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Boys' basketball: Village Christian wins Division V title

March 24, 2012 |  1:46 pm

_3247147Yes it might be the new kid on the block, but Sun Valley Village Christian has found a home in the CIF state playoffs.

The Crusaders outscored defending champion Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame 25-16 on their way to capturing the Division V championship with a 62-51 victory at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento.

Sophomore guard Bryan Alberts led the way with 17 points and six rebounds, Joe Shashaty and Marquis Salmon each added 12 points and junior Andrew English had seven points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots for Village Christian (32-3), which led by two points after three quarters.    

"This means a lot to us," said Marsalis Johnson, who had 11 points and five blocks. "Maybe we got overlooked a little bit when we didn't win the Southern Section [title], but all of our hard work paid off."

The Crusaders made the most of their first trip to the state finals, shooting 50% from the floor and making six of 13 three-point attempts.

English put the game away with a fast-break layup that gave Village Christian a safe 59-50 lead with 36 seconds left. Johnson calmly drained two free throws to increase the margin to 10 points with 18 seconds remaining. 

St. Joseph Notre Dame was making its eighth appearance in the state finals. The Pilots (29-5) were led by sophomore center Temidayo Yussef, who finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Senior guard Gemeny Givens added 14 points for the North Coast Section champions, who out-rebounded Village Christian 43-32 but made only 16 of 56 field goals.

-- Steve Galluzzo

Caption: Skye Isles (#11) and his Village Christian teammates celebrate their CIF state Division V championship at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento. Credit: Steve Galluzzo / For The Times