Marysville sank by free throw in final seconds

Feb. 16—The Marysville High girls basketball team came up a point short, and perhaps a missed free throw away, from possibly extending the game at home Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV postseason played on the campus of Marysville High School.

But it was No. 7 West Campus that walked away happy after senior Leilani Edinburgh sank a free throw with nine seconds left to upset second-seeded Marysville, 40-39 to advance to the SJS D-IV Final Four to be played Tuesday at the highest seed available.

Marysville ends its season at 23-5.

Edinburgh, who finished with a game-high 24 points, got the ball back under West Campus' own basket one possession after Marysville's Demi Boykin sank a corner 3-pointer to tie the game at 39.

West Campus head coach John Langston called the shot "fantastic" and something "you can't be mad at," when referring to Boykin's ability to chase down a loose ball, gather herself and sink a 3 in front of her own bench.

Tied at 39 with 14.4 seconds on the clock, West Campus (22-6) immediately called timeout to gather itself and put the ball in the hands of its best player, Edinburgh.

"Leilani is our horse, we depend on her a whole lot," Langston said. "I get on her a whole lot but these are the moments that it is all worth it because if I don't get on her then at crucial times she will defer. I said to her, "You keep the ball.'"

Edinburgh did just that and brought it up the floor with Marysville's Kaliyah Henry all over her at the mid-court line. Edinburgh made a move, went right and got Henry to commit a foul that put the top scorer and 3-point shooter in D-IV on the line to win the game.

"She attacked her, she reached, she made the free throw — ballgame," Langston said. "I think when (West Campus) came in they felt disrespected because we were seven, so we talked about that and I said, 'If you want the No. 2 spot you have to take them out of that because they earned it. Tonight we earned to be second — still (seeded) seven — but we earned to be second — and we just want to get to the next game."

Marysville, with its own aspirations to get to its first SJS final, will have to settle for an uncharacteristic early exit following another Ike Prince unprecedented season that featured the team's first piece of a league title since 1975 and a third straight 20-win season under Prince.

"They played their hearts out along with everybody that got into the game," Prince, Marysville's head coach, said. "I'm losing some great seniors, but I am returning 75 percent of my scoring ... We'll be ready next year."

Boykin, the team's horse most of the season, finished with 18 despite playing over three quarters with four fouls. The junior combination guard had to sit most of the second quarter with foul trouble as Marysville desperately tried to stay in the game. Led by Boykin's backcourt mate, Marysville stayed within five at halftime and did not trail by more than 10. It was sophomore Abigail Pietz with 10 points in the first half and a big 3 from the corner in the third as the Indians whittled a 33-23 deficit down 34-31 after 3 quarters.

"They played the best they could," Prince said. "Today we just came up short."

Henry and Krystal Briggs each finished with three in the loss, while Esabel Otsuji added 11 as West Campus' second option.

The Warriors advance and will take on No. 3 Escalon (27-2) on the road Tuesday with a chance to get to the D-IV championship played at 6 p.m. Friday at UC Davis.

No. 1 Colfax will host No. 4 Riverbank in the other semifinal Tuesday.

D-VI tournament

Faith Christian 76, Vacaville Christian 26

Sophomore Lauren Harris scored 41 as top-seed Faith Christian took out No. 8 Vacaville Christian Thursday to advance to their second straight semifinals of the Division VI Sac-Joaquin Section tournament.

Freshman Mia Bryan added 12, while sophomore Presley Berry chipped in nine for Faith Christian (24-4).

The Lions will host No. 5 Stone Ridge Christian (14-8) with a trip to the D-VI final on the line. The finals are set for 10 a.m. Friday at UC Davis.

The other D-VI semifinal is Foresthill against Sacramento Adventist played Tuesday night in Carmichael.

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