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Independent Voice

Rams top Calaveras to win D4 girls hoops section title

Feb 25, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Shaun Holkko, sports editor

Dixon senior forward Brianna Humphries goes for the layup against Calaveras in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls basketball championship on Friday, Feb. 25 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Photo courtesy of Michael Vlach.

Rams top Calaveras to win D4 girls hoops section title [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Pressure was high Friday at Golden 1 Center as two juggernauts faced off for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls basketball championship.

Dixon (26-3, 10-0 Golden Empire League) and Calaveras (27-4, 10-0 Mother Lode) each came into the game as champions of their respective leagues on 18-game winning streaks. Something had to give in this matchup of behemoths, as Dixon prevailed 48-42 to extend their win streak to 19 and secure the Division IV section title.

“It didn’t really hit me that, ‘Ok Mikey, your team is in the history books now.’ It didn’t catch (on),” said Dixon head coach Mike Gilliard. “Then my son was like, ‘Dad, you gotta understand, we’re in the history books right now.’”

The Rams’ current streak is nearly double the total amount of games (10) the team played last season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was such an honor for us just to get to play this season,” said Dixon senior forward Brianna Humphries. “Just because COVID was still around and was still a big thing. Getting to win all those games was such an honor for us just to play as a team and get all these wins together.”

The Rams were led to the victory by Humphries who told the Independent Voice that it was one of the best performances of her career. The senior forward recorded a double-double with a game-high 27 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

“Brianna is very unselfish,” Gilliard said. “She’s very talented, she’s just a gifted athlete, she plays three sports. When she plays basketball, she does things that she doesn’t realize that she’s doing at another level. She had the hot hand, so the team really looked to feed her the ball.

“She’s capable of getting 20-point games every night. Brianna has led us in double-doubles all season, she had a triple-double one game. In the championship game, everyone got to see what she can do.”

Humphries made 8-of-23 from the field (35%) and was a perfect 11-of-11 from the free-throw line.

“That was one of my better games,” Humphries said. “I feel like I played very well just because I played as a great teammate, and I wasn’t selfish with the ball. I knew that my other teammates could get the job done as well, not just me, it’s a whole team effort.”

Junior Brynne Dominguez contributed seven points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Janie Ming added eight points, six rebounds and two assists.

Dixon led by three after the first quarter 15-12. The Rams stretched their lead to double-digits by halftime at 11 after outscoring Calaveras 14-6 in the second period. However, Calaveras did fight back, doubling up Dixon in the third quarter 14-7 to trim their deficit to four.

“It was a real good game,” Gilliard said. “We knew that they were going to come back and throw a hard punch. It was just, how are we going to handle that? That was the main thing. We know what’s coming, like how are we going to handle it? They came at us in that third quarter and then the girls answered back.”

The Rams secured the victory by outscoring Calaveras 12-10 in the fourth period to ultimately win by six.

“Doing this after I think it was about 42 years, being the section champions at Dixon High School, it’s probably the best feeling I’ve ever had in a high school game,” Humphries said.

Both teams’ seasons will now continue Tuesday night at 6 P.M. With the win, Dixon moves up to the Division III CIF State Girls Basketball Championships and will host Chico (19-8, 8-2 Eastern). Calaveras will remain in the Division IV bracket and host Madera (16-15, 5-5 County/Metro).