by Mike Finnerty (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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In the first of two Sac-Joaquin Section Division II boys semi-finals, the No. 4 Grant Pacers got a huge performance from 6'6" senior forward De'Sean Parsons who scored 26 points to help lead the Pacers to a 72-69 win over No. 1 Sacramento.
The Dragons led the Pacers 16-10 after the first quarter, but the Pacers took a 28-26 lead to the break and that back and forth battle was the theme throughout the second half.
With Sacramento up 63-62 with 1:46 to play, Grant went on a 7-0 run and never relinquished the lead.
Also scoring in double figures for the Pacers was Brandon Nunn (12 points) and Donovan Brown (10 points).
Grant is making it's first trip back to a section final since 1999 when the Pacers beat the Burbank Titans in Division II.
Antelope fends off Rocklin, advances to D-II section final
If the goal for the No. 3 Antelope Titans was to get an early lead on the No. 7 Rocklin Thunder, it worked, but that wouldn't be enough.
A 33-15 halftime lead for the Titans shrunk to six points late in the fourth quarter, but Antelope held on for the 55-47 win advancing to Saturday's Division II section championship against Grant.
The Titans ran out to a 13-0 lead to start the game thanks to early scoring by Tyler Winston along with Isaiah Ellis and Gabe Bealer.
However, Rocklin looked like a different team in the second half, and with momentum changed quickly.
The Thunder got to within five at 50-45 with just over a minute left to play in the game, but the Titans sealed the win with free late free throws by Gabe Bealer and Rashard Thornhill pushing the lead back to double digits in the final minute.
In the end, the result would be a victory for the Titans securing the other spot in the Division II championship game against Grant.
Four Titans scored in double figures led by Ellis with 14. Bealer added 13 points, Winston had 11, and Thornhill finished with 10.
Hayden Cook (6'7" forward) led Rocklin with 17 points.
Last year Antelope beat Lodi to capture it's first ever section title in boys basketball, and now the Titans will look to make it back-to-back section titles when they square off against Grant back at Sleep Train Arena on Saturday at 4:30pm.