February 28, 2013
D-VI girls final: Victory Christian holds off Valley Christian

A young Valley Christian of Roseville provided a glimpse of the future but it was the experience of Victory Christian and a strong performance by senior Emily Potts that won out in tonight's Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI girls basketball championship game at Galt High School.

Seniors Molly Huffman and Angela Frentzen each had 12 points as top-seeded Victory Christian (22-5) won 47-42 over the Lions (16-10) to capture its second consecutive D-VI title.

The division was created last year for schools of 150 or fewer students who don't opt to play up at D-V.

Valley Christian trailed 30-13 at halftime but despite relying heavily on four sophomores (Lily Hagerty, Erika Lyon, Cassidy Bowen, Jenny Frank) and a freshman (Seraiah Tyller), the Lions came back to take the lead 41-40 late in the fourth quarter.

"The girls played a little tentatively in the first half," said Valley Christian coach Kim Contreras. "They came out strong in the second half."

But Hagerty, who finished with 16 points and had tied a section playoff scoring record with 49 points earlier, fouled out late, and Victory Christian outscored the Lions 7-1 at the end.

"Senior wing Emily Potts was a game breaker," said Victory Christian coach Tim Smithers. "She's my vote for player of the game. She finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. She played strong on both sides of the ball. She held (Hagerty) to 10 points below her average while playing the fourth quarter with four fouls."

February 28, 2013
Florin rallies to beat McNair in Section D-II semifinal; face top-ranked Sac next

STOCKTON - It'll be a Metropolitan Conference party of sorts on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena.

Following the footsteps of rivals Kennedy in Division I and Sacramento in D-II, the Florin Panthers earned a title shot at the NBA arena with a gritty 44-41 triumph of McNair of Stockton in a Sac-Joaquin Section D-II semifinals Thursday night at the University of the Pacific.

The Panthers will take on Metro champion and Bee-ranked No. 1 Sacramento for the D-II title, a few hours before Kennedy takes on St. Mary's of Stoctkton in the large-school showcase.

Sacramento won the Metro by sweeping Florin and Kennedy. Per the good will among the Metro teams, players were pulling for each other in semifinal games.

Florin prevailed despite losing leading scorer Daijah Joe-Smtih with 5:45 left in the game. But as Florin coach Larry Price has maintained all season, his star doesn't make up the entire roster.

Florin won it with a free throw by Deja Conger with 13.2 seconds to play for a 42-41 lead and then sealed it with two free throws by Dalayna Sampton to return to a title game for the first time since the 1996 and '97 seasons in D-I under then coach Shannon Gasper.

Jikara Sellers and Conger led Florin with 12 points each and Sampton had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Brittany Butler had 18 points for McNair and Mandy Coleman had 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Both teams advance to the NorCal regional tournament that starts next week.

- Joe Davidson
- Follow on Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD

February 28, 2013
Lynette Johnson leads Kennedy past Oak Ridge in Section semifinals

By Joe Davidson

STOCKTON - It wasn't a frantic fight to the finish like last season's showdown of Sac-Joaquin Section girls basketball powers, and that was just fine with a relieved Lynette Johnson.


The Kennedy High School standout senior leader talked this week that for as much dramatics and ecstasy as the 2012 Division I championship game against Oak Ridge, won by her Cougars in double overtime, it was a stress-case affair right to the final horn.

Not the rematch.

A combo guard/forward, Johnson scored 26 points on 10 of 16 shooting, yanked down nine rebounds, had six assists and was a factor as a ball handler and with leadership to key a 65-42 triumph of Oak Ridge in a semifinal at University of the Pacific.

Emerging post Dalayna Tyler-Scott had 16 inside points for the Cougars, ranked third by The Bee most of the season. Oak Ridge was ranked second entering the postseason. Both advance to the NorCal Regional playoffs that start next week.

First, Kennedy targets its sixth section championship in nine title appearances, all since 2001.

"Ok, so this wasn't (ITAL) as (ITAL) fun as last year, but it was a great win and we played well," said the charismatic Johnson, headed to Utah State on scholarship. "This was by far our best game. We did everything we practiced on. We're a family, and our chemistry has definitely evolved."

It's a staple for Dave Parsh-coached teams to share the ball, to hustle on defense and to make longp-range shots, and that played out for Kennedy, which now takes on national power St. Mary's of Stockton on Saturday for the title at Sleep Train Arena. The Rams ripped Armijo 94-61 in the other semifinal and now seek their 13th championship at
various levels since 1999.

Jessica Lauderdale scored eight points and had six assists for Kennedy (24-5). Jenn Hoffman led Oak Ridge (25-4) with 10 points. The Trojans shot 34 percent and were outrebounded 33-19.

With Johnson leading the charge, Parsh likes his chances against St. Mary's. The support crew for Johnson has been superb all season, particularly in the playoffs. They include Lauderdale, Arica Ng, Katie Lee and Sidney Owen.

"She's a dynamite player," Parsh said of Johnson. "She's very poised and skilled."

Johnson said confidence is key against the Rams.

"We have to give them a challenge," she said. "A lot of teams go in intimidated against them. Can't do that."

Bee photo by Jose Luis Villegas: Kennedy's Lynette Johnson drives to the basket in the fourth quarter Kennedy's 65 to 42 victory over Oak Ridge in Thursday nights D-I semifinals between Kennedy and Oak Ridge High School on February 28, 2013 at the Spanos Center in Stockton, California.

February 28, 2013
D-II girls semifinals: Balanced Sac High tops Del Oro 52-31

Junior Chaya Durr had 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine steals; senior Allie Green 15 points and seven rebounds; and 6-foot-4 junior post Ayanna Edwards seven points and 16 rebounds to lead top-seeded Sacramento to a 52-31 win over No. 5 Del Oro in tonight's Sac-Joaquin Section Division II girls semifinals at UOP in Stockton.

Freshman Aliceah Hernandez added 10 points as the Dragons will advance to a section championship game for the ninth consecutive time, but the first at D-II.

The Dragons (26-4), who won back-to-back D-III section titles the last two years, will play tonight's McNair/Florin late game winner 1 p.m. Saturday at Sleep Train Arena.

Sophomore Lauren Heyn topped Del Oro (19-11) with seven points and 11 rebounds. The Golden Eagles shot just 23 percent from the field and 36 percent from the foul line.

February 27, 2013
D-V semifinals: Capital Christian boys, girls reach finals

This information was supplied to us by Brian VanderBeek, our colleague at the Modesto Bee.

The Capital Christian girls and boys teams have advanced to Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship games at Sleep Train Arena after winning semifinal games Wednesday at Galt High School.

In the girls semifinal, reserve guard Ashley Jones hit two 3-pointers and had eight points during the 23-2 third quarter run that turned a 26-24 Turlock Christian lead into a 45-28 Capital Christian advantage en route to a 60-40 Cougars' win.

Haleigh Filer had 17 points and Monique Colbert had 21 rebounds to go with her 14 points for No. 3 Capital Christian (20-9), which will play defending section and CIF state champion Brookside Christian of Stockton 4 p.m. Friday.

Senior guard Halie Bergman, headed to UOP on a basketball scholarship, was held to 16 points, 13 below her average for Turlock Christian (24-5).

Boys: Capital Christian 41, Ripon Christian 31 - Nifae Lealao had 14 points and Justice Shelton-Mosely added eight as the No. 2 Cougars won a defensive slugfest from the No. 3 Knights. They will defend their D-V title 5:30 p.m. Friday against No. 4 Brookside Christian of Stockton, which upset top-seeded Central Catholic of Modesto 69-54.

Capital Christian's active defense gave Ripon Christian Ripon fits on offense, and the Knights' sagging man-to-man did the same to a Cap Christian, team that couldn't buy an outside shot.

Capital Christian (23-4) didn't score for final 7:04 of second quarter, resulting in bizarre 17-11 halftime lead over the Knights (23-5).

Lealao had six points in a 10-3 run that gave the Cougars a commanding 29-20 lead after three quarters.

February 27, 2013
Bee No. 2 Pleasant Grove beats Bella Vista in boys D-I section semifinals; earns another shot vs No. 1 Sheldon

By Joe Davidson

The third time very well may be the charm for Pleasant Grove High School basketball.


To be more specific, a third and final shot at rival Sheldon, this time to crown the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion.

The Eagles beat Bella Vista 68-60 in a semifinal at Sleep Train Arena on Wednesday night to set up an all Elk Grove Unified School District finale on Saturday.

Sheldon won the first two meetings, both intense, both close, both as rewarding for the winners as they were deflating for the other side in winning the Delta River League and maintaining hold on The Bee's No. 1 ranking. Pleasant Grove (24-5) ended the regular season Bee ranked second - and also bounds into these finals seeded second behind their old friends.

"Sheldon's a great team, and everyone has to be on their game to beat them," Pleasant Grove forward Cole Nordquist said after scoring 10 points. "If we play our game, don't make mistakes, listen to our coaches, we can do it. It's definitely a motivation. This is the last time we'll play them."

Sheldon is off to the newly created Open Division elite bracket come NorCal time, win or lose on Saturday. The Huskies seek a record large-school section four-peat. Pleasant Grove is headed to the NorCal D-I field for the first time, win or lose Saturday. Bella Vista (24-6) is also a D-I NorCal participant, as are all section semifinalists.

Four Eagles starters reached double figures in another show of balance and cohesion. Senior guard Malik Thames had 23 on 9 of 15 shooting and fellow senior guard Matt Hayes went for 16. Marquess Chriss, a sophomore post, had 10 and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Tyler Berkness led Bella Vista with 24 and Austin Hennen had 13. The Broncos are in their first D-I playoff run after decades of D-II play.

"That's a good team, very scrappy," Nordquist said.

Bee file photo by Jose Luis Villegas: Referee Chris Christianson talks with players before Friday nights basketball game between top ranked Sheldon and no. 2 Pleasant Grove at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove on January 25, 2013.

February 27, 2013
Grant upsets top-seeded Sacramento in boys section D-III basketball playoffs

By Joe Davidson

The first coach to call Deonard Wilson when he landed the Grant High School basketball coaching gig three years ago was his old buddy Derek Swafford.


They continue to phone each other weekly, sharing stories of player achievement and team goals. Swafford, the veteran Sacramento initially coach, told Wilson that it would take three years of tireless work to build a program and to reach the NBA building not too far from Del Paso Heights that now goes by Sleep Train Arena.

Only the master plan for Swafford didn't call for a Grant stunner at his expense.

On Wednesday night, Swafford and Wilson embraced before and after a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinal pitting programs that have played the sport since the 1930s. The upstart, No. 5-seeded Pacers downed the top-seeded Dragons 72-69 in a thriller affair that included a frenetic pace - right on down to the dueling drumlines that thundered in the arena - and cool late foul shooting to ice it.

DeSean Parsons, Grant's superb 6-foot-7 senior guard, had 26 points and took over down the stretch as he has so many times for this bounce-back Pacers season. His steal, dunk and subsequent free throw gave Grant a 66-62 lead with 1:23. He came up with another steal and fed Donovan Brown for a layup for a 68-62 lead with 1:08 to go, and the upset was on.

Afterwards, Grant principal Craig Murray led a charge of high fives and hugs for scores of fans and students who have embraced the gritty and active Pacers. In the back tunnel, Wilson leaned against the wall, exhaled and composed himself.

"I'm so proud for this great school, our kids, the community, and I'm the happiest guy in the building," said Wilson, embracing 12-year old son Jevon.

The Pacers (23-7) are now feeling a bit more greedy. Next is second-seeded and defending champion Antelope on Saturday at Sleep Train. Grant won its first section title in 1977 and its last in 1999.
"It's one thing to get here," Parsons said, "but now we want to win it."

