underneath the Sheldon basket with 8.3 seconds remaining. Granite Bay denied Nelson, but a shot went up, missed and was tipped around the hoop twice before Nelson tapped it in.

Duncan led Granite Bay with 21 points and a game-high five steals. Jacob Keys scored nine points.

For Sheldon, Eaton had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Sheldon will play Jesuit for the Division I championship at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Jesuit defeated Franklin on Tuesday.

Separate stories on Woodcreek and Valley Christian are now posted at