June 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Woodbridge avenges loss to top-seeded Sage Hill and captures PCL championship

Woodbridge players and coaches celebrate after winning the league title Friday night. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Woodbridge High School’s boys basketball team survived a possible game-tying three pointer by Sage Hill Friday night in the final seconds of the biggest game of the season.

The shot fell off the rim, then seconds later the Warriors and coaches celebrated a 47-44 victory over the top-seeded Lightning in the Pacific Coast League championship game at Portola.

The win assured Woodbridge the tourney title and league championship, the second under Coach Steve Scoggin, who was joined this year by his father Steve Scoggin, who said he was proud and happy for his son.

To see additional photos, click on the first picture:

With the win, the third-seeded Warriors (19-9, 7-3) avenged a 48-47 overtime loss to Sage Hill, the defending league champion, during the first round of league play and clinched the No. 1 automatic qualifying spot from the league for the CIF playoffs.

“I’m proud of the kids,” an emotional Scoggin, holding the league championship plaque, said. “They battled, this tournament was a redemption tournament for us. All the three teams we played, we lost to in league (regular season). And all year it’s been like that.

“When we lose to a team and we get another shot, these kids come and play and I’m just really proud of them.”

The two senior starters on the team JC Schindler and Stephen Lamp, played key roles. Lamp had 18 points, 11 in the first quarter to help the Warriors move out to a 24-20 halftime lead.

Schindler had 17 points and surpassed 1,000 points in his career.

“They’re the ones who stepped up,” Scoggin said. “Stephen in the first half, JC all game. Stephen came up huge making shot after shot. JC just battled. (Sergio) Maggette is a tough player and JC had to play at both ends, so I got to give both of them credit.

“We’re league champs and this one feels really good. Beating the defending champs is a good feeling, they’re a great team and (Coach) DCean (Bryant) does a great job, they’re always ready to play, they got very talented kids. Our kids just showed a lot of heart tonight.”

Maggette led Sage Hill with 18 points, 14 coming in the second half. Jackson Cryst added eight points for the Lightning.

Woodbridge held a 37-33 lead after three quarters but Sage Hill cut the lead to 41-40 on a 3-pointer by James Karahalios with 4:09 left in the game.

Jaiden Sabino had a 3-pointer and Jason Briggs a basket to help Woodbridge move out to a 46-42 lead with about a minute remaining.

Sage Hill cut the lead to two points, but Schindler made one of two free throws with seven seconds left to put the Warriors ahead 47-44.

Then, Woodbridge survived the 3-point attempt and the celebration began.

“We play together well and we were just a family tonight,” said Schindler, who was mobbed by his teammates. “Every single shot we made, everyone was hyped, we didn’t care who scored or who was doing what, we were all there for each other and picked each other up when we needed to and we came together, we were more of a team.

“This is my senior year, me and my boy Stephen have been working all four years to get this and we finally got it.”

Lamp was thrilled with the win too.

“It’s been our goal the whole time at Woodbridge and last year getting second in league hurt so much and we lost to Sage for second so getting them back this year is an unexplainable feeling,” he said.

“We just made plays down the stretch and played as a team and got it.”

Woodbridge’s last league title came in 2021, during the COVID-delayed season which was Scoggin’s first year leading the Warriors. Lamp and Schindler were freshmen that year.

The Warriors will find out Sunday who they play in the CIF 3A playoffs next week. Woodbridge was ranked fifth in this week’s CIF poll.

BONUS COVERAGE

For video highlights, go to OC Sports Zone’s X page @ocsportszone

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com