January 12, 2013
Manning scores 29 in Sheldon's breakthrough Bullard win

Sheldon's boys basketball team has traveled 6,800 miles this season playing powerhouse programs in Las Vegas, San Diego and New Orleans.

But the Huskies' biggest win of the season may have taken place Saturday night at home.

With Ryan Manning feeling great and D'Erryl Williams feeling lousy - and both having impact games - the Huskies beat Fresno power Bullard 85-74 at Sheldon High.

Bullard (13-2) entered the game ranked No. 8 in the state by Maxpreps.com. For state-ranked No. 16 Sheldon (12-4), it was the Huskies' first win in three attempts on their home court against a major state power.

The Huskies lost to Salesian of Richmond 63-61 last February and 71-65 to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in December. Mitty is state-ranked No. 10 and Salesian No. 15 by Maxpreps.com.

"I think this was our breakthrough game," said Manning, Sheldon's unsung 6-foot-6 senior forward who had a career high 29 points and grabbed six rebounds. "We needed to get over the hump. It's also nice to do it in our home gym. It's a completely different atmosphere than when we travel. We get a lot more fired up at home."

Manning himself was on fire. He made 11 of 16 shots from the field, including five three-pointers, four of which came in the second quarter, three in the span of little more than a minute as Sheldon took a big early lead.

"Ryan shot the ball really well for us," Sheldon coach Joey Rollings said. "Ryan is really a wing but he has to play out of position for us and power up against the big guys, which really isn't his game."

Williams, a senior point guard who spent most of the day in bed with the food poisoning, scored 15 points, including three driving, left-handed runners in traffic to hold off a Bullard team that twice closed to within six points late in the game.

Williams also had eight rebounds and five assists.

"He woke up a half hour before the game," Rollings said. "He struggled a little at the start, but did a really good job at the end."

Darin Johnson added 15 points and five rebounds and Dakarai Allen 13 points, four assists and three blocks.

Corey Silverstrom led Bullard with 26 points.

The game was a matchup of programs with a lot of similarities.

Both have ambitious coaches with up-tempo philosophies. They have gifted players, balance, depth and a whatever-doesn't-kill-us-only-makes-us-stronger mentality.

Both also are public schools matching drop-steps with the state's best private school programs.
Sheldon is trying to win a fourth consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship. Bullard is going after a third consecutive Central Section D-I championship.

Last season Bullard lost 85-66 to national power Mater Dei of Santa Ana in the CIF Southern Regional D-I championship game.

Mater Dei then beat Sheldon 66-48 in a D-I state championship battle at Sleep Train Arena.

"We always want to compete at a high level and compete with the best in the state," said Bullard coach Tony Amundsen, a former Pacific player.

"That's why we schedule Sheldon. The kids need to see all the best teams so they can see what they need to work on. Ultimately you are preparing for the end of the year."

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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