Pacers baseball star Brandon Nunn had 12 points and Brown 10. Joseph Barnes and James Hadnot led Sacramento (23-7) with 23 and 20 points, respectively. The Dragons came in with five D-III titles in seven title-game appearances since 2005, and they will still advance to the NorCal playoffs as do all section semifinalists.

"My hat's off to Grant," Swafford said. "They haven't been here in a long, long time. I know what that feels like. I am really proud of Deonard and happy for him and his kids."

Bee photo by Jose Luis Villegas: Grant's De'Sean Parsons lays a ball up for two points in the third quarter.

February 27, 2013
D-IV basketball semifinals: Bear River girls, Liberty Ranch boys win overtime games; Bradshaw Christian girls slip past Colfax

Even coach Jeff Bickmore seems a little baffled by Bear River's success in girls basketball.

The Lake of the Pines school of 850 students, which has won 10 Sac-Joaquin Section girls championships through the years, will make its 14th trip to the finals after beating previously unbeaten Argonaut 42-39 in overtime Wednesday in the Division IV semifinals at Tokay High School in Lodi.

"It's kind of funny because we get our kids from one tiny junior high (Magnolia) just down the street," Bickmore said. "We don't get the tallest kids or the super stars. But we do get good, smart kids who have always worked hard and put the time in."

The top-seeded Bruins showed all those attributes in outbattling an Argonaut team that entered 29-0 and with a collective chip on their shoulders for a paltry No. 4 seed.

But the Bruins compete in a strong Pioneer Valley League that saw fellow tri-champions Colfax and Placer also reach semifinals in D-IV and D-III, respectively.

So despite being held to 10 second-half points and losing their best player, junior forward Kaitlyn Reina, to fouls midway in the fourth quarter, Bear River prevailed in typical fashion.

Unsung Maddi Dunn and Cindy Solomon, who had combined for three points in regulation, combined for five to open the overtime and that would prove enough.

Sarah Hagar led Bear River (26-3) with 12 points and Savannah Welz added 11 as the Bruins celebrated their 65th section playoff win and will play No. 3 Bradshaw Christian 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at Sleep Train Arena.

"I'm really happy for our three seniors (Solomon, Welz and Hagar)," said Bickmore, who won D-IV section titles in 2006 and 2007 after Duwaine Ganskie, now the boys coach, won a total of eight in two divisions from 1990 to 1998.

In other Division IV games at Tokay:

Bradshaw Christian 51, Colfax 46 (girls) - Baskets by Erika Bean and Jordyn Bell enabled the third-seeded Pride to hold off the second-seeded Falcons after Taylor Avila's all-net three-pointer closed Colfax to 47-46 with 2:06. Kaila Tremoureaux led Colfax (20-10) with 19 points; Bean topped the Pride (26-3) with 17. It also was Bradshaw Christian's 20th consecutive win, many of them coming by large victory margins in the Sierra Delta League. "I'd much rather be in a close game and that was a great game," said Bradshaw coach Mike Ruble. "Colfax did an awesome job, hit big shots and we got a chance to learn from it." It will be Bradshaw Christian's fifth section title appearance in six seasons. The Pride won four consecutive D-V section titles from 2007-2011.

Liberty Ranch 64, Colfax 59 overtime (boys) - Michael Meserole scored seven of his game-high 30 points in overtime and DeAndre Stallings had 22 points, including six three-pointers, as the No. 4 Hawks (22-8), in their third varsity season, defeated the top-seeded Falcons (24-6). Will Buell and Matt Larson combined for 34 Colfax points. Liberty Ranch will play Summerville 3 p.m. Saturday at Sleep Train Areana for the championship.

February 27, 2013
Bee No. 1 Sheldon beats Bethel at Sleep Train; seek record four-peat in D-I

By Joe Davidson

As terrific as they are as one-on-one basketball talents, the Sheldon Huskies are even more of a sight to behold when they make the extra pass.

In these Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, top-seeded Sheldon has put on a clinic of sharing the ball, executing and playing poised under even the smallest degree of pressure.


Sheldon was for the most part flawless in offensive execution in a D-I semifinal in taking leads of 11-0 and 17-2 to pound out an 86-72 victory over Bethel of Vallejo on Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.

The Jaguars cut it to eight with two NBA-range three pointers with 6:25 to go, but Sheldon responded with a 14-0 run and now target a large-school section record four-peat championship.

"When we share the ball, we're really hard to stop," Huskies coach Joey Rollings said.

Fresh off a triple-double against Kennedy, Huskies floor leader D'Erryl Williams scored 25 points on 12 of 13 shooting, had six assists and seven rebounds for Sheldon (24-5).

Darin Johnson scored 22 on 9 of 13 shooting with five assists in front of his future Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar, in the building for a peek.

Antonio Lewis and Ryan Manning scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Huskies, who made 37 of 59 shots (63 percent) and had 24 assists. It's the third consecutive playoff effort with 20 or more assists for Sheldon.

Edward Moore had 20 for Bethel and Gary Wilson 19.

"Sheldon is almost impossible to match up with because they have weapons at almost every position," Bethel coach Dwayne Jones said. "They are really good. They are the real-deal."

Sheldon plays the winner of Wednesday's late Pleasant Grove-Bella Vista winner on Saturday night at Sleep Train. The Huskies have been top ranked by The Bee all season. They are NorCal ranked second behind Salesian of Richmond by MaxPreps and are state-ranked fourth by Cal-Hi Sports.

"We want that ring," said Sheldon four-year veteran Dakarai Allen, who had nine first-half assists and eight points.

Bee photo by Jose Luis Villegas: Sheldon's D'Erryl Williams steals a ball from Bethel's Noah Wellington in the fourth quarter.

February 27, 2013
Antelope beats Rocklin in Sac-Joaquin Section D-II semifinal at Sleep Train

By Joe Davidson

Arco Arena, Power Balance Pavilion or Sleep Train.


It doesn't matter what you call it, but it's become something of a cozy home away from home for the Antelope Titans. In their third successive season competing in the Kings building, the Titans suddenly feature perhaps their best outfit, a balanced, defensive and unselfish group that seeks a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II repeat.

To that end, second-seeded Antelope beat Rocklin 55-47 in a semifinal Wednesday night, thanks to three quarters of fine defense and the poise to hold off the upset-minded, No. 7-seeded Thunder.

Isaiah Ellis led four Titans teammates in double figures with 14 points and 10 rebounds and he keyed a late surge to hold off Rocklin, which cut it to six early in the fourth on a three-pointer by Hayden Cook (17 points).

Gabe Bealer, Ellis' bruise brother partner inside, had 13 points, Tyler Winston had 11 and Rashard Thornill 10. The fifth Titans starter in Isiah Quintero had four points, four rebounds, four blocked shots and four hard fouls. Antelope, which opened in 2008, has never played Grant.

"I couldn't ask for a better three quarters of defense," Antelope coach Rob Richards said. "Rocklin never gave up and that's a credit to their coach (Casey Cutts). We're experienced. It's our third year here, and though everyone makes a big deal out of seedings and rankings, it still comes down to five teenagers taking on five teenagers."

Rocklin went from a 4-win season last season to a NorCal team this season under Cutts, the first-year coach who grew up in the program and was a key guard for some of the Thunder's power teams of last decade. Vinnie Safin had 10 for Rocklin, which still advances to the NorCal D-II playoffs that start next week.

Bee file photo by Brian Baer: Antelope High School basketball head coach Rob Richards

February 26, 2013
No. 2-seeded Sierra-Manteca holds off Stuteville brothers and Casa Roble in Section playoffs

In a meeting of size against speed and quickness, the blur guys won.

Casa Roble High School put the Stuteville brothers on display as they again showcased their considerable skill set, but second-seeded Sierra of Manteca offered an array of shooters, ball handlers and a swarming defense to post a 44-39 victory over the No. 3-seeded Rams in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal on Tuesday night at Cosumnes River College.

Eric Stuteville, a 6-foot-10 senior post who patterns his game after his NBA idol Dirk Nowitzki and is headed to Sacramento State on scholarship, scored 19 points with 15 rebounds. He was the only one to score his team's points for a good stretch in the second half.

Though 6-9 junior brother Mason had his moments, he was mostly a rebounder in the second half and didn't score in the final two quarters until 22 seconds left, a jumper to cut it to 43-36. He had 12 points and 14 rebounds as the Rams (24-7) were held to a season-low point total. Sierra has won 20 of 21 games.

Both teams advance to the NorCal Regional playoffs that start next week. Sierra (26-5) will face top-seeded Modesto Christian on Friday night for the section title at Sleep Train Arena. Sierra seeks its first championship in its third appearance since 2001. Modesto Christian is seeking a record 15th section title.

Sierra guards Guillermo Nunez and Eric Melgar had 13 each for the Timberwolves, coached by Scott Thomason, son of longtime University of the Pacific coach Bob Thomason, now retired. A Melgar three-pointer gave the Timberwolves a 39-32 lead with 3:13 to play and a Nunez drive pushed it to 41-34 with 1:36 to go.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On podcast: ESPN1320.net

February 26, 2013
Sierra College gains No. 3 seed in women's JC basketball NorCal playoffs

With a 24-6 record and a strong showing in the always formidable Big 8 Conference, Santa Rosa earned the No. 1 seed in the Northern California Women's Regional Basketball playoffs that start this week.

Fresno City (27-3) is the No. 2 seed.

Local teams include No. 18 Cosumnes River (14-13), which plays at No. 15 De Anza College (17-11) in an outbraket game on Wednesday.

Sierra College, which tied Santa Rosa for Big 8 championship honors, is the No. 3 seed at 21-7. The Wolverines and coach Brandie Murrish play host to No. 14 Mendocino College (19-7) on Friday at 5:30 p.m., before the Sierra men's team plays its NorCal opener. The Wolverines seek their seventh consecutive NorCal Regional title and second state-title appearance since 2007.

Sierra overcame the early season injury losses of starters Dakota McLarnan and Taylor Donott to sweep seven of eight conference foes with an 8-woman roster.

Sierra is led by All-Big 8 first team members Michelle Walker, Kirstie Williams and Kayla
Reeves. Williams, a guard, scores 12.8 points. Walker, a sohomore forward, scores 10.2 points and pulls in 10.5 rebounds a game.

Joie Camalo scores 12.5 a game and Reeves averaged 10.1 points as a shooter. Ericka Magana led Sierra with 4.1 assists and post Jasmine Shedrick averaged 6.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots.

Mendocino is the co-champion of the Bay Valley Conference, led by guard Elisa Vargas (16.7 points, 8 rebounds).

CRC is led by guards Jade Sowell-Hundon with a 14.3 average and Alexis Haffner (11.8).
CRC placed sixth in the brutal Big 8. Delta (19-8) placed third and is seeded fourth and opens against No. 13 Sequoias (16-10).

The state finals return to CRC on March 15 and 17.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On podcast: ESPN1320.net

February 26, 2013
Sierra College, Yuba and American River earn NorCal Basketball playoff seeds

Unbeaten San Francisco City College earned the No. 1 seed in the California Community College Men's Northern California Basketball Regional tournament that starts this week.

RB Butterfield 6.JPG

The Rams capped their first unbeaten regular season in program history and now target their second state title since 2011 (the Rams lost the 1986 state finals to Sacramento City College). CCSF has perhaps the best backcourt in the state with guards Delon White and Quincy Smith.

Fresno City College is the No. 2 seed. It won its third state title since 2005 last season.
Regional teams in the mix include Sierra College, seeded sixth at 19-8 and facing No. 12 West Valley on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Rocklin, American River and Yuba.

February 26, 2013
Cougars' Johnson; Sheldon's Williams near 200 playoff points

Four-year standout Lynette Johnson, who leads Kennedy against Oak Ridge in Thursday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I girls basketball semifinals at UOP, has totaled 192 points in her playoff career, according to section media director Will DeBoard.

