The girls' basketball championships was just as exciting as the boys' game. The girls played with just as much intensity as the boys. On the floor they are just as competitive, if not more, as any boy's basketball team and just as fun to watch. While at Arco I had the privilege of watching the best of the best in boys and girls basketball and I must say I enjoyed watching the girls play as much as I did the boys. When it comes down to it if you're a fan of basketball it doesn't matter whether you're watching boys or girls. The only thing missing in the girls' game is the occasional dunk you'll see in the boys' game. At the end of the day the fundamentals are the same, whether it's boys or girls basketball. They both play with intensity, conviction, passion and the desire to win – all for the "love of the game" .
DIVISION I GIRLS
POLY (Long Beach) def. BERKELEY 55-31
Jasmine Dixon scored 17 for Poly and is off to Rutgers. She's on the 2008 McDonald's All American High School Basketball Team Roster – a great honor.
April Cook scored 12 for Poly. (30-2), ranked second in the country by Sports Illustrated, and Thaddesia Southall had 10. Both Cook and Southall are sophomores, and Dixon was the only senior starter for Poly. April Cook is headed to Washington State and will be team mates with Jazmine Perkins of Berkeley.
Camila Rosen scored 15 points for Poly.
The Sportsmanship Award went to: Brittany Wilson, Long Beach Poly; Camila Rosen, Berkeley.
ARCHBISHOP MITTY (San Jose) def. MIRA COSTA (Manhattan Beach) 59-49 OT
Lindsay Leo had 17 points for Archbishop Mitty
This was the fourth state championship for Mitty in eight tries.
The Sportsmanship Award went to: Keri Stephanoff, Mira Costa; Ashley Watson, Archbishop Mitty
SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL (San Francisco) def. MAGNOLIA (Anaheim) 48-33
Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco's Kamilah Jackson scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the No. 1 team in the nation. Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco won its third straight girls' Division III state championship by defeating Magnolia of Anaheim, 48-33.
Jazmine Jackson, Kamilah's sister, had 13 points.
The Sportsmanship Award went to: Latrice Henderson, Magnolia; Jazmine Jackson, Sacred Heart Cathedral
ST. PATRICK/ST. VINCENT (Vallejo) def. LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY 67-65
The Sportsmanship Award went to: Janae Fulcher, La Jolla Country Day; Kateri Grey, St. Patrick/St. Vincent
BRANSON (Ross) def. MISSION PREP (San Luis Obispo) 51-39
Branson's Rachael Bilney had 23 points, five steals and three assists. Rachel is headed to the University of Richmond.
The Sportsmanship Award went to: Jenna Caruso, Mission Prep; Sam Bilney, Branson
The road to Arco begins even before the Championships are over. The teams that didn't make it are planning for their next season. The players are already practicing, working out and playing travel ball. In today's world of high school basketball it's not what you do on the high school hardwood, but what you do off of it that will make you successful. Playing travel ball exposes players to another level of play, which helps increase their skill level and their High School's team competiveness.
There's an old Joke New Yorkers like saying to lost tourist looking for a famous Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall. When a tourist ask them "how do I get to Carnegie Hall, which is a world renowned concert hall " the response is " practice .. lots .. and lots of Practice" . Carnegie Hall is to a musician or a singer what Arco Arena is to a California High School Basketball Player.
How do you get to Arco Arena? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall, with a lot of talent and a lot of practice! Arco Arena has become the Golden State's Carnegie Hall for High School basketball and rightfully so.