SACRAMENTO -- Kendall Smith was brought to tears as he and Deer Valley High teammate Marcus Lee considered that their high school career together was over.

The Wolverines fell to Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove 73-60 Saturday in the Northern California Division I boys basketball regional championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

Smith, a UNLV-bound guard, scored 17 points as he battled a high ankle sprain suffered four days earlier. Lee, a Kentucky-bound McDonald's All-American, had 10 points and 16 rebounds.

"We're moving on, and he's going to have a great career, I'm going to have a great career," Smith said of Lee. "We're always going to be family."

Said Lee: "This has been my family, my cousin. I did everything with him. He's been my point guard since Day 1. Knowing this is probably my last game with him ... it hurts. We've been through a lot and conquered a lot."

Smith was clearly limited throughout the game but still played all but about 2½ minutes of the game.

"He's a soldier," Deer Valley coach LeChet Philips said of Smith. "He tried to get through it, tried to play through."

Deer Valley led 14-13 after the first quarter, during which Lee picked up two fouls. He remained out of foul trouble the rest of the half, but Pleasant Grove surged in the second quarter to take a 36-27 lead into halftime.


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The Wolverines (26-6) rallied in the third, going on a 13-2 run to tie the game at 40 with 3:01 left in the period. Smith made a floater with 21 seconds left in the quarter to give Deer Valley the lead, but a late bucket by Pleasant Grove gave the Eagles a 48-47 advantage entering the fourth.

The lead fluctuated throughout the period. Pleasant Grove (27-6) took an eight-point advantage that was quickly cut to three. Deer Valley trailed 65-60 with 1:46 left.

The Wolverines rebounded an Eagles miss with 1:18 to go but couldn't convert at the other end. Colfax Nordquist scored for Pleasant Grove to make it 67-60 with under a minute left and effectively seal the deal. The Eagles closed the game on an 8-0 run.

Pleasant Grove was deadly from the free-throw line, converting 27 of 28 attempts.

Matthew Hayes scored 20 points to lead Pleasant Grove. Malik Thames had 17, and Nordquist had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Follow Jimmy Durkin at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.