Among other players seeking individual section milestones:

• D'Erryl Williams of Sheldon also is closing in on 200 points. The senior has now totaled 176 points with one or two games remaining. Sheldon plays Bethel of Vallejo in Wednesday's D-I semifinals at Sleep Train Arena

• Brookside Christian of Stockton junior Tiara Tucker of Brookside Christian had scored 242 points in eight playoff games for a 30.3 scoring average. The section career scoring average leader is Del Campo's Danielle Viglione with a 27.4 mark over nine games.

• Valley Christian of Roseville sophomore Lily Hagerty tied a 20-year old-record when she scored 49 points in her team's win over Trinity of Napa. Viglione scored 49 in a game against Wood in 1993.

February 26, 2013
9 of last year's champs still alive in section basketball playoffs

With appearances at Sleep Train Arena on the horizon for many Sac-Joaquin Section boys and girls basketball teams, here are some highlights, as provided by section media director Will DeBoard.

• Nine of last year's 12 champions remain alive in the tournament. On the boys' side, Sheldon (D-1), Antelope (D-2), Modesto Christian (D-4. Moved to D-3 this year) and Capital Christian (D-5) are still alive. On the girls' side, St. Mary's (D-2. Moved to D-1 this year), Kennedy (D-1), Sacramento (D-3. Moved to D-2 this year), Brookside Christian (D-5) and Victory Christian (D-6) are still playing.

• There are two possible repeat finals matchup. Boys: D-5 - Capital Christian-Central Catholic. Girls: D-5 - Brookside Christian-Turlock Christian. NOTE: There is a finals rematch, except it will be played in the semifinals on Thursday at UOP - Oak Ridge vs. Kennedy in D-I girls.

• Six schools have both their boys and girls teams still playing. They are Sacramento, Modesto Christian, Colfax, Brookside Christian, Ripon Christian and Capital Christian. Eighteen times boys and girls teams from the same school have won titles in the same year, last accomplished by Victory Christian last year.

• Sixteen of the 44 remaining teams have never won a section title in basketball. They are: Boys - Bethel, Pleasant Grove, Weston Ranch, Casa Roble, Sierra, Liberty Ranch, Faith Christian and Stockton Christian; Girls - Armijo, Florin, McNair, Vanden, Argonaut, Capital Christian, Turlock Christian and Valley Christian.

• Three of the top six boys teams with the most championships won are still alive in the tournament, and all four of the top championship winning teams are alive among the girls. For the boys, it is Modesto Christian (14 titles), Ripon Christian (nine) and Sacramento (six). For the girls, it is St. Mary's (13), Ripon Christian (11), Bear River (10) and Colfax (nine).

February 26, 2013
Capital Christian point guard credits injured buddy for assist

Once sophomore rivals for the same starting point guard job at Capital Christian, Tyler Jennings and Marcelas Perry, now juniors, have become close friends.

But while Jennings has thrived this season for the 22-4 Cougars, it's been a challenging season for Perry, who hasn't played because of a knee injury.

"I can't even imagine what he is going through," said Jennings, who made the All-Golden Empire League first team. "I know that at first he wasn't sure if he wanted to be a part of the team.

"But I've tried to include him in everything because he changes the mood of our locker room when he's around. He loves to have fun. Even with a torn ACL, he'll be dancing and kidding around."

Last year, Perry averaged 6.1 points and 3.8 assists and Jennings 3.8 points and 5.8 assists for a Cougars team that won its first boys Sac-Joaquin Section basketball title.

Jennings, who is averaging 8.9 points and 4.4 assists this season, says Perry has helped him to be a better player.

"He's helped me come out of my shell a little bit," said Jennings, who transferred to Capital Christian after playing his freshman season at Oak Ridge. "Last year, I was more of the old-school point guard who looked to set everybody up first. I'm being more aggressive this year."

Capital Christian coach Devon Jones also is impressed with how Perry, the team's fastest player who can dunk at 5-foot-7, has handled his injury, and can't wait for his return to the team next season when the Cougars will play a much more demanding schedule.

"He's still doing it in the classroom," Jones said. "I think he realizes that the basketball stuff can be taken from you in one play."

No. 2 Capital Christian plays No. 3 Ripon Christian in Wednesday's 7:30 D-V semifinals at Galt High School.

February 26, 2013
Unsung teams, league deserve kudos, says Antelope coach

Antelope boys basketball coach Rob Richards offered up high fives to Capital Athletic League coaching rival Tony Phulps of El Camino for his team's surprising postseason run.

As a No. 18 seed, El Camino beat No. 15 Roseville 91-83 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II outbracket game in Roseville, then topped No. 2 St. Mary's at Stockton 62-61 on a buzzer beater before falling at No. 7 Rocklin 77-65 on Friday.

"Tony deserves a shout out," said Richards, whose defending D-II section champion Titans play Rocklin 7:30 p.m. in Wednesday's semifinals at Sleep Train Arena.

Richards was pleased because the CAL doesn't get much respect in boys basketball.
The league ranked 10th overall in the section's strength ratings.

Coupled with No. 12 Rio Americano's 66-60 upset at No. 5 Lincoln in the D-III opener and No. 20 Cordova's 58-48 win at No. 13 Johansen of Modesto followed by a close 59-55 loss at No. 4 Grant in D-II, Richards thought his league fared well and should have some ammunition for a higher ranking next season.

Roseville (Sierra Foothill League) and Lincoln (Pioneer Valley League) came from leagues with higher strength ratings.

"We have some unsung teams," Richards said. "I think our league deserves a little more respect."

February 26, 2013
Battenberg keeps watchful eye on his old team, from afar

Terry Battenberg is keeping an eye on the playoff run of his former Capital Christian boys basketball team, but he's doing it from thousands of miles away.

Battenberg, who led Capital Christian to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title last season before stepping down, is on a tour of Australia and New Zealand.

He's doing 13 coaching clinics during a month-long stay, his third trip to Down Under.

The veteran coach had to smile at one promotional flier, which listed him as a "renowned international coach and clinician."

"Just shows that you are 'bigger' when you are from another country," Battenberg said in an e-mail.

No. 2 seeded Capital Christian, now coached by Devon Jones, is playing No. 3 Ripon Christian in Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. boys section semifinal at Galt High School.

February 26, 2013
Valley Christian's Hagarty ties section playoff scoring record

Valley Christian sophomore girls basketball player Lily Hagarty, already one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top scorers, ramped up her game even more in the postseason with a section-tying playoff scoring performance.

The 5-foot-8 guard tied a 20-year-old mark when she scored 49 points in an 82-35 win against Trinity Prep of Napa last Tuesday in Roseville. Del Campo's Danielle Viglione scored 49 points in a game against Wood in 1993.

Hagarty, averaging 21.8 points a game, followed that up with 27 points in the Lions' 55-26 win Thursday over New Life Christian of Marysville.

On Thursday she will lead No. 2 Valley Christian (16-9) against top-seeded Victory Christian (21-5) in the 6 p.m. D-VI girls championship game at Galt High School.

Victory Christian won last year's inaugural event (45-37 over Wilton Christian) for schools with enrollments of 150 students or less who opt not to play up in D-V.

February 26, 2013
Sierra College names new football coach; replaces Jeff Tisdel

Sierra College named Ben Noonan as its new football coach.

Noonam, a Northern California native with years of coaching experience at various levels, replaces the recently retired Jeff Tisdel, who guided the Wolverines to national prominence in his 12-year run, including a 37-game winning streak and bowl game success.

Noonan spent the last four seasons as offensive coordinator for Citrus College in Southern California, where his quarterbacks set myriad school records.
His resume also includes one year each as an offensive graduate assistant at Baylor, two seasons as co-offensive coordinator at West Texas A&M and two as an offensive assistant at Texas A&M Kingsville.

Noonan was born in Santa Rosa, played football at San Rosa Junior College and Bemidji State University in Minnesota, earning a BA in English. He started his coaching career as the passing-game coordinator at Mendocino College in 2000.

Noonan will also teach physical education at Sierra.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On podcast: ESPN1320.net

February 25, 2013
Van Dyke, Pineiro, Lealao make All-State Grid-Hoop teams

Cosumnes Oaks junior Alex Van Dyke, Placer senior Isaiah Pineiro and Capital Christian junior Nifae Lealao have made Cal-Hi Sports' annual All-State Grid-Hoop Teams.

Van Dyke, the son of former NFL player Alex Van Dyke Sr., was named to the second team.

He averaged 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals this season in leading the Wolfpack to the Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball quarterfinals, where they lost 63-59 in overtime to Grant on Friday.

The 6-foot-4 Van Dyke was a Cal-Hi All-State Underclass and Bee All-Metro second team wide receiver for Cosumnes Oaks in the fall. He had 44 catches for 864 yards and 10 touchdowns.

February 24, 2013
Jesuit's Endicott, three others announce college decisions

Three area football players and a water polo/swimmer have announced they will continue to play at the next level.

• Jesuit kicker/punter Andrew Endicott has signed with Nevada, where he will join fellow Bee All-Metro honoree Beau Hershberger of Granite Bay. Endicott was a Bee First Team All-Metro and All-Delta River League Special Teams Player of the Year.

• Sutter Choisser of Whitney, the Capital Athletic League co-Offensive Player of the Year at running back, will compete for Humboldt State next fall. Choisser also plays defense and on special teams.

• Folsom's Zach Bodnar, an All-Delta River League lineman, will play at the University of Chicago. He overcame a torn ACL this season to return in time for the CIF Northern California Open game against De La Salle.

• Rio Americano's John Price has signed a letter of intent to play water polo and swim for UOP. The Capital Athletic League MVP helped lead the Raiders to three consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division II boys water polo titles.

February 24, 2013
Christian Brothers' Velte claims 2nd state girls wrestling title

Christian Brothers' Mallory Velte won her second consecutive CIF Girls Wrestling State Invitational Championship on Saturday night in Lemoore.

Velte, a senior from Cameron Park, defeated Steele Canyon of Spring Valley's Marki Simmons 10-2 for the 132-pound championship.

Earlier, Velte won by fall over Alejandra Voight of Beaumont and by decision over Solin Piearcy of Cupertino 5-4 and Elaine Price of Loara of Anaheim 11-0.

February 23, 2013
D-IV, DV boys playoffs: Colfax to face Liberty Ranch at Tokay; Capital Christian plays Ripon Christian at Galt on Wednesday

Top-seeded Colfax will play No. 4 Liberty Ranch in Division IV and No. 2 Capital Christian will play No. 3 Ripon Christian in Division V in the Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball semifinals on Wednesday.

Colfax will play Liberty Ranch 7:30 p.m. at Tokay High School in Lodi. Capital Christian will play Ripon Christian at 7:30 p.m. at Galt High School.

In DIV quarterfinals Friday night, Colfax beat No. 8 West Campus 66-57 behind Will Buell's 24 points; Liberty Ranch topped No. 5 Mesa Verde 69-42 behind Michael Meserole's 18 points and five steals and DeAndre Stallings 18 points and six rebounds; No. 2 Summerville edged No. 7 Encina 72-69; and No. 3 Riverbank beat No. 6 Bret Harte 88-65.

In DV quarterfinals, top-seeded Central Catholic beat No. 8 Buckingham Charter 79-28; No. 4 Brookside Christian topped No. 5 Woodland Christian 83-79; No. 3 Ripon Christian beat Delta Charter 66-47; and Capital Christian prevailed over Bradshaw Christian 54-36 behind D.J. Wilson's 15 points.

February 23, 2013
D-III boys playoffs: Casa Roble beats Patterson to reach semis

Eric Stuteville had 25 points to lead No. 3 Casa Roble to a 53-47 win over No. 6 Patterson Friday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III quarterfinals in Orangevale.

