California boys win first district title since 1990

California Head Coach Blair Scanlon and the Pintos celebrate their district championship win Saturday after defeating Eugene 61-55 at the Class 3 District 10 Basketball Tournament at Versailles. This is the first district title the Pintos have won since 1990. California advances to Class 3 Sectionals today (Wednesday) at the Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla, where the Pintos will play Blair Oaks at 7:45 p.m.

California Head Coach Blair Scanlon and the Pintos celebrate their district championship win Saturday after defeating Eugene 61-55 at the Class 3 District 10 Basketball Tournament at Versailles. This is the first district title the Pintos have won since 1990. California advances to Class 3 Sectionals today (Wednesday) at the Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla, where the Pintos will play Blair Oaks at 7:45 p.m. Photo by April Arnett.

California faced top-seeded Eugene in the championship game of the Class 3 District 10 Boys Basketball Tournament Saturday at Versailles, where the #2 seeded Pintos won their first district title since 1990 as they defeated the Eagles 61-55.

”This was a big moment,” California Coach Blair Scanlon said after the win. “The kids really earned it; 22 years is an eternity. It feels great.”

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The California Pintos ended last year's basketball season with a discouraging loss to Eugene in the semifinal round of district play, however, this season is another story. Saturday the Pintos claimed their first district title since 1990 after defeating top-seeded Eugene in the championship game at the Class 3 District 10 Tournament at Versailles. Savoring the win, front row, from left, are Jaden Barr, Head Coach Blair Scanlon, Nathanial Caudel, team manager Josh Witthaus, Jerry Lutz, Austin Gump, Adam Burger, Leo Lutz, Connor Volkart, Cole George (kneeling), and Assistant Coaches Lance Conner and Dustin Jeffries; back row, manager Zach Merrill, Chase Ramsdell, Dylan Albertson, Alec Ramsdell, Phillip Longan, Taron Morris, Curtis Lehman, Stephen Price, Jason Wolverton and Conner George. The Pintos will play Blair Oaks at 7:45 p.m. today (Wednesday) at Class 3 Sectionals at the Missouri University of Science and Technology at Rolla.

California led 14-6 after the first quarter and 27-24 at the half. The Pintos outscored the Eagles 20-9 in the third quarter to lead 47-33 going into the final frame. Eugene chiseled California's lead away in the fourth quarter to trail by just one point, 53-52, with 2:38 left to play.

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California senior Phillip Longan (50) drives around an Eagle during the district championship game Saturday.

The Pintos, however, proved to be unstoppable as freshman Jaden Barr sank a shot and Taron Morris scored two points and a free throw to give California a 57-52 edge with 1:40 remaining. Adam Burger and Morris each hit two free throws to wrap up the scoring for the Pintos at 61-55.

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California Pinto seniors celebrate after receiving the district championship trophy Saturday at the Class 3 District 10 Tournament.

The inside presence of Longan, Morris and Alec Ramsdell proved to be too much for the Eagles.

For more of this story check out the March 7 issue of the California Democrat.

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