Monday, September 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Vanden girls land No. 1 seed in D-III playoffs; Vanden boys No. 2, Rodriguez boys No. 2 in D-1, Fairfield boys No. 3 in D-III

By
From page B1 | February 20, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Bring on the first-round home games.

The Sac-Joaquin Section released its basketball playoff brackets, Wednesday, and four city teams are seeded in the top three, meaning all four could host two playoff games, assuming they win the first.

The Vanden High girls landed the No. 1 seed in Division III, while the Vanden boys are seeded No. 2, also in Division III.

The Rodriguez boys are seeded No. 2 in Division II, while the Fairfield boys are the No. 3 seed in Division III.

It was the first-ever top seed for the Vikings, according to coach Allison Johnson.

“We were watching (the live webcast) from the beginning and they took a break before the No. 3 seed,” Johnson said. “(The players) were on the edge of their seats.

“They were excited. We’ve never been a No. 1 seed. We earned a No. 1 seed, but everyone is 0-0 right now. Everyone has the same record . . . Even though we are excited, it really doesn’t mean much.”

The Vikings, who open play Tuesday when they host Pioneer at 7 p.m., could possibly play before Vanden’s boys team if both reach the semifinals the following week at Cosumnes River College, with the finals being held at Sleep Train Arena (formerly Arco Arena) March 7.

“It’s one game at a time, but we do read the entire document,” Johnson admitted. “That would be great to play back-to-back in the same week. Us and the boys team are extremely close, and the kids are close. The boys have made history.

“They’re making history. It’s a great opportunity. I can’t put it into words for us to be both (having a chance) to play for section titles (on the same night). It’s special.”

Vanden’s boys squad opens play at against Patterson at 7 p.m., Wednesday.

Even after losing twice to the Vikings in Solano County Athletic Conference play, the Falcons landed the No. 3 seed, which was a little surprising to coach Edie Wilson.

“Honestly, I thought we would be a little lower (in the bracket seedings),” Wilson said. “I think it probably shook out they way that it should, even after two league losses.

“It’s not that important for us (to play at home), we play well on the road. You want to have more of a favorable bracket. It looks favorable to play at home, but it doesn’t matter, home or away.”

The Rodriguez boys open Division I play at home against Tokay at 7 p.m. Wednesday, and coach Nate Rankin is pleased with his team’s seed.

“That’s a blessing for the kids, the student body, administrators and coaching staff,” Rankin said. “Clearly, the players, they earned that spot. They worked all year for that. I’m happy for them.”

And for getting to open the postseason at home?

“You’re always tougher at home,” the coach said. “You want the home court advantage, We’re playing in front of our fans. The players are more comfortable at home, just for that reason. The support system is there. These kids, they bought into a belief system. They work hard and they didn’t quit.

“They are smart kids with great chemistry. That’s what they do on the court. These kids have character. . . . We teach the kids values to believe in themselves. That’s what they believe. Hopefully they can keep it going through the playoffs. Now we’re in a new season. Tokay’s 13-14 record doesn’t mean anything. . . . Any team they face, they know they have to come in and play the game.

 Other local boys teams earning playoff berths were Wood (No. 20, Div. II), Vacaville (No. 14, Div. II), Vacaville Christian (No. 9, Div. V) and Buckingham Charter (No. 12, Div. V).

All the boys teams open the playoffs at 7 p.m., Wednesday, except for Wood and Vacaville, who open Friday. The Wildcats are at No. 13 Whitney of Rocklin and the Bulldogs are at home against Gregori of Modesto.

Other local girls teams making the postseason were Rodriguez (No. 17, Div. I),Vacaville (No. 12, Div. II) and Rio Vista (No. 9, Div. V).

All the girls games start at 7 p.m., Tuesday, except for Rodriguez, which plays at No. 16 Merced at 7 p.m., Friday.

Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or barnold@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.

Brian Arnold

Brian Arnold

1992 graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism.
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