Casa Roble trailed 31-21 at the half before outscoring Patterson 20-6 in the third quarter.

The win moves Casa Roble into Tuesday's 9 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 Sierra of Manteca at Cosumnes River College. Sierra defeated Placer 71-51.

Top-seeded Modesto Christian will play No. 4 Weston Ranch of Stockton at 5:30 at CRC in the other boys semifinal.

Modesto Christian defeated No. 8 Fairfield 79-40 and Weston Ranch topped No. 12 Rio Americano 83-61 in other Friday night quarterfinals.

February 22, 2013
D-II boys playoffs: Sacramento to play Grant; Antelope to face Rocklin in Sleep Train Arena semifinals on Wednesday

Aaron Cameron had 17 points and three assists; Devin Young 16 points and eight rebounds and Joseph Barnes 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead top-seeded Sacramento to an 86-55 win over Del Campo in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II boys basketball quarterfinal tonight in Oak Park.

Vasilije Saraba led Del Campo with 11 points.

Sacramento will play No 5 Grant in Wednesday's 5:30 p.m. semifinals at Sleep Train Arena.

Grant advanced by beating No. 5 Cosumnes Oaks 63-59 in overtime in Del Paso Heights behind De'Sean Parson's 25 points. Alex Van Dyke led Cosumnes Oaks with 14 points.

No. 3 Antelope will play No. 7 Rocklin in Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal.

Behind 13 points each from Isaiah Ellis and Rashard Thornhill, Antelope advanced with a 57-40 win over No. 6 Burbank in Antelope while Rocklin topped No. 18 El Camino 77-65 in Rocklin. Taylor Cherry had 19 points for Rocklin.

February 22, 2013
D-I boys basketball playoffs: Bella Vista, Sheldon and Pleasant Grove move on to Wednesday semifinals at Sleep Train Arena

Ahmad Smith had 18 points, Dominic Driggs 17 and Adam Ciszweski 13 as No. 3 Bella Vista held off No. 6 Lincoln of Stockton 67-63 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I boys basketball quarterfinal tonight in Fair Oaks.

Bella Vista led 38-28 at halftime and 46-40 after three quarters.

The win advances Bella Vista to the 9 p.m. semifinals on Wednesday against No. 2 Pleasant Grove at Sleep Train Arena.

Pleasant Grove advanced by beating Elk Grove's Franklin 71-30 as Cole Nordquist and Matthew Hayes each had 16 points.

Top-seeded Sheldon, looking to four-peat in D-I, will play No. 12 Bethel of Vallejo in the other D-I semifinal 4 p.m. at Sleep Train.

The Huskies defeated Kennedy 91-62 as D'Erryl Williams had a triple double of 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Darin Johnson added 21 points, Antonio Lewis 20 (including five three-pointers) and Ryan Manning 12 points and five rebounds. Sheldon made 16 three-point shots.

Matt Nakatomi and Cole Taira each had 15 points for Kennedy.

Bethel beat No. 4 Golden Valley 75-62 in Merced in the other quarterfinal.

February 22, 2013
Antelope tops Burbank to make another trip to Sleep Train

It's one of the special perks of playing high school basketball in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

If your team is talented enough and plays well enough at the right time, the playoff reward can be a trip to Sleep Train Arena, the home of the Sacramento Kings.

That benefit no doubt added a little more intensity to Friday's Division II quarterfinal between No. 3-seeded Antelope and No. 6 Burbank in front of a large and spirited home Red Zone rooting section at Antelope High School.

With seniors Isaiah Ellis and Rashard Thornhill each scoring 13 points and Gabe Bealer and Tyler Winston adding 10 apiece, Antelope prevailed 57-40 and will play No. 7 Rocklin in Wednesday's semifinals at the North Natomas arena.

February 22, 2013
Lincoln soccer player to represent USA on European tour

Cody Sundquist, a resident of Lincoln, is one of 18 boys soccer players who will represent the United States on a tour of Spain March 2-11 that will include matches against academy squads from the Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Sundquist, who plays for Placer United, is one of four Californians on the team that consists of boys born in 1999. Leading the team is longtime area coach and administrator Phil Wright of Fair Oaks.

The event is sponsored by US Club Soccer's id2 boys program.

Sundquist, a defender, is a member of the U.S. Under-14 Boys National Development Team.

February 21, 2013
D-IV girls playoffs: Bear River, Bradshaw, Colfax advance

Jordyn Bell, Erika Bean and Briana Barnes combined for 41 points to lead No. 3 Bradshaw Christian to a 51-22 win over No. 6 West Campus in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls basketball game tonight in South Sacramento.

The win advances Bradshaw Christian, now 25-2 and with a 19-game winning streak, to Wednesday's semifinals at Tokay High School in Lodi against No. 2 Colfax. The Falcons defeated No. 10 Liberty Ranch 63-53 tonight in Colfax.

In another quarterfinal, top-seeded Bear River defeated No. 9 Dixon 57-44 in Lake of the Pines. Kaitlyn Reina led Bear River with 24 points.

Bear River will play No. 4 Argounat on Wednesday at Tokay. Argonaut ran its record to 29-0 with a 47-40 win over Ripon.

February 21, 2013
D-III girls playoffs: CBS, Placer advance to semifinals

Niel Valmores had 19 points, Alicia Gonzalez 17 and Kira McKechnie 13 as top-seeded Christian Brothers defeated No. 8 River Valley 78-41 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III girls basketball quarterfinal tonight in Oak Park.

The Falcons advance to Tuesday's semifinals at Cosumnes River College against No. 4 Placer, a 58-44 winner over Patterson tonight in Auburn.

No. 3 Rio Americano saw its 18-game winning streak end tonight with elimination against visiting Modesto Christian. The No. 6 Crusaders prevailed 55-44, despite 18 points by Elizabeth Moulton and 12 by Daizy Wilson, who also had eight steals.

Modesto Christian will play No. 2 Vanden, a 59-48 winner over No. 7 Manteca, in the other semifinal.

February 21, 2013
D-II girls playoffs: Sac, Del Oro and Florin advance to semis

Ayanna Edwards had 21 points and Chaya Durr 12 to lead top-seeded Sacramento to a 52-27 win over No. 9 Grant in tonight's Sac-Joaquin Section Division II girls basketball quarterfinals in Oak Park.

The win moves the Dragons into next Thursday's semifinals against No. 5 Del Oro, a 54-40 winner in Loomis over Antelope. Senior Stephanie Geyer had 22 points and five rebounds and sophomore Lauren Heyn 16 points and 14 rebounds for Del Oro.

Also advancing to the semifinals is No. 6 Florin, a 68-56 winner over No. 3 Gregori in Modesto. Deja Conger had 24 points, Dalayna Sampton 14 and Daijah Joe-Smith 13 for Florin.

The Panthers will play No. 2 McNair on Thursday at UOP. McNair advanced by defeating No. 7 Rocklin 59-49 in Stockton.

February 21, 2013
D-I girls playoffs: Kennedy-Oak Ridge rematch set for semis

No. 2-seeded Oak Ridge and No. 3 Kennedy, last year's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I finalists, will meet again, but this time in the girls basketball semifinals next Thursday at UOP.

Kennedy defeated No. 6 Davis 71-56 in Greenhaven behind Lynette Johnson's 25 points and Jessica Lauderdale's 20 and Oak Ridge topped No. 7 Monterey Trail 52-37 as Haley Anderson had 23 points for the Trojans.

Last year at Sleep Train Arena, Kennedy beat Oak Ridge in overtime for the title.

In other games tonight, top-seeded St. Mary's of Stockton beat No. 8 Pleasant Grove 94-54 in Stockton and No. 5 Armijo defeated No. 13 St. Francis 76-54 in Fairfield.

The defeat comes one day after St. Francis knocked No. 4 Nevada Union out of the tournament with a 50-42 win in Grass Valley. The game had been postponed a day because of weather concerns in the foothills.

February 21, 2013
D-II girls playoff: Geyer-led Del Oro defeats Antelope 54-40

Del Oro senior star Brianna Ruiz gave the Golden Eagles an emotional lift when she rejoined the team late in the season.

The four-year varsity player and Washington scholarship signee rehabbed her heart out to get back to her team after suffering a summer knee injury.

But Del Oro's go-to player remains fellow senior Stephanie Geyer, as she demonstrated again on Thursday night against Antelope in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II girls quarterfinals in Loomis.

Even playing against one of the area's top big girls, Antelope's 6-foot-1 Tyler Ellis, the 6-1 Geyer dominated, allowing No. 5 Del Oro to coast to a 54-40 victory. The win moves the Golden Eagles into Thursday's semifinals against top-seeded Sacramento at UOP.

February 21, 2013
D-IV boys playoffs: Colfax, Liberty Ranch, Mesa Verde, Encina and West Campus all advance to quarterfinals on Friday

All the area higher seeded boys basketball teams advanced as expected on their home courts in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs Wednesday night.

Here's a look at those highlights reported to The Bee:

NO. 1 COLFAX 75, NO. 16 HUGHSON 50 - Will Buell's 24 points led the Falcons to an easy win in Colfax.

NO. 4 LIBERTY RANCH 75, NO. 13 MARIPOSA COUNTY 48 - Michael Meserole had 20 points and five assists and Matt Hagen had a school record 19 rebounds in the Hawks' win.

February 20, 2013
D-III boys playoffs: No. 3 Casa Roble coasts in Orangevale

Jess Baucum had 24 points and brothers Eric and Mason Stuteville combined for 34 more to lead No. 3 Casa Roble to an 80-60 win over East Union of Manteca in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III boys playoff game tonight in Orangevale.

The win moves the Rams into the quarterfinals against No. 6 Patterson on Friday at Casa Roble. Both teams are 22-6.

In another game reported to The Bee:

NO. 7 PLACER 62, NO. 10 INDERKUM 59 - Isaiah Pineiro had 20 points, Peter Kean 16 and Michael McNamara 15 as the Hillmen rallied from a 31-25 halftime deficit to beat the Tigers in Auburn. Terrance White led Inderkum with 17 points.

NO. 2 SIERRA 66, NO. 15 CERES 25

#8 Fairfield at #1 Modesto Christian
#12 Rio Americano at #4 Weston Ranch
#6 Patterson at #3 Casa Roble
#7 Placer at #2 Sierra

February 20, 2013
Boys D-I playoff roundup: Manning's 27 leads Sheldon; Nordquist has 28 in Pleasant Grove's win vs. Armijo

Ryan Manning had 27 points, including 6 of 8 three-pointers, and Darin Johnson added 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as top-seeded Sheldon defeated No. 16 Bear Creek of Stockton 94-40 tonight in a Sac-Joaquin Section boys Division I playoff opener in South Sacramento.

D'Erryl Williams had 13 points and eight rebounds and Dakarai Allen 12 points, eight assists and six steals as the Huskies advance to Friday's quarterfinals at home against No. 9 Kennedy.

In other Division I games reported to The Bee:

February 20, 2013
Boys D-II playoff roundup: Del Campo holds off Del Oro 58-51; No. 15 El Camino stuns No. 2 St. Mary's on buzzer beater

Having learned its lesson from a previous meeting, Del Campo held off Del Oro 58-51 tonight in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II boys basketball playoff opener in Fair Oaks.

The Cougars played a nonleague game against Del Oro Jan. 4 in which they allowed a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead to melt away in falling 76-70 to the Golden Eagles in overtime.

So when No. 8 seeded Del Campo (20-8) went up 49-34 midway in the fourth quarter, the Cougars did bend but didn't break against a No. 9 seeded Golden Eagles (18-10) bunch steeled by the nightly wars in the ultra-competitive Sierra Foothill League.

Del Oro forced six Del Campo turnovers in the final three minutes, closed to within five points, 53-48, with 1:30 to play and four points, 55-51, with 16.2 seconds.

