ALBANY -- Jabari Bird had 22 points and eight rebounds to lead the Salesian High boys basketball team to a 69-60 nonleague win over Sheldon-Sacramento in a matchup between the top two ranked teams in Northern California.

Sheldon entered the game at Albany High ranked No. 3 in the state by CalHiSports.com, and Salesian began the night at No. 8.

Salesian (21-3) never trailed in the first half, jumping out to a 6-2 lead on a pair of 3-pointers from Markel Leonard and Dante Robinson. The Pride led 15-10 after one period and 26-21 at the intermission.

Sheldon (18-5) was led by San Diego State-bound swingman Dakarai Allen, who had 16 points and six rebounds before he fouled out with 3:04 left in the game.

Salesian led the length of the game and built a lead as large as 12 midway through the third quarter. The Huskies got as close as 53-51 with 4:35 to play, but Bird scored a pair of key baskets on putbacks that squashed Sheldon's momentum and allowed the Pride to put the game away.

"When you have two good teams like that, the game can go either way," Salesian coach Bill Mellis said. "I think a key was that we did a good job of limiting our turnovers and making our free throws in crunchtime."

Salesian entered having won 10 straight games dating back to a 65-59 loss to Gonzaga-Washington D.C. on Jan. 5 at a showcase in West Virginia. The Pride has yet to lose to a Northern California opponent with its other two defeats coming to Bullard-Fresno and St. Augustine-San Diego.


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Sheldon had won nine straight since its own Jan. 5 loss, a 72-65 defeat to Riverside-Reserve (L.A.) in the Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic near New Orleans.

Salesian 69, Sheldon-Sacramento 60

At Albany HS

Sheldon-Sacramento (18-5)

Johnson 3 8-10 14, Williams 3 1-2 8, Allen 6 4-6 16, Lewis 5 0-0 11, Manning 2 3-5 7, Greene 1 2-3 4. Totals 20 18-26 60.

Salesian (21-3)

M. Dunn 3 5-6 11, D. Dunn 2 0-0 5, Leonard 3 6-6 14, Robinson 1 0-0 3, Bird 7 8-12 22, Edmonds 2 4-4 8, Galloway 2 0-0 4, Shepard-Creer 0 2-2 2. Totals 20 25-30 69.

Sheldon 10 11 22 17-- 60

Salesian 15 11 23 20-- 69

3-point goals: Lewis, Williams, Leonard 2, D. Dunn, Robinson. Fouled out: Allen, Galloway. Technical foul: Sheldon coach. Highlights: She -- Allen 6 rebounds, 4 assists; Sal -- Bird 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals.