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Elk Grove Citizen

Basketball playoff brackets released; Franklin to host boys/girls twinbill

Feb 10, 2024 07:30PM ● By By John Hull, Citizen Sports Editor

Photo by John Hull

Franklin's Aletha Singleton bringing the ball upcourt in a recent game has been one of the leaders of the Franklin Wildcats who won the Delta League championships this season and open the playoffs Feb. 14.

Elk Grove (MPG) –  Franklin’s girls basketball team pulled out a 43-36 win over second place Cosumnes Oaks on Feb. 7 to win the Delta League championship. That was the first league banner earned under Wildcat coach Kim Manlangit. On Feb. 14 and with 19 regular season wins under their belts, Franklin, as the No. 7 seed in Division I, will face No. 10 Kennedy at 5:30 p.m. to open the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

That will be game one of a playoff doubleheader at Franklin. The boys team under Ken Manfredi finished the regular season 22-6 and, as an eight-seed, takes on No. 9 Folsom in the nightcap in a rare girls-boys playoff twinbill.

Manlangit, in her third season as head coach of her alma mater, has seen progress. In her first year, the Wildcats won 13 games. They won 16 last season and this year, 19 wins.

“I’m still pinching myself a little bit,” she said. “I knew we had enough in the locker room, it was just a matter of getting the pieces together. I thought we could definitely compete.”

Franklin went 10-2 in the Delta, a game better than St. Francis and Cosumnes Oaks.

“We placed second the last two years since I’d been here and so I knew if we could just mold the right group together, have everybody bought in, looking not for individual success, but team success, this would be a reality,” Manlangit added.

The Wildcats have been on a roll the past month winning seven in a row since Jan. 19. Leading the way have been point guard Olivia Nicolas, Tatiana Carr, who has recently been registering double-doubles, Jasmine Clee and Alethia Singleton.

Should Franklin advance past Kennedy they’ll likely face No. 2 St. Mary’s, a perennial Section champion on Feb. 16.

Other first round Division I playoff match-ups involving local girls teams are No. 11 Cosumnes Oaks traveling to No. 6 Antelope, No. 13 Pleasant Grove taking on No. 4 McClatchy and No. 8 Monterey Trail hosting No. 9 Inderkum. All these games will also be played Feb. 14.

Mustangs earn two-seed in D-I boys

In the boys ranks Sheldon had to share a Delta League championship with Jesuit following its 55-39 loss to the Marauders Feb. 7. The Huskies finished the season with a huge 102-63 thumping of Cosumnes Oaks on Feb. 9. That earned them a six-seed in Division I. Sheldon will host No. 11 Grant in the playoff opener on Feb. 14.

Monterey Trail suffered just its third loss of the season Feb. 7 in a 106-101 non-conference overtime barnburner with Inderkum. Still, the Metro Conference champions were handed a two seed behind Modesto Christian and will open the playoffs by hosting the winner of No. 14 Lodi and No. 19 Downey on Feb. 14.

The Section has three “play-in”games to open the Division I post-season on Feb. 12. One local team, Cosumnes Oaks, will be involved in one of those contests as a 16-seed and plays No. 17 Turlock. The winner of that game plays Modesto Christian on Feb. 14.

Laguna Creek, which finished in second place this season in the Metro Conference, opens the playoffs on the road taking on No. 7 Lincoln of Stockton. The Cardinals have the tenth seed.

In Division V, Bradshaw Christian, a runner-up this year in the Sierra Valley Conference, earned a four-seed and hostsFra No. 12 Mariposa County on Feb. 13.