February 20, 2013
D-IV girls highlights: Hagar, Rath lead Bear River over Hilmar

Sarah Hagar had 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals and Teryn Rath 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead top-seeded Bear River to a 63-31 win over Hilmar in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls basketball playoff opener Tuesday night in the Lake of the Pines.

Bear River will play host to No. 9 Dixon in Thursday's quarterfinals.

In other Division IV games reported to The Bee:

NO. 2 COLFAX 47, NO. 15 LOS BANOS 34 - Amber Tobiasz led a balanced scoring attack with 11 points in leading the Falcons to victory in Colfax.

NO. 3 BRADSHAW CHRISTIAN 62, UNION MINE 28 - Erika Bean had 23 points and Ashlee Jones added 12 as the Pride defeated the Diamondbacks in South Sacramento.

NO. 9 DIXON 60, NO. 8 SONORA 43

Quarterfinals/Thursday (home sites)
#9 Dixon at #1 Bear River
Bret Harte/Ripon at #4 Argonaut
#6 West Campus at #3 Bradshaw Christian
#10 Liberty Ranch at #2 Colfax

February 19, 2013
D-III girls highlights: No. 8 River Valley wins in overtime

Aleqse Hawkins had 17 points and five steals and Taylor Massengale 15 points, 16 rebounds and nine blocked shots as No. 8 River Valley defeated No. 9 Weston Ranch of Stockton 65-62 in overtime in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III girls basketball playoff opener tonight in Yuba City.

River Valley will now move on to play top-ranked Christian Brothers in Oak Park Thursday.

In other Division III games reported to The Bee.

NO. 1 CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 81, NO. 16 NATOMAS 19 - Sammy Earley led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Falcons walloped the Nighthawks in Oak Park.

NO. 3 RIO AMERICANO 56, NO. 14 CERES 13 - Daizy Wilson had 16 points, six assists and five steals and Emily Hansen 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals as the Raiders won their 18th consecutive game.

NO. 5 PATTERSON 68, NO. 12 OAKMONT 61 - Kelsey Caudill's 17 points wasn't enough as the Vikings lost on the road.

NO. 2 VANDEN 69, NO. 15 CENTER 18

Quarterfinals/Thursday (home sites)
#8 River Valley at #1 Christian Brothers
#5 Patterson at #4 Placer
#6 Modesto Christian at #3 Rio Americano
#7 Manteca at #2 Vanden

February 19, 2013
D-II girls highlights: Ellis leads Antelope over No. 4 River City

Tyler Ellis scored 24 points and grabbed 26 rebounds - giving her 1,000 for her career - in leading No. 13-seeded Antelope to a 57-52 win over No. 4 River City in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II girls basketball playoff opening win tonight in West Sacramento.

Ellis, a 6-foot senior, also blocked five shots and was 11 of 14 shooting from the floor.

Maria Zavala and Alyssa Walker each added 12 points for the Titans.

Aliyah Brantley had 15 points and Tori Torres 14 for River City, which had a 16-game winning streak snapped.

In other Division II games reported to The Bee.

February 19, 2013
D-I girls highlights: No. 2 Oak Ridge cruises past Bella Vista

Ali Bettencourt's 22 points led 13 players in the scoring column as No. 2 Oak Ridge defeated No. 15 Bella Vista 68-29 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I girls basketball opener tonight in El Dorado Hills.

In other D-I games reported to The Bee:

NO. 3 KENNEDY 51, NO. 14 ENOCHS 33 - Dalayna Tyler-Scott had 15 points and Lynette Johnson 11 to lead the Cougars over the Modesto visitors.

February 19, 2013
Senior leaders lift Pleasant Grove over McClatchy, 61-58

Avonna Lee and Dejza James have played basketball together since elementary school.

They have been Day One impact players at Pleasant Grove High School, which they have helped turn into an area Top 10 girls basketball program.

The close friends have combined for more than 2,600 points and innumerable highlight-reel plays during their four-year varsity careers.

So on Tuesday night, in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs at Pleasant Grove, the two Eagles captains and lone seniors weren't about to see their high school careers come to an end against an up-and-coming, underclass-dominated McClatchy team.

February 19, 2013
Oakmont to hold golf and alumni baseball events

Oakmont will hold its ninth annual Oakmont golf team scramble 3:30 p.m. March 15 at Sierra Pines Golf Course in Roseville and its 11th annual alumni baseball game at 11 a.m. on March 16.

For more details, call Dean Perkins at 765-7000 or e-mail at dperkins@rjuhsd.us

February 18, 2013
Woodcreek ranks No. 7 in Cal-Hi's first state softball rankings

Woodcreek ranks No. 7 in the state and No. 3 in Northern California in Cal-Hi Sports' preseason softball top 20.

The Timberwolves went 26-4 last season and won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship.

Returning for veteran coach Art Banks is No. 1 pitcher Amanda Horbasch (13-4, 0.96 earned run average) and the team's top four hitters - Jenna Curtan, Nicole Miller, Lexi Wilkerson and Frankie Orlando.

Elk Grove, which finished 20-7 last season, is ranked No. 15. Defending D-I section champion Sheldon is a bubble team.

Pacifica (28-3) of Garden Grove and last year's Cal-Hi State Team of the Year Norco (31-2) is No. 2.

Amador Valley (26-1) of Pleasanton is the top NorCal team at No. 3 and James Logan (29-1) of Union City is next at No. 5.

For the complete rankings, go HERE

February 18, 2013
Elk Grove is

No. 10 Elk Grove is the only area team to make the Cal-Hi Sports baseball preseason state top 20.
The Thundering Herd, which went 20-9 last season and returns Bee Player of the Year Rowdy Tellez, is No. 3 among Northern California teams behind No. 4 Campolindo (23-4-1) of Moraga and No. 6 St. Francis (26-5-1) of Mountain View.
Three-time Sac-Joaquin Section defending Division I champion St. Mary's (27-6) of Stockton is No. 13. Defending D-II section champion Woodcreek (24-7) is listed as a bubble team.
Cathedral Catholic (30-5) of San Diego is ranked No. 1. San Diego Section power Vista (31-4), Cal-Hi Sports' State Team of the Year in 2012, is No. 2 and Mater Dei (24-6) is No. 3.
For the complete rankings, go HERE

February 14, 2013
Sizing up the Sac-Joaquin Section girls basketball playoffs

Here's a closer look at the Sac-Joaquin Section girls basketball playoffs, by division, with schedules, outlook and projections....

Check for more in Friday's Bee, including a profile of senior post standouts Megan Roberson of Del Campo and Stephanie Geyer of Del Oro, who will play at the next level at the Air Force Academy and West Point....


Top seeds: No. 1 St. Mary's (25-2), No. 2 Oak Ridge (23-3), No. 3 Kennedy (21-5), No. 4 Nevada Union (21-4)

Defending champion: Kennedy

Outlook: St. Mary's of Stockton, elevated to Division I after winning the last two D-II section titles, is the overwhelming favorite. The Rams' only two losses were to a Dillard, a Florida power, and state No. 3 Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland, but they may have suffered a hit when senior point gaurd Onome Jemerigbe rolled an ankle in a win over St. Francis on Monday. No. 3 Kennedy, which beat Oak Ridge in the section final in overtime last season, is the same side of the bracket as the No. 2 Trojans, which could lead to a semifinal matchup Feb. 28 at Pacific. Among the intrigue teams are Nevada Union, trying to return to its D-I glory days; No. 8 Pleasant Grove, with the inside-outside combination of Dejza James and Avonna Lee; and No. 6 Davis, which went 22-4 and won the Delta Valley Conference title.

Early matchups of note: No. 9 McClatchy at Pleasant Grove will be fun to watch as the Lions' underclass bigs Gigi Garcia and Destiney Lee challenge James and 6-foot-1 Aaliyah Pena. No. 4 Nevada Union gets a challenge at home with always dangerous St. Francis, a No. 13 seed.

Projected final:
St. Mary's vs. Oak Ridge.

First round gamesTuesday, home sites, 7 p.m.
No. 16 Bear Creek at No. 1 St. Mary's-Stockton
Stagg-Stockton/Bella Vista at No. 2 Oak Ridge
No. 14 Enochs-Modesto at No. 3 Kennedy
No. 13 St. Francis at No. 4 Nevada Union
No. 12 Merced at No. 5 Armijo
No. 11 Napa at No. 6 Davis
No. 10 Lincoln-Stockton at No. 7 Monterey Trail
No. 9 McClatchy at No. 8 Pleasant Grove

February 13, 2013
Sizing up the Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball brackets

Here's a closer peek at the Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball playoffs, by division, with schedules, outlook and projections. It gets fun from here...


Check for more in Thursday's Bee, including a profile on the unsung talent leading the unsung team in area scoring leader Michael Meserole of Liberty Ranch...

Division I
Top 4 seeds: Sheldon (21-5), Pleasant Grove (21-5), Bella Vista (22-5), Golden Valley (23-4).
Defending champion: Sheldon
Outlook: Sheldon is as concrete a favorite as the field has seen in many years, thanks to so many returning starters and the momentum of having won the last three D-I section titles. Sheldon can shoot with Darin Johnson and Ryan Manning and it can score on the break and inside with Dakarai Allen, or salt teams away with D'Erryl Williams posting up late. Pleasant Grove played Sheldon tough twice this season
and craves a playoff showdown with its rivals behind three-year varsity starters Cole Nordquist, Malik Thames and Matt Hayes. The Eagles drawing a No. 2 seed speaks of the strength of the Delta River League. Bella Vista has a strong guard leader in Ahmad Smith and has had years of lower-level success before the move to D-I. Granite Bay is battle tested from the rigors of the Sierra Foothill League with good guard play and Kennedy looms as a threat with an feisty, unselfish team.
Golden Valley of Merced has the section's longest winning streak of 13 games with guard play and defense despite having just one senior on the roster.
Early matchups of note: No. 9 Kennedy at No. 8 Lodi is a fun game, and the winner gets top-seeded Sheldon should the Huskies win their opener. Golden Valley of Merced is 23-4 and takes on Oak Ridge of the DRL, which played in a much stronger league. No. 7 Franklin could face Pleasant Grove in a second-round game.
Projected final: Sheldon over Pleasant Grove

February 13, 2013
CIF honors Rio Linda's Morris as a Model Coach recipient

Rio Linda High School football coach Michael Morris has been named a CIF State Model Coach Award recipient.

Morris, a world history teacher, has coached football at Rio Linda since 1991 and also is athletic director and an assistant track and field coach.

Morris has coached a number of successful football teams at Rio Linda, including the 2004 Knights that won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship.

But Morris is being honored by the CIF less for wins and more for his work as a role model and leader.

"He wants his players to be responsible citizens, who contribute to a positive school culture as well as to society overall," said the CIF in a press release announcing the 14 award recipients from across the state. "He educates his student-athletes that you must treat people with fairness even when life is unfair to you."

Morris earlier was named a Sac-Joaquin Section Model Coach Award recipient.

February 13, 2013
Oak Ridge to hold alumni baseball game, fund-raiser March 2

Oak Ridge High will hold its first annual alumni baseball game 10 a.m. on March 2 at the school's varsity diamond.

All former players are invited to participate. Doug Paul, Oak Ridge's first baseball coach, will serve as an umpire.

The game will be followed by a barbecue hosted by the 2013 Oak Ridge baseball team.

There is no cost to participate but alumni are asked to register with the Oak Ridge Alumni Baseball Planning Committee @baseballalumni10@gmail.com.

A fund-raising dinner also will be held in conjunction with the event at 6 p.m. on March 2.

Tickets are $25 and can be ordered online at http://orhsbaseballdinner.eventbrite.com or from Steve Meinhofer,meinhofer@comcast.net.

