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SFL Champs - again

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The Del Oro Lady Eagles lived up to their favorites role this season in winning their fourth consecutive Sierra Foothill League girls basketball championship. Now it's on to bigger and hopefully better things that await in the upcoming Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III playoffs which began Tuesday night. Del Oro, 21-4 overall on the season, capped a perfect 12-0 run through the SFL last week by winning games over Rocklin, 62-32 last Tuesday and Granite Bay, 71-45, on Thursday night. The two wins allowed the Lady Eagles to maintain their hold on the No. 3 position in the girls Div. III power ratings behind No. 1 ranked St. Mary's of Stockton and No. 2 Sacramento High. Del Oro opened the playoffs on Tuesday with a first round match up against No. 14 seeded Pioneer of Woodland. If form held true in the Div. III brackets and the Lady Eagles got past their first round foe, it would set up an attractive second round game at Del Oro tonight at 7 p.m. against the winner of Tuesday's first round battle between No. 3 ranked El Camino and No. 11 East Union of Manteca. Next week's semi-final action will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Galt High School while the Div. III finals are set for Friday, Feb. 29, at Arco Arena tipping off at 7:30 p.m. While Del Oro has been a perennial Div. III section power player the last few seasons, the Lady Eagles have had to take a backseat to state and national powers St. Mary's of Stockton and Sacramento High who are respectively seeded No. 1 and No. 2 in the playoff tournament. Also very much in the picture is No. 4 seeded Placer, No. 5 Vanden and No. 6 El Camino. In last week's win over Rocklin, the Lady Eagles used a 13-4 second quarter point exchange to lead 32-14 at halftime and breeze home the rest of the way to the win. Emilie Johnson's 19 points and 11 from Steve Bair led the win. Courtney Nolen and Kaitlin Lewis were next with five points apiece, while Andrea Vitello, Ali Fletcher and Samantha Hodge both popped in four points each. Also scoring in the win were Chelsea Demas, Hannah Dobb, Emilia Johnson, Katie Pulliam and Cassie Sohn, all with two points apiece. A balanced effort helped spark the 71-45 win at Granite Bay as Johnson led the way with 17 points and six assists but she had plenty of help from Demas and Lewis with nine points apiece and Nolen and Bair with eight each.