AMERICAN CANYON -- Pinewood may have been 0-3 against Eastside this season, with all three losses by double-figure margins. But as Pinewood discovered Saturday, a win in the fourth meeting between the West Bay Athletic League rivals more than made up for all indignities suffered in the past.
Especially when that fourth game is for the Northern California championship and a berth in the state final.
Pinewood led from start to finish Saturday at American Canyon High School, defeating No. 1 seed Eastside 48-36 for the NorCal Division V girls basketball championship.
"This feels so good," said Leeana Bade, who led Pinewood with 18 points.
Pinewood (23-8) will go after its fifth state championship when it plays Sierra Canyon on Friday at 10 a.m. at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
Eastside (22-9), which was making its fourth girls basketball NorCal finals appearance but is still looking for its first NorCal title, beat Pinewood by an average margin of 17 points in the three previous games.
"Our defense was better, we executed plays better and we hustled better," Bade said.
Pinewood jumped out to a 7-0 lead and was in control throughout.
"Our girls did an outstanding job of executing our game plan almost to perfection,'' Pinewood coach Doc Scheppler said. "This was a great win for us.''
Pinewood led 21-13 at halftime, then outscored Eastside 13-3 in the third quarter to extend its lead to 34-16.
"We came out a little sluggish," Eastside coach Donovan Blythe said. "We didn't play Eastside basketball the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter we were behind, which let me do some trapping to get us rolling a little bit."
With point guard Marissa Hing making all 13 of her free-throw attempts, Pinewood went 25 of 29 at the foul line.
"That might be more free throws than we'd made all year," Scheppler said.
Scheppler put in some new offensive sets that his team executed well, spacing the floor to allow Hing (17 points) and Bade driving lanes to the basket.
"We were much better prepared to handle end-of-shot-clock situations," Scheppler said. "This time we had something that allowed us to get to the basket and to stay away from their best defensive players."
Boys Division IV
Cardinal Newman 73, Archbishop Riordan 66: Newman opened a 17-point lead in the second quarter and Riordan never recovered. The Crusaders cut the deficit to four at 40-36 late in the third quarter, but that was as close as they got. The Cardinals had an answer for every Riordan basket in the fourth quarter.
Geru Mabrey led Riordan (20-12) with 18 points.
Boys Division III
Sacred Heart Cathedral 55, Campolindo 52: The top-seeded Irish held on in overtime at American Canyon High to reach the state finals.
Sacred Heart Cathedral (21-11) tied the score at 49 with a 3-pointer by Khalil James with 32 seconds remaining. In overtime, the Irish went ahead for good on two inside baskets from Liam O'Reilly. Girls Division III
Sacred Heart Cathedral 46, St. Ignatius 28: SHC (25-6) beat St. Ignatius for the fifth time this season, on this occasion to win the NorCal Division III title. Kairee Howard led the Irish with 12 points. Briannah Smith scored 11 and Ashanti Coleman had 10.
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