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For the Second Time, Mission High Goes to the Division III State Championship

Jamal Muhammad March 21, 2017
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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.

Mission fans swarm the court after their team defeated Vanden in a boys’ high school basketball game on Saturday, March 18, 2017 in Fairfield, Calif. Mission won 72-68. Photo: Credit: 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.

Mission fans swarm the court after their team defeated Vanden in a boys’ high school basketball game on Saturday, March 18, 2017 in Fairfield, Calif. Mission won 72-68. Photo Credit: SFGate

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.

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