FAIRFIELD — Are you ready for some basketball? And lots of it?
The 2011-12 high school hoops season tips off in a big way Monday with the Sac-Joaquin Section holding its annual fund-raising foundation games.
All eight schools in the Fairfield and Vacaville areas will have both their girls and boys basketball teams in action, the girls hitting the court at 6 p.m., the boys at 8 p.m.
The highest profile among Monday’s foundation games, which won’t count on records or be computed in power ratings, features the Vanden girls hosting nationally-ranked St. Mary’s of Stockton. The Rams are ranked ninth in the nation, second in the state and first in both Northern California and the SJS by Calhisports.com.
“St. Mary’s is always a nationally-ranked team and it’s a great way, we think, to start off our season,” Vanden coach Allison Johnson said. “We love competing against, them. We’re excited.”
The teams played last year’s foundation game in Stockton with St. Mary’s prevailing. The Rams began official play in 2010-11 2-2 before rattling off 27 straight wins to capture their fourth straight SJS title and 11th in last 13 years. They also won their third straight state crown.
Johnson sees as keys “handling their ball-pressure and converting opportunities when we get them, containing them defensively.”
Returning starters for the Vikings, who were 27-6 last season in winning their 11th straight league title and advancing to the SJS Division III title game for the first time, are senior guards Tahvia Morrison, Lindsay Littlejohn and Denisha Lundy.
“What I like about the game is it isn’t a get-your-feet-wet-warm-up kind of game,” Johnson said. “We’re jumping in the deep end. We’re not getting our feet wet in the shallow end.”
Following the girls game, the Vikings boys entertain Brookside Christian of Stockton.
In other foundation games, Fairfield is at American Canyon with Tony Bryant and Michael Gilliard coaching their first games for the Falcons boys and girls squads, respectively.
Chris Toler will coach his first game at home for the Rodriguez boys against Grant of Sacramento. The Mustangs fell to Freedom of Oakley 73-56 in the Nor-Cal Tip-Off at Newark Memorial on Saturday.
Other pairings include: Antelope at Armijo, Davis at Vacaville, Benicia at Wood, Dixon at Vacaville Christian and Trinity Prep of Napa at Buckingham Charter.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646 Ext. 264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.