March 30, 2013
Sheldon No. 5, Eagles No. 13 in final Cal-Hi boys state rankings

CIF Northern Regional Open Division runner-up Sheldon (27-6) finishes No. 5 and the CIF State Division I champion Pleasant Grove Eagles (28-6) end up No. 13 in Cal-Hi Sports' final Top 40 state boys basketball rankings.

CIF State Open Division champion Mater Dei (34-2) of Santa Ana finishes No. 1, followed by No. 2 Etiwanda (28-4), No. 3 Long Beach Poly (28-4) and No. 4 Archbishop Mitty of San Jose (28-6).

For the complete list, go HERE

March 30, 2013
Sac, Oak Ridge, Kennedy in Cal-Hi's final state girls rankings

Sacramento (27-5) finished No. 30, Oak Ridge (28-5) No. 31 and Kennedy (24-9) No. 36 in Cal-Hi Sports' final Top 40 state girls basketball rankings.

Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland (30-3), the first CIF Open Division girls champion, finishes No. 1.

For the complete list, go HERE

March 30, 2013
Barnes, James lead South teams to Optimist game wins

Sacramento High's Joseph Barnes had 24 points to capture team MVP honors and lead the South over the North 113-105 in tonight's Optimist All-Star boys basketball game at Center High School.

Casa Roble's 6-foot-10 Eric Stuteville, a Sacramento State signee, had 21 points in earning North Team MVP honors.

Pleasant Grove's Arizona-bound Dejza James took team MVP honors with 17 points in leading the South girls over the North 85-58. Washington signee Brianna Ruiz of Del Oro was the North MVP with 16 points.

The two fund-raising games featured some of the area's top graduating seniors.

March 30, 2013
Record crowd watches Cal's Henderson beat Sac State 1-0

Former Sheldon High star Jolene Henderson struck out a season-high 14 and allowed two hits and no walks as No. 4 Cal defeated Sacramento State 1-0 this afternoon in front of a Hornets' record softball crowd of 1,212 at Shea Stadium.

Sac State's Caitlin Brooks (9-4) limited Cal to two hits while striking out 10 and walking three.

Cal's Victoria Jones homered in the fifth inning for the game's only run.

Henderson, a senior, is now 23-2 on the season for the Golden Bears.

March 29, 2013
Former Sheldon stars will lead Cal softball against Sac State

Cal's softball team, ranked No. 4 nationally by, will play 1 p.m. Saturday against Sacramento State (16-11) at Shea Stadium.

The Golden Bears (26-3) feature three former Sheldon standouts in Jolene and Danielle Henderson and Lindsey Ziegenhirt.

Jolene Henderson, a senior pitcher, set a new Cal record for wins with 120 on Sunday in beating Utah 4-1, eclipsing the previous record of 119 set by former USA Olympic Team member Michele Granger, now the softball coach at Granite Bay High School.

This season, Henderson is 22-2 with an 0.94 ERA and is hitting .313. For her career at Cal, Henderson is 120-26 with a 1.22 ERA and 1,016 strikouts in 972 innings.

Ziegenhirt, Henderson's batterymate in high school and college and a Bears' captain, is coming off Pac-12 Player of the Week honors and leads Cal in hitting (.384), home runs (12) and RBIs (38).

Danielle Henderson, a sophomore, is Cal's starting third baseman and is hitting .288 with 18 RBI.

March 28, 2013
No. 6 Pleasant Grove tops No. 1 Elk Grove in Boras tourney

Bee No. 6 Pleasant Grove has advanced to the championship of the Boras Baseball Classic April 13 at the University of Pacific in Stockton after beating top-ranked Elk Grove 11-1 in today's Northern California tournament finale at Sacramento State.

Pleasant Grove will play the winner of this coming week's 16-team Southern California tournament that will be played in San Juan Capistrano.

In addition to topping Elk Grove, coach Rob Rinaldi's Eagles defeated Rodriguez of Fairfield 4-1, Deer Valley of Antioch 4-2 and Rio Americano 5-2.

March 28, 2013
Menlo-Atherton holds off Cordova 3-2 in Easter tourney finale

Menlo-Atherton scored three times in the first inning then held off Cordova 3-2 in today's 43rd annual Cordova Easter Tournament championship baseball game at Hagan Park in Rancho Cordova.

Erik Amundson pitched a three-hitter and also had a double for Menlo-Atherton, which lost 11-10 to the Lancers in last year's title game.

Nathan Jacobson had a triple and RBI for Cordova.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter All-Tri-County Conference teams

Here are the winter All-Tri-County Conference teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections, email

MVP: Terrance White, Inderkum.
All-league: LD Dhaliwal, Andrew Ignont, Nef Torres, Inderkum; Phillip Morgan, Natomas; Gabriel Torres, Pioneer; Stuart Bradley, TJ Dove, Jordan Noall, River Valley; Carson Frank, Armando Madueno, Woodland; Travis Blas, Louis Mowers, Yuba City.

