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TC girls advance to Section final again
TC girls 3
Mikayla Yagi of Turlock Christian goes down to the ground after trying to fend off a Sacramento Country Day player in the semifinal matchup on Thursday. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

For the third year in a row Turlock Christian will meet Valley Christian in the Division VI Sac-Joaquin section championship game for varsity girls’ basketball.

This move forward comes after TC managed to top Sacramento Country Day in Thursday’s home semifinal bout that ended in a 63-39 victory.

“I didn’t want them to come out tight or tense so I gave them the analogy to play at their level and just relax,” said TC head coach Edwin Santiago. “I didn’t want them to be tense, you don’t need that and I also told them to have a sense of urgency, let’s not wait till the fourth to play like we are down by 20.”

TC played exactly that way, coming away with a big surge early after taking a 13-6 lead, leading 17-10 after the first.

TC outscored SCD 21-6 in the second quarter and eventually set up the storyline for the remainder of the game as TC never trailed.

The lead was cut to 17 in the third but every time Sacramento made a basket, TC responded by making twice as many.

They Eagles of TC led by as many as 27 points and were led by McCalister Russell and Mikayla Yagi after both topped out with double-double’s.

Yagi finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, two assists and a block. Russell added 16 points, 11 rebounds and amassed 951 career rebounds after the night ended the most of any player at TC.

“Yeah she broke that record a while ago actually… by a lot,” said Santiago of the four-year varsity standout.

Now, the lady Eagles will have under a week to prepare for the team that has defeated them in the section finale for the last two years.

“My assistant said it the best, we have unfinished business at Galt so we need to make sure when we leave for Galt on Thursday we know that we gave it our all and best performance,” said Santiago. “It was an upset that VC won but now I expect it to be a battle.”

The Championship game is scheduled to take place at Galt High against the number four seed, Valley Christian at 6 p.m. Thursday.