February 13, 2013
NFHS criticizes IOC decision to drop wrestling from Olympics

National Federation of State High School Associations Executive Director Bob Gardner issued this statement in response to dropping wrestling from the Olympics.

"The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is extremely disappointed in the International Olympic Committee's recommendation to drop the sport of wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games.

"Wrestling has been a core sport at the high school, college and Olympic levels for more than 100 years. More than 272,000 boys are involved in high school wrestling programs and it is the sixth-most popular sport. Recently, the interest by girls in the sports has accelerated and now more than 8,200 girls are wrestling across the country.

"Wrestling was one of the original sports in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and more than 200 nations compete in the sport. In certain areas of our nation, one of the hardest tickets to find is to the state high school wrestling tournament. While the sport is healthy and vibrant at the American high school level, it should also remain a part of the world's most treasured sporting event - the Olympic Games."

February 12, 2013
Girls Top 20: No. 2 Oak Ridge finishes league unbeaten

Oak Ridge jumped to a 21-6 first-quarter lead then coasted to a 68-31 win over Ponderosa in a Delta River League girls basketball finale tonight in El Dorado Hills.

With the win, the Trojans (23-3, 10-0) finish unbeaten in league.

Celeste Vitolas had 14 points and Shelby Peters 12 for Oak Ridge. Ponderosa finishes 14-13 overall and 3-7 in league.

In other girls games involving top 20 teams reported to The Bee:

February 12, 2013
Boys Top 20: Top-ranked Sheldon beats No. 2 Pleasant Grove; No. 13 Colfax and No. 16 Granite Bay win league championships

Dakarai Allen scored 27 points and Darin Johnson had 21 of his 23 in the second half, and the top-ranked Sheldon Huskies iced it with free throw shooting down the stretch to hold off No. 2 Pleasant Grove 84-77 to win the Delta River League boys basketball championship outright tonight.

Sheldon (21-5, 10-0) made nine three points and hit 23 of 31 free throws to beat their rivals from the Elk Grove Unified School District for the second time. Sheldon won 85-79 on Jan. 25.

Cole Nordquist scored 31 points and had 12 rebounds for Pleasant Grove (21-5, 9-1), which expects a rematch in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs that start next week for all programs (outbracket games will be played Friday).

Ryan Manning had 13 for Sheldon, which seeks a section championship-record four-peat in D-I. Malik Thames had 21 for Pleasant Grove, which has lost only to Sacramento and Sheldon locally.
- Joe Davidson

In other games involving boys top 20 teams reported to The Bee:

February 12, 2013
Bee No. 1 Sheldon beats No. 2 Pleasant Grove in another DRL thriller; teams could meet again

By Joe Davidson

Tuesday was Senior Night at Sheldon High School.


A painted poster from students on the baseline wall that pretty much sized this group up as a whole: Studs.

Studs and scholars, actually.

Sheldon, top ranked by The Bee all season and NorCal ranked No. 2 and state-ranked No. 5 by Cal-Hi Sports, is a collection of versatile basketball players who also lead by example academically, including honors classes in producing the sort of grades that make for scholarship locks.

February 12, 2013
Rocklin's Leah Carter signs letter of intent with Nevada

Rocklin High's Leah Carter signed an NCAA letter of intent today to compete in track and field for Nevada.

Carter, who has a personal best of five feet, eight inches, is the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division II-III high jump champion.

February 11, 2013
Girls top 20: Sac tops McClatchy for 91st-straight league win

Chaya Durr had 16 points and Allie Green 14 to lead top-ranked Sacramento past No. 4 McClatchy 50-38 in the Metro Conference girls basketball season finale tonight in Land Park.

Freshman Gigi Garcia topped McClatchy (21-5, 9-5) with 12 points.

Sacramento (23-4, 14-0) led 21-19 at the half and 32-28 after three quarters to extend its unbeaten league winning streak to 91 games.

In other girls top 20 games reported to The Bee:

February 9, 2013
Girls Top 20: No. 1 Sac tops No. 3 Kennedy for Metro title

Allie Green had 18 points, Aliceah Hernandez 15 and Chaya Durr 12 to lead top-ranked Sacramento to a 54-38 Metro Conference girls basketball win Friday in Oak Park.

Lynette Johnson had 21 points for Kennedy (20-5, 11-2), 17 in the first half.

With the win the Dragons (22-4, 13-0) secure the Metro Conference title and extend their league winning streak to 90 games.

In other girls Top 20 games reported to The Bee:

NO. 2 OAK RIDGE 48, SHELDON 38 - Trailing 22-18 at the half, the Trojans (22-3, 9-0) rallied to beat the Huskies (11-14, 5-4) in a Delta River League game in South Sacramento. Jenn Hoffman had 13 points and Haley Anderson 11 for the Trojans.

February 8, 2013
Boys Top 20: Moss buzzer beater lifts Rocklin over Tigers in OT

Devin Moss' driving layup at the buzzer lifted No. 16 Rocklin to an 82-81 overtime win over No. 20 Roseville in a Sierra Foothill League boys basketball game tonight in Roseville.

Moss and Drew Ardissone each finished with 19 points each and Cole Bridge added 14 for the Thunder (18-8, 6-3). Bryce Couch had 18 for Roseville (20-6, 5-4).

In other Top 20 boys games tonight reported to The Bee:

NO. 1 SHELDON 74, OAK RIDGE 47 - Antonio Lewis had 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, Dakarai Allen 12 points and three steals and Darin Johnson and D'Erryl Williams 10 points each to lead the Huskies (20-5, 9-0) over the Trojans (14-12, 4-5) in a Delta River League game in El Dorado Hills.

February 7, 2013
Girls Top 20: Nevada Union ends Del Oro's long SFL reign

No. 15 Del Oro's seven-year reign as Sierra Foothill League girls basketball champions came to an end tonight with a 70-67 loss at No. 6 Nevada Union, but the Golden Eagles' outlook for the postseason may have been boosted by the return of senior Brianna Ruiz.

Ruiz, who suffered an ACL tear during the summer, and returned to action for the first time on Tuesday, scored 19 points. But even with Ruiz' teammate Stephanie Geyer going for 20, the Golden Eagles (16-10, 6-3) couldn't overcome the Miners' depth.

Nicole Lierly had 20 points, Sydney Porter 17, Emma Peterson 14 and Kaylin Martin 11 for the Miners (20-4, 8-1), who end their season on Tuesday against winless in league Roseville.

Del Oro trailed 40-30 at the half and 57-53 entering the fourth quarter.

Two free throws by Ruiz, who will play on scholarship next fall at Washington, put Del Oro within one, 68-67, late before Lierly and Martin each hit free throws for the final margin of victory.

In other girls Top 20 games reported to The Bee:

February 7, 2013
Boys Top 20: No. 4 Sac drills No. 7 Kennedy for Metro title

Aaron Cameron had 21 points, including six three-pointers, Joseph Barnes added 10 points and nine rebounds and the freshman trio of Christian Terrell, Devin Young and Andrew Williams combined for 17 points and 13 rebounds as No. 4 Sacramento throttled No. 7 Kennedy 73-42 in the Metro Conference boys basketball showdown tonight in Oak Park.

Sacramento led 19-12 after one quarter, 40-17 at halftime and 56-27 after three quarters.

Sacramento (20-6, 12-1) and Kennedy (16-9, 11-2) came into the game with 11-1 league records, and Kennedy led 1-0 in the head-to-head series after beating the Dragons 66-59 on Jan. 18 in Greenhaven.

With a co-championship already assured, the Dragons can lock up an eighth outright league championship in nine seasons with a win Tuesday against visiting McClatchy.

In other boys Top 20 games reported to The Bee:

February 7, 2013
Signing updates: Soccer Academy duo select colleges

Here are some more highlights and updates from the NCAA signing day ceremonies held Wednesday throughout the region:

• San Juan Soccer Academy members Steven Wright and Padraic McCullaugh will play the sport at the next level at Washington and Villanova, respectively. Both attend Jesuit High School but did not participate in Wednesday's signing ceremony at the school because they no longer play soccer for the Marauders. The U.S. Soccer Federation doesn't allow elite-level academy players to play high school.

• Rio Americano senior Jennifer Petrovich, who is headed to Columbia to play volleyball and test her intellect (she's a 4.4 GPA student) at the Ivy League school, puts a lot of mileage on her wheels to play the sport she loves. Petrovich travels three times a week to Redwood City to play with a nationally renowned club team that is U.S. No. 1 this season and finished third in the USAV Junior Nationals last summer.

• Four-year Sheldon soccer player Megan Smith, who along with Franklin's Lauren Aldana signed a letter of intent to play at Southern Oregon, won't be alone at the Ashland college. She will be joined by seven area football players - Rocklin's Dominic Giampaoli, Sacrameto's Louis Macklin, Folsom's Trace Noble, Oak Ridge's Jacob Proul, Union Mine's Sean Tow, Ponderosa's Curtis Catron and Inderkum's Kevin Blueford - as new recruits for a team that was an NAIA Football Championship quarterfinalist last season.

• Roseville senior Chanisse Hendrix hopes to help Colorado College, a private school in Colorado Springs, Colo., to continue its bid to become one of the nation's top women's soccer programs. Hendrix is 4.0 student who was a member of Roseville's 2010 Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship team.She plans to study sports medicine and physical therapy in college.

• Rocklin senior soccer player Mikayla Clifford, who signed to play for Stanislaus State in Turlock, plans to put her collegiate education to good use. She aspires to be a registered nurse.

February 7, 2013
Olympic star to coach area youth water polo club program

Four-time U.S. Olympian Heather Moody will join the Sacramento-based American River Water Polo Club starting March 1.

Moody, a two-time Olympian as a player and two-time assistant Olympic coach, will be the club's performance director, tasked with overseeing the coaching staff and providing instruction to the athletes, according to club founder and president Rafael Ruano.

American River WPC boys and girls 10-and-under through 18-and-under teams routinely compete at the highest levels of club competition. American River WPC also has a youth league program that involves more than 300 boys and girls, ages 5 to 13.

"This is an exciting day for American River Water Polo Club," Ruano said in a press release. "We have been hoping that the right opportunity would come to entice an elite coach to join our club, and we hit the jackpot with Heather."

Moody, one of the most accomplished water polo players in the sports' history, won silver and bronze medals in the Sydney and Athens Olympics. She also won two World Championship gold medals and was named USA Water Polo Player of the Year twice.

Moody has been an assistant U.S. Olympic coach twice for teams that earned silver in Beijing and gold last year in London.

Since 2010, Moody has been the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Women's Team. She also has coached at Long Beach State and Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach.

Moody will be reunited with Rachel Ruano, an ex-National Team and Olympic staff coach who worked with Moody leading up to the 2004 Olympics. Ruano oversees the girls programs for American River WPC.

February 6, 2013
Girls Top 20: No. 10 Florin tops No. 4 McClatchy

Dalayna Sampton had 19 points, Deja Conger 17 and Daijah Joe-Smith 12 to lead No. 10 Florin over No. 4 McClatchy in a Metro Conference girls basketball game Wednesday in Land Park.

Florin (17-8, 7-5) led 18-13 after one quarter, 30-22 at the half and 40-36 after three quarters before breaking the game open in the final quarter.
Lauren Nubla led the Lions (21-4, 8-4) with 15 points.

In other girls games involving top 20 teams reported to The Bee.

No. 3 KENNEDY 68, HIRAM JOHNSON 28 - Dalayna Tyler-Scott had 12 points to help lead the Cougars (20-4, 11-1) past the Warriors (0-17, 0-12) in a Metro Conference game in Greenhaven.

NO. 11 RIO AMERICANO 56, WHITNEY 48 - Elizabeth Moulton had 21 points and two assists, Daizy Wilson 13 points and seven steals and Sierra Martinez 11 points, four rebounds and three steals to lead the Raiders (22-3, 8-0) past the Wildcats (9-16, 3-5) in the Capital Athletic League game at Rio Americano.

