SACRAMENTO — When Modesto Christian's girls were running sprints in October, the prospect of winning a state title was motivation to push through the pain and finish the demanding workouts.
The Crusaders get their opportunity when they face Mater Dei of Chula Vista in today's Division IV championship game at Arco Arena.
Tip-off is at 9:30 a.m., and it will be followed by five more championship games. Four teams won titles on Friday.
MC and Mater Dei have a combined 210-41 record during the past four years, but this is the first state final appearance in that span for either.
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Two matchups that could determine the state title will be at point guard and center:
MC's 5-foot-8-inch junior Brandi Henton, averaging 15 points and four steals, vs. 5-6 Jhazmine Lynch, who averages 15 points and four assists.
Mater Dei's 6-1 Soulijah Evans, good for 14 points and eight rebounds a game, vs. athletic Taryn Garza, a 5-11 junior who is the Crusaders' top defender under the hoop.
CalHiSports.com executive editor Mark Tennis, the guru of California prep sports, is anticipating a tight game: He picks Mater Dei to win, 62-59.