by Mike Finnerty (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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For the past three years, Sleep Train Arena has been a home away from home of sorts for the Sheldon Huskies boys basketball team.
Whether the building name was Arco Arena or Power Balance Pavilion, Sheldon has found success with three straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championships.
On Wednesday night, the No. 1 Huskies took to the floor at Sleep Train Arena and began their quest for a fourth straight section title with a 86-72 victory over the No. 12 Bethel Jaguars of Vallejo.
Before the underdog Jaguars knew what hit them, they were down 11-0 to the Huskies with 5:11 left in the first quarter.
Sheldon out paced Bethel in an up tempo game with numerous fast break layups, dunks, and uncontested shots.
When Jalen Hicks found Darin Johnson on an alley-oop dunk to finish the half, it was a fitting way to end the first two quarters with Sheldon up 54-34.
Bethel got the lead to under ten at 72-64 with 6:25 left to play, but Sheldon fended off the Jaguars' surge with a 14-0 run sparked by the play of D'erryl Williams, Darin Johnson, Antonio Lewis, and Ryan Manning.
The Huskies had two guys score over 20 points with Williams leading the way with 25 points and Johnson adding 22.
Lewis (15 points) and Manning (14 points) also put up double figures in scoring.