February 6, 2013
Boys Top 20: Mesa Verde topples No. 3 Capital Christian

One night after unranked Hiram Johnson upset No. 7 Kennedy in boys basketball - handing the Cougars their first Metro Conference loss - Mesa Verde did the same thing to No. 3 Capital Christian.

As did Johnson in Greenhaven, the Mavericks beat their Golden Empire League rivals 66-58 on Capital Christian's home court. It was the Cougars first loss to an area team.

Coach Pat Pavelchik's Mavericks also rallied to win.

Trailing 45-40 entering the final quarter, Mesa Verde outscored the Cougars 26-13 in the final eight minutes.

Sophomore Bret Lynch and junior Ja Qua Deary led Mesa Verde (19-7, 7-2) with 16 points each and senior Tyler Naso added 15.

Junior post Nifae Lealao topped Capital Christian (21-3, 8-1) with 16 points and sophomore Trey Belton added 12.

Capital Christian, which finished as co-champions of the GEL with Lindhurst last season before going on to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship, will need to win at West Campus on Friday to secure the outright title.

Mesa Verde finishes the regular season Friday at Dixon.

In other games involving Top 20 teams reported to The Bee:

February 6, 2013
American River College players moving on to D-I programs

Three area high school football standouts who played this past season for Valley Conference co-champion American River College are moving on to the next level.

Offensive tackle Nick Kelly (6-foot-3, 280 pounds) from Casa Roble, has signed with Arizona State; running back Devontae Booker (5-11, 200) of Grant will play at Utah; and wide receiver Joey DePalma (6-1, 195) of Ponderosa will stay close to home and play at Sacramento State.

A handful of other ARC players are moving on to major-college programs.

They are:

February 6, 2013
Sacramento State coach Marshall Sperbeck elated with local haul

Marshall Sperbeck was nearly shouting with glee on the phone. Then he composed himself.

The Sacramento State football coach had good reason to be giddy. He embraced the signatures of a good recruiting haul, including a number of players from the Sacramento region.

"It's the best class we've had since I've been here, and I'm ecstatic, fired up," said Sperbeck, preparing for his seventh season. "We got a lot of really good athletes that will help us, guys that can play different positions."

Cole Hannum of Nevada Union High School may be the top signee of the lot. A star running back and linebacker at Marysville High, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Hannum transferred to Nevada Union for his senior season. He didn't play, however, after the CIF ruled him ineligible because of that transfer.

"He's a really good player and he'll help us," Sperbeck said.

If Hannum isn't the top signee, then perhaps it was Franklin cornerback Marcus Green. He was a Bee All-Metro pick who earned All Sac-Joaquin, All NorCal and All-State honors.
"He's the kind of kid that if he was an inch or two taller, we don't get him," Sperbeck said. "He's a great player."

Daniel Kniffin started last fall at quarterback for Rocklin, the got hurt and returned as a receiver.

"He could turn out to be a good quarterback for us, or play receiver," Sperbeck said. "He's an example of getting a good athlete."

Placer tight end Stone Sander, Monterey Trail defensive end Viliami Umufuke, Del Campo lineman Kyle Evanski and Rio Americano tight end Jordan Vinson are also headed to Sac State.

Vinson could dress in a phone booth, his high school coach Max Miller said.
"He's got a Super Man body," the coach said.

Vinson played guard, tight end, linebacker and running back for Rio Americano.
For more on Sac State, check Mark Billingsley's story in Thursday's Bee.

Midyear Signees Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/Previous School
Justin Aysse OL 6-5 275 Jr. Downey, Calif./Long Beach City JC
Joey DePalma WR 6-1 195 Jr. Shingle Springs, Calif./American River JC
Tyrone Duckett DB 5-11 205 Jr. Alameda, Calif./Washington State
Kyle Greenwood WR 6-0 180 Jr. San Diego, Calif./Memphis
Dalton Hunkle WR 6-2 210 Jr. Murrieta, Calif./Mt. San Jacinto JC
Robby Kendall DB 5-11 180 Jr. Reno, Nev./Butte JC
Mike Sellers DB 5-11 185 Jr. Ewa Beach, Hawaii/Hawaii
Russell Smith LB 6-2 210 Fr. Loomis, Calif./Del Oro HS
John Wallace OL 6-4 285 So. Somerville, Mass./UMass

Fall Enrollees Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/Previous School
Andrew Admire OL 6-5 255 Fr. Anaheim, Calif./Esperanza HS
Lake Aiono OL 6-2 285 Fr. West Covina, Calif./South Hills HS
Jonathan Bade OL 6-5 230 Fr. American Canyon, Calif./American Canyon HS
Nick Crouch DB 6-1 220 Fr. Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Tesoro HS
Matt Ellen OL 6-7 245 Fr. Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg HS
Kyle Evanski OL 6-2 275 Fr. Sacramento, Calif./Del Campo HS
Ofa Fifita LB 5-11 235 Jr. San Bernardino, Calif./Riverside JC
Marcus Green DB 5-10 170 Fr. Elk Grove, Calif./Franklin HS
Cole Hannum LB 6-2 230 Fr. Penn Valley, Calif./Nevada Union HS
Aaron Maher WR 6-3 205 Fr. Sebastopol, Calif./Analy HS
Jordan Robinson RB 5-9 180 Fr. Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS
Stone Sander TE 6-4 225 Fr. Auburn, Calif./Placer HS
Ben Sorensen DL 6-4 215 Fr. Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS
Pu'e Togia OL 6-5 255 Fr. Carson, Calif./Carson HS
Viliami Umufuke DL 6-3 230 Fr. Elk Grove, Calif./Monterey Trail HS
Jihad Vercher QB 5-10 215 Fr. Hawthorne, Calif./Salesian HS
Jordan Vinson LB 6-3 200 Fr. Sacramento, Calif./Rio Americano HS
- By Joe Davidson
- Follow on Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD

February 6, 2013
Bee Player of the Year Brandon Monroe of Del Oro signs with San Jose State

Brandon Monroe never wavered, never cut back.

He was headed to San Jose State the entire time.

The Bee's Player of the Year from Del Oro High School formally signed with San Jose State today, doing so in Florida where he will play in a high school All-Star game.

Monroe was a 1,500-yard rusher for Del Oro who also hammered players as a safety and broke long gains on special teams. He missed three games with a knee strain, vowed to come back to play for his school, and did, producing the best rushing games in the section down the stretch.

Monroe goes to a San Jose State program that is coming off its best season since 1940. He could play safety, though Del Oro coach Casey Taylor likes him as a runner.

"Oh, I think he's great there," Taylor said at running the ball. "He's outstanding. He has great lateral quickness and vision."

- Follow on Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD

February 6, 2013
Notre Dame releases list of signed football players, including Vanderdoes, then admits error; Vanderdoes reacts

The update is this: Stay tuned and continue to groan and wonder about how chaotic recruiting has become.

Placer High School defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes, a national top recruit, will formally announce where he will sign - or has signed - at just after 5 p.m. local time today on his Auburn campus. That has not changed, but the speculation is rampant.

Earlier today, Notre Dame released his name along with others the Irish had received national letters of intent, then in full scramble mode, announced that it was a mistake and that Vanderdoes hadn't formally signed with the Irish.

February 6, 2013
15 Granite Bay athletes participate in signing ceremony

By Trevor Horn
Special to the Bee

Fifteen student-athletes from Granite Bay High School signed NCAA letters of intent to 11 different four-year universities spanning 10 sports teams for the Grizzlies this morning.

"This suggests that each of the programs is strong," Granite Bay Athletic Director Tim Healy said.

Included in that group is the twin sisters of Chloe and Lily Forlini, who together have won four consecutive Sac Joaquin Section doubles titles together. The sister are headed together to the Air Force Academy.

February 5, 2013
Boys top 20: Unranked Johnson stuns No. 7 Kennedy

Hiram Johnson kept alive its teetering playoff hopes while producing one of the biggest upsets of the season in boys basketball.

Behind 19 points from James Cross and 16 by Charles Mills, the unranked Warriors (13-12, 7-5) stunned previous Metro Conference unbeaten Kennedy 62-60 in Greenhaven.

Johnson is No. 21 in the Sac-Joaquin Section's latest Division II power ratings. Only teams that finish among the top 16 or have 15 or more wins qualify for postseason play.

No. 7 Kennedy (16-8, 11-1) may have been looking past the Warriors to Thursday's game against defending Metro champion Sacramento.

Kennedy beat Sacramento 66-59 in their first league meeting Jan. 18 in Greenhaven.

In other games involving Top 20 boys teams reported to The Bee

February 5, 2013
Girls Top 20: No. 2 Oak Ridge tops No. 8 St. Francis 50-38

Haley Anderson had 20 points and Ali Bettencourt added 15 as No. 2 Oak Ridge defeated No. 8 St. Francis 50-38 in a Delta River League girls basketball game tonight in East Sacramento.

Najah Queenland topped St. Francis with 15 points.

St. Francis (13-10, 4-4) led 20-17 at halftime, but the Trojans (21-3, 8-0) outscored the Troubadours 17-4 in the third quarter.

In other games involving girls Top 20 teams reported to The BEE:

February 5, 2013
Sierra College players headed to four-year schools

Two former area high school players, Foothill's Devante Bond and Inderkum's Vince Mayle, will sign NCAA Letters of Intent from out of Sierra College, reports coach Jeff Tisdel.

Bond, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive lineman and Valley Conference Defensive MVP, will sign with Miami. He had a conference-leading 17 sacks, which also ranked third in the state.

Mayle, a 6-4, 220-pound wide receiver and Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year, will sign with Washington State.

Mayle caught 61 passes for 984 yards and scored a state-leading 16 touchdowns.

Two other Sierra College players, both former Nevada state preps, also are moving on to four-year programs.

All-conference 6-4, 245-pound middle linebacker Luke Arciniega will play at Syracuse and all-conference 6-3, 225-pound inside linebacker Broc Westlake will play at Idaho.

Westlake had 92 tackles; Archinega 87.

Sierra went 5-6 this season.

February 5, 2013
Update on national football recruit Eddie Vanderdoes, and sifting through fact and fiction

vanderdoes.jpgBy Joe Davidson

The update on Eddie Vanderdoes is this: there is no update.

The top recruit in the Sacramento region and a national top prospect as a defensive end with incredible power, speed and upside for Placer High School, Vanderdoes will agonize over his scholarship destination until the moment he signs. Vanderdoes in recent weeks hasn't slept well. He isn't nearly as gregarious. He feels like he's in a fog.

Will it be UCLA? Notre Dame? Alabama? Washington? USC?

"None of us have an idea," said Eddie's father, Eddie Vanderdoes III. "He's wanted to know for the last few months. It's not a 'I can't wait to sign' thing with Eddie. It's a 'I can't wait to know.'"

February 5, 2013
Football signing list grows to 32 players; Vanderdoes not expected to reveal his decision until 5 p.m. Wednesday

Here is a list of area football players scheduled to sign NCAA National Letters of Intent on Wednesday as compiled by The Bee's Joe Davidson.

Placer defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, one of the nation's top recruits. isn't scheduled to reveal his college choice until a 5 p.m. Wednesday signing ceremony at the school.

