PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Sports

Heinz-sight: Never know

By From page A6 | March 26, 2014

Jerry Heinzer

The Pleasant Grove girls basketball team plays this Saturday for the Division I state title at Sleep Train Arena.

Or, as most prep hoopsters call it, Arco Arena.

Congrats to the Lady Eagles for making it all the way to the championship game.

Who saw that coming?

If Mercer is the ultimate bracket-buster to the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament, is Pleasant Grove the same to the NorCal Tournament as an 11th seed?

Understood, this late in the season upsets can happen. Any team left is capable of defeating the other … but this underscores the fact it pays to peak at the right time and matchups can sway an outcome.

In no way did the Eagles back in. They had to win tough games on the road before taking down perennial power Berkeley last weekend at Arco.

No easy task — ask Oak Ridge.

Speaking of which, the Trojans should have been where Pleasant Grove is now except they couldn’t beat Monte Vista at home while the Eagles did … in Danville no less.

Oddly, Pleasant Grove couldn’t beat Oak Ridge this season. One blowout followed by a 5-point loss in league play before a convincing 14-point Troy victory in the section semis — hence the feeling that this Saturday’s title game is where Oak Ridge shoulda, woulda, coulda been.

Except for the Trojans loss to St. Mary’s in the section finals, my brackets for that tournament went as planned. At no time did I think Pleasant Grove could derail Oak Ridge.

The Eagles aren’t doing anything the Trojan program hasn’t. Recently, Oak Ridge has had good NorCal runs despite setbacks in the section playoffs.

Last season, Troy was tripped up by Kennedy in the section semis at Spanos before mounting a run all the way to the NorCal final — much like Pleasant Grove has done this year.

Troy’s neighbor from the Delta River League can match Oak Ridge and become the second area girls team to win a D-I state championship.

They’ll see the south’s top seed in Canyon Springs-Moreno Valley.

Do the Lady Eagles have one more victory in them?

 

 

 

 

 

Jerry Heinzer

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