Taking advantage of its superior quickness while employing a stingy man-to-man defense, Washington Union of Fresno held off stubborn Rio Americano of Sacramento, 69-56, to claim the Division II boys' championship at the Oakland Coliseum Arena Saturday.
The Panthers (29-0) completed an unbeaten season, winning the school's first State basketball championship.
Senior guard Tony Harris, a 6-3 playmaker, led the way, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, both game highs. Forward Stennis Cook added 16, while center Jervis Cole chipped in 15 and four blocked shots.
Rio Americano (28-6) stayed close for three quarters, but the Raiders wilted down the stretch, being outscored, 21-10, in the final eight minutes. Forward Jeff Keitges and guard Jon Brown shared scoring honors for Rio Americano with 15 points each.
In the Division III game, outsized Avenal battled to the wire before falling to Folsom, 68-57.
Avenal (22-3), didn't have a player on its roster over 6-1, but the Buccaneers closed within four points on three occasions in the fourth quarter, before being forced to foul in the waning moments.
Folsom (34-2) built a 54-23 edge on the boards, getting 19 rebounds from 6-foot-6 center Mike Doyle. Forward Ed Pelzman led both teams with 19 points and added eight rebounds.
Avenal stayed close, forcing 20 turnovers, but it never got over the hump despite 14 points each from David Bonilla, Scott Bissig and Ray Vargas.