High School Basketball

Caruthers turns long trip into ticket to state Division V girls basketball championship game

Caruthers High basketball players including Mikayla Duran (33) and Jaque Magana (23) celebrate the Blue Raiders’ Central Section Division V championship Feb. 25 at Selland Arena.
Caruthers High basketball players including Mikayla Duran (33) and Jaque Magana (23) celebrate the Blue Raiders’ Central Section Division V championship Feb. 25 at Selland Arena. jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

The Caruthers High girls basketball team beat host St. Bernard’s-Eureka 52-44 Tuesday night to earn a trip to the state Division V championship game.

The Blue Raiders took a 470-mile road trip to reach the Northern California regional final game, looked fresh early and weathered a late storm to lock up their date Friday morning in Sacramento.

Caruthers will play Ramona-Riverside, a 61-43 winner over Anaheim, at 10 a.m. in Golden 1 Center, home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

Caruthers has won three of the last five Central Section D-V championships but hadn’t advanced past the regional second round before this season.

The Blue Raiders (32-4) have won 21 straight since going 2-2 at a New Year’s tournament in Henderson, Nevada. The other two losses came earlier in the season to Los Banos and Roosevelt; there also was a season-opening win over McFarland, which is headed to the state D-III championship game.

Against St. Bernard’s, Caruthers jumped ahead 14-2 after five minutes and led 17-5 at the end of the first quarter, 22-14 at halftime.

When St. Bernard’s got within 37-32, senior Jaque Magana made a jumper. And when it got to 47-42 with 1:10 left, senior Felicia Ramirez converted a three-point play.

Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.
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