Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Florin Upsets Top-Seeded Vanden, Reaches D-3 Finals

Florin High School’s fans probably thought their basketball season was over. They trailed top-seeded Vanden throughout most of their Division III Sac-Joaquin Section semi-final game Tuesday afternoon at Cosumnes River College.

With five minutes to go and down 35-31, Panther forward Rhianna Jackson fouled out. Coach Larry Price threw his arms up in disgust over the call. The fans moaned.

Would this be the end of the road for Florin, a team that was the Division II runner-up a year ago?

But, Jikara Sellers wasn’t going to quit. She hit a fall-away three-point jumper with 3:58 left in the game to bring the Panthers to within one at 35-34.

She rattled in another one just 28 seconds later to give Florin the lead for good. Price wasn’t throwing his hands up in disgust any longer.

“She was struggling with her shot and I told her to just keep trying and they’d fall for her,” he said. “That was a big shot and it turned the momentum around to our side.”

The Panthers held on the rest of the way to defeat Vanden, 45-38, return to a Section championship game for the second year in a row. They'll play either Patterson or Modesto Christian for the D-3 title Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Sleep Train Arena.

Listen to my post-game interview with Price:

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