The Central Catholic bench watches time tick away during their 57-41

Cold-shooting Central Catholic falls to top-seeded Vanden in Division III boys final

Joe Cortez

SACRAMENTO — Central Catholic shot a frosty 23 percent (13 of 56) from the field — including 1 for 21 in the second quarter — and fell to Vanden 57-41 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III boys basketball final on Friday at Golden 1 Center.

“You’re not going to beat anybody doing that,” said Raiders coach Wilson, whose team will learn Sunday who it faces in the Northern California regional tournament, set to begin next week.

Despite Central Catholic’s shooting woes, the Raiders trailed by just seven — with the ball — late in the third quarter and had a chance to make it a two-possession game. But Vanden scored the next seven points to take control for good.

“In the third quarter, that’s the team we knew we could be,” said Wilson, whose career record now stands at 332-127. “We kept telling them ‘away, away, away’ … screen away and then pass away. But in the fourth quarter, we went back to what we were doing in the first half.”

Senior Nic Sani, who missed all of his junior season with a shoulder injury, closed out his prep career with 11 points and 18 rebounds. He had the Raiders’ lone bucket of the second period — a layup that came 47 seconds before halftime.

Dayton Magana also had 11 point for Central Catholic while teammate Arvind Sandhu added 10.

Sandhu, the Raiders’ long-range sniper, was bothered by the sightlines of the NBA arena.

“Yeah, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse,” said Sandhu, who scored 17 to lead the Raiders in a semifinal win against Will C. Wood last Tuesday. “After I hit that first pull-up, everything after that was short and it was hard to get used to.”

The Raiders lost to Vanden by a 16-point margin — 83-67 — at their own Mark Gallo Invitational in December.

Central Catholic's Dalton Durossette, who has lost section finals in football, basketball (twice) and baseball, will begin pursuit of a Northern California regional title next week. (Samantha Schmidt/Front Row Preps)

Sac-Joaquin Section Finals

Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020


Division VI

No. 1 Ripon Christian 73, No. 2 Stockton Christian 56

Division IV

No. 1 Sonora 70, No. 3 Liberty Ranch 57


Division IV

No. 1 Argonaut 45, No. 2 El Dorado 37

Friday, Feb. 28, 2020


Division III

No. 1 Vanden 57, No. 2 Central Catholic 41


Division III

No. 2 Christian Brothers 50, No. 5 Merced 33