OAKLAND — Taking advantage of its superior quickness and 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) won the school's first State basketball championship.
Senior guard Tony Harris, a 6-foot 3-inch playmaker, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, both game highs. Forward Stennis Cook added 16, and center Jervis Cole added 15 points and 4 blocked shots.
Rio Americano (28-6) stayed close for three quarters, but the Raiders were 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 end before falling to Folsom, 68-57.
Avenal (22-3), didn't have a player 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.