• Kevin Blueford, LB, Inderkum, Southern Oregon
• Phillip Carter, WR, Folsom, Duke
• Jeff Camilli, LB, Ponderosa, Fresno State
• Ross Dwelley, TE, Oak Ridge, University of San Diego
• Daren Echeveria, OL, Antelope, Air Force
• Kyle Evanski, DL, Del Campo, Sacramento State
• Peter Denham, QB, Placer, Northern Arizona
• Christian Fonbuena, RB, Franklin, Colorado Mesa
• Dom Giampaoli, WR, Rocklin, Southern Oregon
• Omari Gray, DB, Christian Brothers, Butler
• Marcus Green, DB, Franklin, Sacramento State
• Cole Hannum, LB, Nevada Union, Sacramento State
• Trayvon Henderson, WR, Grant, Hawaii
• Beau Hershberger, LB, Granite Bay, Nevada
• Vinnie Johnson, OL, Christian Brothers, Cal
• Daniel Kniffin, QB, Rocklin, Sacramento State
• Bryce Mann, OL, Franklin, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
• Brandon Monroe, RB, Del Oro, San Jose State
• Trace Noble, WR, Folsom, Southern Oregon
• Michael Okorike, OL, Antelope, San Jose State
• A.J. Samatua, OL, Del Campo, San Jose State
• Kyle Saxelid, OL, Cosumnes Oaks, UNLV
• Stone Sander, TE, Placer, Sacramento State
• Isaiah Saunders, RB, Pleasant Grove, Idaho
• Thomas Sperbeck, WR, Jesuit, Boise State
• Garrett Strohmaier, OL, Jesuit, Dartmouth
• Nick Terry, DL, Pleasant Grove, Boise State
• Viliami Umukuke, DE, Monterey Trail, Sacramento State
• Tanner Vallejo, LB, Nevada Union, Boise State
• Jordan Vinson, TE, Rio Americano, Sacramento State
• Tyler Winston, WR, Antelope, San Jose State
• Sam Woods, DL, Rocklin, Northern Arizona

February 5, 2013
Three athletes to be recognized at Oakmont signing day

Oakmont will hold a letter of intent signing ceremony 1:15 p.m. Wednesday at the school for track and cross country standout Karlie Garcia and soccer player Nicole Pasdera.

Garcia will be headed to Ole Miss and Pasdera to nearby William Jessup University in Rocklin.

The school also will hold a ceremony at 2:15 p.m. for former Oakmont football player Brandon Peacock, now at Sierra College. The lineman will play at Gannon University in Erie, Pa.

February 5, 2013
Sac United players announce their college destinations

The Sacramento United Soccer Club reports that six of its players will move on to play in college.

They are:
• Kaba Alkebulan, Jesuit, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
• Javier Munoz, Galt, Sacramento State
• Trevor Jackson, Bella Vista, Sacramento State
• Alex Gulseth, Franklin, Sacramento State
• Tyler Miguel, Bella Vista, UC Riverside
• Matt Rutledge, McClatchy, UC Santa Cruz

February 5, 2013
Letter of intent signing ceremony set for eight Davis athletes

Davis Senior High School will hold a signing ceremony for eight athletes who have committed to play at the next level 12:15 p.m. Wednesday on the outside stage next to the South Gym.

They are:
• Connor Stapleton, Stanford, water polo
• Lee LeVerrier, Dominican, soccer
• Kylie Drexel, USC, lacrosse
• Kayla Robinson, Colgate, field hockey
• Malia Fujisawa, Indiana, field hockey
• Emily Barber, Hofstra, field hockey
• Tara Halsted, swimming, Stanford
• Marissa LaFreniere, swimming, UC Davis

February 5, 2013
Placer United to hold soccer signing ceremony in Loomis

The Placer United Soccer Club will hold a signing ceremony/college choice announcement 6 p.m. Wednesday in Loomis for those high school seniors who play for their club teams.

They are:

• Tara Armstrong, Whitney, Texas Lutheran
• Jamie Baker, Folsom, Bethany College-Kansas
• Mark Caliguire, Bella Vista, Dominican University
• Paige Crouch, Roseville, Arizona
• Marisa Grattan, Del Oro, Air Force
• Jessica Hinsken, Del Oro, Dominican
• Jena Keffer, St. Francis, Boston College
• Michaela Kelsey, Oak Ridge, UNLV
• Kaleigh Landberg, Del Oro, Westmont
• Ashleigh Nelin, Casa Roble, Menlo College
• Brittney Neumann, Whitney, Bethany College-Kansas
• Nicolas Schnable, Whitney, Cal State-Dominguez Hills
• Lauren Stafford, Roseville, Montana State
• Melissa Stoakley, Casa Roble, Dominican

Three other seniors - Kristen Grattan (Del Oro), Molly McConnell (Whitney) and Marissa Vaughan (Roseville) - will be recognized as they will be joining Sierra College's women's soccer team upon graduation.

February 5, 2013
Elk Grove district to hold football signing ceremony

The Elk Grove Unified School District will recognize seven talented high school football scholarship recipients at a letter of intent signing ceremony 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the board room of the Robert L. Trigg Education Center, 9510 Elk Grove-Florin Road, Elk Grove.

Those expected to participate:

• Kyle Saxelid, Cosumnes Oaks, UNLV
• Marcus Green, Franklin, Weber State/Sacramento State
• Christian Fonbuena, Franklin, Colorado Mesa
• Bryce Mann, Franklin, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
• Nick Terry, Pleasant Grove, Boise State
• Isaiah Saunders, Pleasant Grove, Idaho
• Viliami Umukuke, Monterey Trail, Sacramento State

February 5, 2013
Seven Bella Vista soccer players to ink letters of intent

Seven Bella Vista soccer athletes, including five members of the two-time defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division II champion boys team, will participte in an NCAA letter of intent signing ceremony 3 p.m. in the school library.

They are:

• Trevor Jackson, Sacramento State
• Preston Davis, Sacramento State
• Tyler Miguel, UC Riverside
• Stefan Sarkovich, Holy Cross
• Julia Platter, San Diego State
• Lisa Elledge, Oregon
• Galen Herron, Dominican

February 5, 2013
Signing ceremony set for five Del Campo athletes

Five Del Campo athletes will participate in a signing reception 2 p.m. Wednesday at the school.

They are:

• A.J. Samatua, San Jose State, football
• Kyle Evanski, Sacramento State, football
• Megan Roberson, Air Force, basketball
• Cam Purcell, Western New England, lacrosse
• Derek Rodigo, Westmont, baseball

February 5, 2013
Letter of intent reception set for five Oak Ridge athletes

Five Oak Ridge athletes will announce their college choices during a signing reception 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in the school's multi-purpose room.

Those participating are:

• Paige Gugino, San Diego State, rowing
• Michaela Kelsey, UNLV, soccer
• Maddie Velez, Utah, swimming
• Carisa Rivers, Middle Tennessee State, soccer
• Oliva Frace, Louisiana-Lafayette, soccer

February 5, 2013
Five CBS athletes to sign NCAA letters of intent Wednesday

Five Christian Brothers athletes will sign NCAA letters of intent during a a ceremony at the school 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

They are:
• Anna Burch, Cal State Stanislaus, basketball
• Vincent Johnson, Cal, football
• Andrej Bevins, New Mexico, golf
• Hunter Rappleye, St. Mary's College, golf
• Omari Gray, Butler, football

February 5, 2013
10 Jesuit athletes to participate in morning signing ceremony

Ten Jesuit athletes will participate in an NCAA letter of intent signing ceremony 8 a.m. Wednesday in the Carmichael school's gymnasium.

They are:

• Kaba Alkebulan, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, soccer
• Jimmy Boras, Pacific, baseball
• Andre Gregory, Sacramento State, baseball
• Niko Hansen, New Mexico, soccer
• Sina Javidan Nejad, Stanford, track and field
• Riley Harbour, UC San Diego, soccer
• Austin Mitsch, Colorado, track and field
• Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State, football
• Garrett Strohmaier, Dartmouth, football
• Austin White, Oregon, track and field

February 4, 2013
Oak Ridge, Sac, CBS and Bear River top 2nd girls power ratings

The Sac-Joaquin Section released its second and final (for public view) girls basketball power ratings this morning.

Sixteen teams qualify in Divisions I through IV; 12 in D-V and eight in D-VI.

Under a new section rule, if a team wins at least 15 games and does not qualify for the tournament by the power rating system, that team will be added to the tournament.

The section will release the playoff brackets on Feb. 13.

Here's a brief look at each division:

February 4, 2013
Sheldon, Capital Christian, Colfax top 2nd boys power ratings

The Sac-Joaquin Section released its second and final (for public view) boys basketball power ratings this morning.

Sixteen teams qualify in Divisions I through IV; 12 in D-V and eight in D-VI.

Under a new section rule, if a team wins at least 15 games and does not qualify for the tournament by the power rating system, that team will be added to the tournament.

The section will release the playoff brackets on Feb. 13.

Here's a brief look at each division:

February 2, 2013
Girls top 20: No. 8 St. Francis defeats Sheldon 39-33

No. 8 St. Francis got defensive Friday night to defeat host Sheldon 39-33 in a Delta River League girls basketball game at Sheldon High.

Margaret Chavez led St. Francis (13-9, 4-3) with nine points. Alyna Kanae and Janae Hair topped Sheldon (10-13, 4-3) with eight points each.

In other girls top 20 games reported to The Bee:

February 1, 2013
Baby powder stunt forces SFL rivalry game to be moved

The boys basketball game started tonight at Woodcreek High School. It ended a few hours later at neighboring Roseville High School.

The Sierra Foothill League game between Roseville and Woodcreek was moved after several delays caused by the tossing of baby powder - ala LeBron James - by some members of Woodcreek's spirited "Black Mob" rooting section.

That caused a giant cloud to balloon, forcing officials to delay the start of the game. Then the game was stopped several times because of complaints of a slippery floor.

Officials decided to finish the game at Roseville, where the Tigers won 87-71 on their home court.

Cole Jacobs' had 24 points and Roman Tyukayev added 19 for Roseville.

The win keeps Roseville (19-5, 4-3) in a three-way tie for second in league with Del Oro and Rocklin and a game-behind first place Granite Bay, which lost tonight to Del Oro.

Tyler Milani had 29 points and Nick Howe 27 for Woodcreek (12-12, 3-4).

February 1, 2013
Boys Top 20: Del Oro win vs. Granite Bay tightens SFL race

Unranked Del Oro kept alive its hopes of repeating as Sierra Foothill League boys basketball champions tonight by beating No. 7 Granite Bay 72-56 in Loomis.

Del Oro trailed 34-30 at the half before outscoring Granite Bay 19-11 in the third quarter and 23-11 in the final period.

The win moves the Golden Eagles (16-8, 4-3) to within a game of the Grizzlies (17-7, 5-2) with three games to play.

Connor Drake had 16 points, Trevor Pistochini 15 and Keenan Finney 14 for Del Oro. Sherron Bradford and Daniel Romero each had 13 points to lead Granite Bay, which suffered its second consecutive loss.

The Grizzlies fell 99-91 in overtime to Roseville on Wednesday.

In other boys Top 20 games reported to The Bee:

February 1, 2013
Granite Bay football players to play at the next level

Granite Bay senior JR Calton will be a preferred walk-on this fall as a long snapper at Hawaii.

"JR is a three-year varsity player for us and one of the best long snappers I've coached in 32 years," said Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper.

Cooper also reports that Tyler Arneson, the team's Most Valuable Defensive Lineman and Most Inspirational Player, will play for Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash.

Both were All-Sierra Foothill League first team for the CIF State Division I Bowl champions.

They will join Grizzlies' All-State linebacker Beau Hershberger in playing at the next level. Hershberger is expected to sign Wednesday with Nevada.

February 1, 2013
Hildebrand steps down as Woodcreek football coach

John Hildebrand has stepped down after six years as Woodcreek High School's head football coach to spend more time with his family.

Hildebrand, 34, had a 22-41 overall record and 8-22 mark in the rugged Sierra Foothill League, including 2-8 and 0-5 this past season.

His most successful team was the 2008 squad that finished 6-6 overall, 3-2 in league and beat Oak Ridge 31-24 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.

The Timberwolves then lost 49-14 to eventual section and CIF State Bowl champion Grant.

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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