A season of trials and tribulations for St. John Bosco came to a pleasing end for the Braves when they held off Folsom, 63-54, to win the Division II state championship on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
St. John Bosco relied on the clutch play of Daniel Hamilton (22 points), Tyler Dorsey (21) and Vance Jackson (16) to end a season of ups and downs on a high note. Nothing came easy for the Braves, particularly the final 2 1/2 minutes that featured five turnovers.
"I haven't worked that hard in years," Coach Derrick Taylor said in trying to settle down his team.
St. John Bosco (23-11) opened a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, only to see Folsom close to 56-54 with 1:03 left on a four-point play by Jordan Ford. But Hamilton made four consecutive free throws in the final 30 seconds and Dorsey added three.
"We just had to step up and make some clutch free throws to close out the show," Dorsey said.
Hamilton gave hints of the Braves' struggles this season trying to come together in a final team prayer under the tunnel, saying thanks for "learning from our mistakes."
Sophomore Jordan Ford scored 20 points for Folsom.