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Manteca no match for top-seeded Vista del Lago in SJS Division III final
Manteca-Vista del Lago girls basketball
Manteca’s Jada Ikharo drives on Vista del Lago’s Niska Surve. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

SACRAMENTO – Second-seeded Manteca went toe-to-toe with No. 1 Vista del Lago early on Wednesday, taking a three-point lead to start the second period.

The Eagles of Folsom went on an 11-0 run before halftime and followed that with a 9-0 blitz to start the third quarter on the way to a convincing 68-49 win for the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Division III basketball championship at Golden 1 Center.

It was Manteca’s first Section final appearance since the 2000 team won the D-III championship.

“We just got outworked in that second quarter and into that second half,” Buffaloes coach Oscar Calix said. “We just got outworked, out hustled and out rebounded and that really hurt us.”

Manteca (25-7) turned the ball over 20 times and got dominated on the glass, 39-26.

“You can’t win without taking care of the ball and rebounding,” Calix said. “Those are two key factors and that hurt us.”

Izzy Sanchez helped pace the Buffaloes with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists and she was awarded the CIF Victory with Honor award, as she embodied the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and good citizenship.

“It is great to be recognized for being a good teammate and a good person,” Sanchez said. “It is very validating when people see that I am always trying to help.

“It was definitely a long journey and we worked very hard to get here. I knew coming into it that win or lose, I was going to be happy that that we got to this point and that we got to play and compete.”

Brea Vieira (two assists, two steals, rebound) was a big part of Manteca’s success early on with a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter on the way to sharing team-high-point honors with Jada Ikharo at 12.

“Coming in, I knew I could shoot deeper than most,” Vieira said. “If they were going to give me that space I was going to pull it and once they started falling I felt really confident.”

Ikharo was hampered by foul trouble a good part of the game but still finished with 12 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists.

“I was really excited to play here and was really looking forward to it,” Ikharo said. “It was a surreal experience and I am glad I got to share it with my team for my last year.”

Vista del Lago’s Ella Skrzyniarz dominated at both ends of the court with game-highs in both points (24) and rebounds (nine). Callie Jacobosky added 16 points for the Eagles (22-9), who claimed their first Section title. Charliz Cai chipped in 11 points.

“Manteca hit some 3s early,” Vista del Lago coach Marty Benjamin said. “That No. 30 (Vieira) knocked down a couple and 3-pointers keep you in the game. But we played good defense like we have the whole year. We have been holding teams under 50 almost every game. We played a really hard schedule against top-notch teams in the area, and I think it made us battle ready. We learned even from our losses against those top teams.”

The Eagles got more than half of their 39 rebounds off the offensive glass with 21.

“I always tell the girls if you can get an offensive rebound or two then you get excited about offensive rebounding and it kind of feeds itself,” Benjamin said. “Early success in doing it made the girls even more into it.”

The Buffaloes along with Vista del Lago qualified for NorCals, which begin on Tuesday. Pairings will be announced on Sunday.