VACAVILLE — The Vacaville High boys basketball team advanced in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs with a 56-48 win over Gregori High of Stockton at Harold Youngblood Gymnasium, Friday.
After a disappointing loss to Rodriguez High Tuesday that would have awarded a share of the Monticello Empire League title, the 14th-seeded Bulldogs (17-10) got back on track.
“It is nice to get a home game to get us started,” Vacaville coach Duane Kamman said. “The most important thing is to get a win after two straight losses. If we get on a roll, I know we can hang with anyone.”
After Tyler Janitz hit a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer to give Gregori (14-12) a 3-2 lead to start the game, the Bulldogs had a 10-0 run to give them a 12-3 advantage with 4 minutes, five seconds left in the quarter. Vacaville senior captain Sam Gabbard contributed six points in the run.
The next eight points from the Bulldogs came from Chance Pippin – six of which were from beyond the arc.
Vacaville found itself with a 22-12 advantage after one quarter of play.
Offensively, the second and third quarters were ones both teams would like to forget as they were a combined 12 for 44 (27 percent) shooting – each team only scoring 17 points over than span.
After three quarters, the Bulldogs were up 39-29 and were eight minutes from moving on, but the Jaguars were not ready to hand them a victory.
Vacaville started the final quarter with a corner 3-pointer from Pippin, but would not score again until a Raul Magana layup with 4:33 to play.
With some free throws and a 3-pointer, Gregori scored nine points during the Bulldogs scoring drought, making it a 42-38 game.
Vacaville made a 6-2 run and was up 48-40 with 2:51 left. The Jaguars answered back with a 6-2 run of their own – cutting the lead to 50-46 with 1:32 to play.
Kamman called a timeout for the Bulldogs to hold off the comeback.
Gregori’s defense held strong as long as it could out of the timeout until Vacaville’s Magana drove in the lane for a contested layup with seconds left on the shot clock – essentially sealing the game with a 52-46 lead and 58 seconds left.
Perstein had six points for the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter and ended with a team-high 14. Gabbard and Pippin had 11 points apiece – with Pippin making three from beyond the arc.
Vacaville travels to Stockton to play St. Marys, the No.l 3 seed, Wednesday.