Windward rolled through the Southern California Regional to reach the Division 4 championship game due to the strong play of Harvard-bound Wesley Saunders and Nic Stover, the brother of current UCLA center Anthony Stover.
The Los Angeles-based team decided to stick with that tandem on Saturday as Saunders scored 15 points and Stover added 13 to upset No. 4-ranked Salesian 63-57. It was Windward's second state championship in three years at Sacramento's Power Balance Pavilion.
Windward (27-8) led 13-10 at the end of a first quarter that featured plenty of missed shots as each team struggled to find its rhythm on the way to a 27-26 halftime lead for Windward behind 11 from Saunders.
Windward stretched its lead to nine points with 4:12 left in the fourth quarter, but a Jabari Bird 3-pointer with 35.1 seconds left in the game pulled Salesian within three at 60-57, giving the team from Richmond hope. Windward was able to make timely free throws down the stretch, however, hanging on for the victory.
Salesian (25-12) lost on the court once heading into the title game but forfeited 10 victories due to eligibility issues with Bird, who was later reinstated. Bird, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, finished with 23 points.