Co-MVP: Aleqse Hawkins, Taylor Massengale, River Valley.
All-league: Shymir Mitschan-Balwin, Sakara Brewer, Kyliyah Daniel, Inderkum; Halle Hamre, Sierra Maun, Natomas; Maddi Bellin, Pioneer; Sarah Brennan, Amrita Dale, River Valley; Emily King, Woodland; Destiny Fleenor, Tiffany Friend, Yuba City.

Lightweight MVP: Alex Rominger, Woodland.
Heavyweight MVP: Jordan Sepeda, Natomas.
All-league: Fermin Novoa, Pioneer; Mansoor Ahmadi, Wesley McMahon, Yuba City; Ruban Escalante, Jamie Villar, Inderkum; Esquiel Stringer, Woodland; Alex Gonzalez, Rafael Pantoja, Joey Ames, Natomas; Timmy Webb, Logan Morace, Jordan Davis, River Valley.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter All-Sierra Foothill League teams

Here are the winter All-Sierra Foothill League teams that were submitted to The Bee. For corrections, email

MVP: Scott Romuk, Granite Bay.
All-league: Jacob King, Kendrick Jackson, Anthony Pedersen, Granite Bay; Danny Becker, Trevor Pistochini, Del Oro; Devin Moss, Rocklin; Matt Tawlks, Roseville; Noah Blackwell, Tyler Milani, Woodcreek; Lucas Vojak, Nevada Union.

MVP:Stephanie Geyer, Del Oro.
All-league: Lydia Summers, Shannon Garvella, Rocklin; Sydney Porter, Nicole Lierly, Sammy DeHart, Nevada Union; Aliya Davis, Liz Gehweiler, Woodcreek; Lauren Heyn, Del Oro; Daeja Black, Granite Bay; Lindsay Anderson, Roseville.

All-league first team: 106 pounds - Isaac Blackburn, Del Oro; 113 - Clay Shropshire, Del Oro; 120 - Zach Ruybal, Del Oro; 126 - Sean Brown, Granite Bay; 132 - Tanner Robison, Del Oro; 138 - Jonny Callas, Nevada Union; 145 - Johnny Zieour, Del Oro; 152 - Andrew Tyson, Rocklin; 160 - Patrick Neu, Del Oro; 170 - Dylan Kainrath, Del Oro; 182 - Skyler Gonzales, Rocklin; 195 - Mitchell Houston, Woodcreek; 220 - Jon Francom-Clark, Del Oro; 285 - Dominic Balmer, Woodcreek.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter All-Sierra Delta League athletic teams

Here are the winter All-Sierra Delta League teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections, email

Co-MVP: Dajon Green, Aaron Johnson, Encina.
Coach of the Year: Freddie Bryant, Encina.
All-league: Datwon Brown, Encina; Isaiah Brooks, Grant Heisinger, Dominic Bromstead, Justin Sobcoviak, Bradshaw Christian; Lincoln Gallegos, Brandon Hayworth, San Juan; Andrew Grabowski, Vacaville Christian; Marquez Fears, Egor Andreyev, Highlands.

MVP: Ashlee Jones, Bradshaw Christian.
Coach of the Year: Faith McKinnie, Encina.
All-league: Gabby Miller, Quashoma Johnson, Encina; Erika Bean, Jordyn Bell, Briana Barnes, Bradshaw Christian; Robin Martinez, Kashay Johnson, San Juan; Kimmy Guggemos, Rio Vista; Hailey Kenyon, Vacaville Christian; Sierra Monroe, Golden Sierra.

Lightweight MVP: Trent Rose, Bradshaw Christian.
Middleweight MVP: Ra' Heem Johnson, Encina.
Heavyweight MVP: Cyrus Javan, Vacaville Christian.
Coach of the Year: Eric Wilson, Vacaville Christian.
All-league: Dennis Keough, San Juan; Daniel Ewing, Rafael Gallegos, Mateo Olloqui, Vacaville Christian; Patrick Lewis, Brian Agee, Golden Sierra; Andrew Balderas, William Abalos, Highlands; Mat Zahra, Christian Zamora, Encina; Thomas Ubelhoer, Bradshaw Christian.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter All-Sac Metro Athletic Conference teams

Here are the winter All-Sacramento Metro Athletic Conference teas as submitted to The Bee. For corrections, email

MVP: Micah Atkins, Faith Christian.
Coach of the Year: Rick Dougherty, Faith Christian.
All-league: Justin Glen, Faith Christian; Josh Niccum, Joey Niccum, Buckingham Charter; Morgan Bennett-Smith, Sacramento Country Day; Micah Gunter, Forest Ryan, Valley Christian Academy; Tony Jia, Lutheran.

MVP: Mary Clare Bosco, Sacramento Country Day.
Coach of the Year: Kim Contreras, Valley Christian Academy.
All-league: Lily Hagerty, Erika Lyon, Grace Magni, Valley Christian Academy; Isabella Tochterman, Sacramento Country Day; Kayla Brown, Wilton Christian.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter All-Metro Conference sports teams

Here are the winter All-Metro Conference teams as submitted to The Bee. For corrections, email

Co-MVPs: Aaron Cameron, Sacramento; David Straughter, Burbank.
Coach of the Year: Derek Swafford.
All-league: Ben Walls, Florin; Aaron Harmetz, McClatchy; Charles Mills, Deandre Churchill, Johnson; Toa Kolokihakaufisi, Matt Nakatomi, Joey Helow, Kennedy; Jaylen Coats, Clifford Lyles, Burbank; Joe Barns, David Solomon-Young, James Hadnot, Sacramento.

