Vikings can't get past St. Francis

Oakmont season ends on road in Mountain View
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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It was a fantastic run for the Oakmont High boys basketball team. Unfortunately, it fell one win short of earning the Vikings a fifth shot at cross-town rival Woodcreek in the Northern California title game. Oakmont, seeded No. 6 in the Northern California bracket of the CIF State Boys Division II Basketball Championships, had won its first two games in the state tourney before making the trip to the Bay Area to tackle the second-seed, St. Francis. The Lancers did a great job keeping Oakmont from getting into its offense and held the Vikings in check while winning the game 53-39 and ending Oakmont's season. Tony Gill scored 16 points for the Vikings, and Fred Mobley added nine, but nothing was easy. "We hung around until midway through the fourth," said Oakmont coach Rick Campbell. "Then they had an 8-0 that put them up 10 or 12 points and put us away." The Vikings hit just 11-of-18 free throws and struggled to hit perimeter shots, both of which made for a long night. "They did a real good job on Tony (Gill)," Campbell said. "Their guards were a tough combination, both quick and strong. They were very physical and they pushed us way out on the floor to start our offense. We struggled and got things only in spurts. "They really kept us out of our rhythm, but it wasn't a press as much as it was their physicality in the half-court." St. Francis led 12-10 after the first period, but opened up a nine-point lead by intermission before Oakmont started to have some success at pounding the ball inside. The Vikings outscored the Lancers 13-10 in the third to get back within six points, but they just could not overcome the physical play of St. Francis. Oakmont's season ends with a record of 24-8, a second-place finish in the Sierra Foothill League and the Sac-Joaquin Section, and a spot as one of the top four D-II teams in Northern California. St. Francis (29-3) moves on to the NorCal title game next Saturday at 4 p.m. at Arco Arena against Oakmont's closest rival, Woodcreek (28-5).