STOCKTON – The Argonaut girls’ basketball team lost its quest for back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championships as the Colfax Falcons won in overtime, 43-38, Saturday at the University of Pacific’s Spanos Center.

The Mustangs were playing with heavy hearts after longtime coach Mark Giannini, a mainstay of the program for 17 seasons, passed away Thursday night. He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in March of 2014.

“If it wasn’t for him taking over the program we wouldn’t be here today,” said assistant coach Rick Cabri, who joined Giannini a dozen years ago as an assistant. “We’ve been to the championship before but never won it until last year. To have won it back-to-back would have been a special thing. He was a good friend of mine.”

Argonaut player Macie Arevalo praised Giannini and credited him with making the Mustangs relevant.

“A special thanks to Mark G., he put this program together and built it from the ground up,” Arevalo said. “We wouldn’t be where we are without him.

“We’re always excited to go to state. It’s always more fun, more competitive and we just have to keep buckling down and doing what we’re doing.”

Argonaut led 26-20 at halftime, but the Mustangs (21-8) had get a rebound and short jumper from Arevalo with four seconds left in regulation to send it into overtime. Colfax (25-4) started the extra period with a 6-0 run as Argonaut’s first five possessions resulted in four turnovers and a missed 3-pointer.

Argonaut’s Sophia Davis made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 41-38 with 17 seconds left, but the Mustangs ran out of time.

“We were having a tough time executing in the second half, but we were able to pull it together at the end and tie it up,” said Cabri. “It was a defensive battle the whole game. Unfortunately, they scored a few more basket than we did in the end.”

Lauryn Davis led Argonaut with a game-high 16 points while Arevalo, who fouled out in overtime, had 13 rebounds and eight points.

Lauryn Davis said she and her teammates are glad to have the chance to play at the state level.

“We battled the whole time and gave ourselves a chance to win that game,” said Lauryn Davis. “Some things just don’t go your way. We tried to execute what our coaches told us to do. We played hard.”