Vista Takes Down Number 1 Seed Vanden


Lukas Avdalovic leads the team out onto the court before a game.

Daniel Baldini and Owen Avdalovic

Vista del Lago upset number one seed Vanden on March 1 during the Sac-Joaquin Section (SJS) basketball semi-finals.

Vista came out strong, winning the first quarter, 20-11. The second quarter was dominated by Vanden, as they outscored Vista 26-11. The halftime score was 37-37 after both teams fought hard in the first half.

The second half was almost exactly like the first half. A little over halfway through the third, the score was 50-38 with Vista in the lead. Towards the end of the third, Vanden’s press cut the lead down to 3 points going into the fourth, with Vista leading Vanden 52-49.

With under a minute left in the fourth quarter, and Vista up 63-60, Vanden made a desperation three that tied the game at 63 each, with about 2 seconds left in regulation. Vista’s inbound pass was then stolen by Vanden, nearly clinching the game with a deep three at the buzzer that somehow rolled off the rim. Instead, with the score tied at 63-63, the game went into an overtime period.

Similar to the beginning of the first and second halfs, Vista struck first in overtime, eventually followed by a strong response by Vanden. The lead switched back and forth, as both teams held at least a one point lead multiple times within the final two minutes. With 8 seconds remaining in overtime and the Eagles holding a one point lead, Vista’s Chris Fairchild came up with a steal, forcing Vanden to eventually foul Will Fitzpatrick on the following inbound. Fitzpatrick made 2 free throws to give the Eagles a 69-66 lead. With one final chance to force a second overtime, Vanden put the ball in leading scorer’s Pheonix Shackleford’s hands, who missed a corner three in an attempt to tie the game, giving Vista the win.

Shackleford led the Vanden Vikings in scoring with 25 points. The Vista del Lago Eagles were led by Luke Avdalovic, who had 25 points as well.

With this win, Vista advances to the SJS section championship game. They play Capital Christian Saturday, March 4 at the University of Pacific in Stockton.