FAIRFIELD — It’s the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship rematch that never happened.
The Vanden High girls basketball team hits the road Tuesday to face Modesto Christian in the semifinals of the Northern California Division III Regionals.
The Vikings (25-6) were the No. 1 seed in the SJS playoffs and Modesto Christian was seeded second. If the seedings had held, they would have faced each other in the D-III championship at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento on March 7
The girl’s team from Florin High had something to say about that.
Florin pulled off the upset of Vanden in the SJS semifinals, 45-38, then went on to lose to Modesto Christian in the championship 39-37.
Teams in the postseason always take it one game at a time, but if the Vikings can pick up a win at the road Tuesday, they could get a shot to play Florin again, that is if Florin gets by Enterprise of Redding, the No. 1 seed, also Tuesday.
That game would take place at American Canyon High at 6 p.m., Saturday.
But first the Vikings must get past the Crusaders (24-8) in their own gym.
Vanden and Modesto Christian know each other well, facing one another in the postseason on multiple occasions. The last time the two met was in last year’s SJS Div. III semifinals, with the Vikings prevailing 66-50. Vanden then fell to Christian Brothers in the SJS final before eventually losing in the second round of the NorCals to St. Ignatius of San Francisco, 57-53.
The Vikings are coming off a 58-54 win over Encinal in the quarterfinals, while the Crusaders downed Soquel 62-52.
According to stats posted on maxpreps.com, the game looks to be very even on paper, though the Crusaders’ haven’t been updated after Saturday’s quarterfinal win.
Vanden averages 63.4 points per outing, Modesto Christian 61.4. One thing that could tip the scales in the Vikings’ favor is rebounding. Vanden averages nearly 38 per outing (37.8), while the Crusaders grab just a little more than 31 per game (31.2).
The shooting percentages are fairly equal as well, Vanden shooting 39 percent from the floor and Modesto Christian 36. According to maxpreps.com., if you factor in Modesto Christian’s 62 points in Saturday’s win, both teams have put up 1,965 points this season.
Both teams are fairly young, too, Vanden having just four seniors on its roster and Modesto Christian just three.
With each team sporting plenty of freshmen and sophomores, don’t expect this postseason rivalry to go away any time soon.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.