Less than four minutes. That's all that stood between the Immanuel High boys and a first-ever California state basketball championship in the program's history.
The newly-crowned Northern California Division 4 champions were tied with Southern Cal kingpin Ribet Academy from Los Angeles at 46 with three minutes, 48 seconds left in regulation at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on March 9. It appeared to be a battle to the closing seconds, much like nearly every game in the Eagles' four-game regional run to the title contest.
But the Fighting Frogs (27-3) went ahead to stay on a clutch baseline 3-pointer from sophomore forward Tyler Powell with 3:12 remaining, setting in motion a game-deciding 11-0 run that put them in command. Ribet (pronounced RI-BAY) went on to a 60-49 triumph inside the arena where the Sacramento Kings' NBA team plays, closing out a 27-3 season.
Immanuel (26-9) saw its dream postseason run — fueled by eight victories of which seven came in the friendly confines of the IHS South Gym — come to an end. But it was a run through the Northern Regionals — where the Eagles were switched from the south this year — that gave the school its first state regional title.
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