McClatchy 87, Laguna Creek 63

 In a showdown of the top two teams in the Metro Conference, both coming off more than a week of COVID-19 quarantine, it was the defending champion Lions who showed handing over the conference championship to Laguna Creek wasn’t going to be an easy task for the Cardinals.

Taking advantage of some inconsistent play by the Cardinals, McClatchy had a better offense all night by taking a 87-63 win over Laguna Creek (9-2, 1-1). McClatchy did score the first seven points of the game while Laguna missed its first four shots. However behind the play of Ahrray Young, the Cardinals got out to a 16-10 lead. 

Then the Lions outscored the Cardinals, 13-2, to have a 23-18 advantage after the first period. It was a tight second period until McClatchy scored the final eight points of the second quarter and went to intermission ahead, 44-36. Young had 16 of her team’s points.

Then, the Lions took over in the second half and pulled away.

“Our defensive intensity was inconsistent in the second half,” Cardinals’ head coach Cody Norman texted afterwards.

Young finished with 31 points while Zoe Tillery had 15 points for Laguna Creek.

Franklin 46, St. Francis 44

The two Delta League teams were coming off a long quarantine without much practice, as well, and at times, it showed. The Wildcats suited up eight girls while the Troubadours (7-6, 0-1) had only seven in uniform. 

“I’ve had three girls who had one day of practice in the past two weeks,” head coach Kim Manlangit said. “Now, I am asking girls to fill the gap. I have sophomores playing quality minutes. They are all making an effort.”

Franklin held the upper hand in the early going, leading 20-14 after one period. Neither team scored well in the second quarter as the Wildcats (7-9, 1-0) led 28-20 at halftime.

Franklin led St. Francis 42-34 with six minutes left in the game and went stone cold from the floor. Megan Yee made a bucket with 4:03 remaining for a 44-40 margin and that would be the final field goal for Franklin in the game.

St. Francis' Jo Jo Myers converted a lay-up following a steal to tie the game at 44 with 3:32 to go and the teams swapped a series of empty possessions. Kaitlyn Juarros made a free throw with 1:48 left which eventually was the winning margin, while St. Francis struggled. Juarros made another free throw after being fouled with :12.1 seconds left. 

Myers did get off a three-pointer with three seconds on the clock that was just to the right. Franklin grabbed the rebound and the game was over, the first Delta League win for first-year coach Manlangit.

Yee scored 16 points to lead Franklin. Olivia Nicolas added 15 points and Juarros had eight.

“We’re still learning our offense, now at half-way through, “ Manlangit said. "It's a free-flowing offense where we take advantage of what we're given. The girls are learning that."

Notes:

Laguna Creek’s boys are now in COVID-19 protocol. They were scheduled to play at McClatchy Friday.

Here are the Delta League basketball reschedules, thanks to league commissioner Rick Spears:

Boys:

Jesuit at Davis moved from 1/5 to 1/29

Davis at Cosumnes Oaks moved from 1/7 to 1/17

Cosumnes Oaks at Jesuit moved from 1/12 to 1/24

Elk Grove at Cosumnes Oaks moved from 1/14 to 1/22

Girls:

Davis at St Francis moved from 1/4 to 1/29

Cosumnes Oaks at Davis moved from 1/7 to 1/17

Franklin at Sheldon moved from 1/7 to 1/17

St Francis at Cosumnes Oaks moved from 1/11 to 1/22

Spears added that the wrestling duals scheduled for Jan. 11 have yet to be re-scheduled.

email - egsports@ValleyOakPress.com

Twitter @JohnHullEG

John Hull came out of retirement in 2021 to return as the Citizen's Sports Editor. He started writing sports for the Citizen in Dec., 2007. Hull retired from teaching Mass Media/Journalism at Cosumnes River College and Luther Burbank H.S. in 2019.