SACRAMENTO -- The Serra basketball team needed a lot of things to go right to have a chance of winning on the road against a superbly talented Sheldon team in the opening round of the Northern California Open Division playoffs.
But instead of everything going right, a whole lot of things went wrong, and the Padres had their season end with a 71-50 defeat.
"They were really hard to cover,'' Serra coach Chuck Rapp said of a Sheldon team with three players already committed to the likes of San Diego State and Washington. "It was a tough matchup.''
Sheldon made 26 of 53 field-goal attempts. Safe to say Serra needed to have Sheldon shoot a considerably lower percentage to have had a shot at winning.
"We would have had to play really well and we played far from really well,'' Rapp said. "We needed to get some breaks, get some calls.''
But instead it was Serra standout Henry Caruso who was called for two fouls in the first minute of the game and his third foul with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
With Caruso on the bench Sheldon went on a 12-0 run to start the second quarter and open a 27-11 lead. Rapp finally had to bring Caruso back with four minutes left in the second quarter. Caruso had 11 of Serra's 19 first-half points despite sitting for six minutes, but the Padres trailed at the half 40-19.
Sheldon (26-5) extended its lead to 49-26 in the third quarter when Serra (25-6) went on a 16-2 run to close the quarter and
"Once we got on a roll, we took over,'' said Sheldon's Dakarai Allen. "But that's a really good team.''
"Very physical, a very strong team,'' said Sheldon's Ryan Manning. "We could see how tough they were when they came in with those arms -- huge.''
Caruso was brilliant in the third quarter, scoring five baskets for 10 points on some spectacular moves.
"It was good to see us make that charge,'' Rapp said. "That was a great run he put on in the third quarter. He showed what a multi-dimensional player he is. He really has a lot of weapons. I look forward to seeing him at the next level.''
Caruso, a 6-foot-4 senior who will play in college at Princeton, finished with a game-high 25 points.
"Henry had a great Serra career, was a great ambassador for Serra basketball,'' Rapp said. "He is one of my all-time favorites and one of the best to ever play at Serra.''
Darin Johnson, a 6-5 senior headed to Washington, and D'Erryl Williams, a 6-3 senior committed to San Diego State, scored 20 points apiece for Sheldon, which will play No. 1 seed Salesian in the semifinals. Manning scored 15.
For more on high school sports, see the After School blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/highschools. Contact Glenn Reeves at 650-348-4345 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/GReeves23.