Co-MVPs: Lynette Johnson, Kennedy; Allie Green, Sacramento.
Coach of the Year: Michele Massari, Sacramento.
All-league: Daijah Jo Smith, Delayna Sampton, Florin; Irene Colaivalu, Rosemont; Lauren Nubla, McClatchy; Chaya Durr, Ayanna Edwards, Sacramento; Dalayna Tyler-Scott, Kennedy; VyVy Tran, Burbank.

All-league: 108 - Brandon Gonzales, Florin; 115 - Sean DeVissche, Florin; 122 - Brandon Vang, Valley; 128 - Christian Cotter, Johnson; 134 - Chris Vaughn, McClatchy; 140 - Zackery Augustine, Rosemont; 147 - Joel Smith, McClatchy; 154 - Aaron Davis, McClatchy; 162 - Joshua Garcia, Johnson; 172 - Marcus Hudson, Rosemont; 184 - Anthony Alvarado, Johnson; 197 - Djuan Smalls, McClatchy; 222 - Bryan Knowles, Rosemont; 287 - Xang Her, Johnson.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter All-Golden Empire League teams

Here are the winter All-Golden Empire League teams that have been submitted to The Bee. For corrections, email

MVP: Cedric Thomas, Lindhurst.
Coach of the Year: Pat Pavelchik, Mesa Verde.
All-league: Devin Ward, Lindhurst; Roman Zazhitsky, Bret Lynch, Mesa Verde; Tim Spiridonov, Devin Sawyerr, West Campus; Nifae Lealao Jr., Tyler Jennings, Justice Shelton-Moseley, D.J. Wilson, Capital Christian.

MVP: Hayley Shaner, West Campus.
Coach of the Year: Shawnsey McBride, Marysville.
All-league: Haleigh Filer, Monique Colbert, Capital Christian; Madison Dwelley, Miranda Williams, Dixon; Bayshta Aguila, Marysville; Barbara Keomany, Enique Nelson, West Campus; Andrea Davis, Mesa Verde; Sarah May, Lindhurst.

Lightweight MVP: Devan Turner, Dixon.
Middleweight MVP: Armante Gonzalez, Lindhurst.
Heavyweight MVP: Jordan Colby, West Campus.
Coach of the Year: Rob Taylor, Lindhurst.
All-league: Thongsai Thanadabouth, Jesus Yanez, Rigo Cole, Edgar Rivera, Justin Martinez, Lindhurst; Eybe Ceja, Jorge Jiminez, Dixon; Jordan Newberry, Mesa Verde; Nathan Hus, Andrew Peterson, Capital Christian; Michael Scott, West Campus.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter All-Delta Valley Conference teams

Here are the winter All-Delta Valley Conference athletic teams that were submitted to The Bee. For corrections, email

MVP: De'sean Parsons, Grant.
Coach of the Year: Deonard Wilson, Grant.
All-league: Hayden Russell, Kevin Sorenson, Davis; Danny Goldman, Conner Sutton, Elk Grove; John Moscoso, Victor Rustin, Franklin; Malik Mitschen, Grant; Andre Lewis, Malik Pope, Laguna Creek; Leondre Lintz, Monterey Trail.

MVP: Ashleigh Vandenbrink, Davis.
Coach of the Year: Karen Foster, Davis.
All-league: Anna Belenis, Emma Stenz, Davis; Madison Wong, Elk Grove; Elizabeth Evangelsta, Dominique Vernon, Franklin; Alecia Ashford, Raynell Lynn, Grant; Jazmynne Olinda, Laguna Creek; Jasmine Redmon, Tiara Webb, Monterey Trail.

All-league: Titan Scott, Ethan Larrabee, Terrell Turner, Davis Halberg, Kaleb Vetterli, Braden Henderson, Joey Lopez, Scott Votino, Thomas Aquila, Jaharee Taylor, Elk Grove; Josh Villaflor, Antonio Jimenze, Joey Banks, Franklin; Kendhal Richmond, Monterey Trail.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter sports All-Delta River League teams

Here are the winter All-Delta River League teams that were submitted to The Bee. For corrections, email

MVP: Dakarai Allen, Sheldon.
All-league: Jordan Ford, Folsom; Lake Lutes, Jesuit; Josh Simms, Oak Ridge; Matt Hayes, Colfax Nordquist, Xavier Thames, Pleasant Grove; Darrin Johnson, Antonio Lewis, Ryan Manning, D'erryl Williams, Sheldon.

MVP: Dejza James, Pleasant Grove.
All-league: Haley Anderson, Ali Bettencourt, Jenn Hoffman, Oak Ridge; Avonna Lee, Pleasant Grove; Ashley Beck, Danielle Craft, Ponderosa; Rachel Frank, