Since 2001, Mission could become the first SF public school to win a state title.
Fairfield, California — The Mission High boys basketball team focused on one goal and planned to achieve something that has not been done in 16 years.
The Bears were only losing to Vaden-Fairfield High School when they scored the first point of the regional championship game. In the beginning, it was a one-sided match and Mission ended the first half, leading by 14 points. Then Mission extended the lead to 18 points in the third quarter, after guard Jamion Wright scored a three-pointer, which made it 51-33, according to SFGate.
However, Vaden went on a 15-2 run to end the third quarter 55-51. In the fourth quarter, it could have been anyone’s match because Vaden brought the game to one point; after senior guard, Darrell Staley dropped his fourth three-pointer.
Time was whining down, and Vaden had the opportunity to take the lead. But Mission senior guard Niamey Harris stole the ball in transition, and he made a three-point play. The lead grew to 70-66. Quickly, Jemuarri Bailey scored for Vaden with 32.8 seconds remaining in regulation. Nonetheless, Harris ended the game by hitting two free throws.
“I give Vanden a ton of credit because they fought. They could’ve easily laid down and walked away, but they fought and made us work. … Niamey again stepped up huge at the end,” said Mission head coach Arnold Zelaya.
Mission defeats Vaden 72-68 in the Northern California Division III Championship, making them the second team from San Francisco public school system to have a chance at a state title. Harris led all scorers with 23 points.
The Division III state title game will be hosted at the Golden 1 Center on March 24 and Mission will face Villa Park High School.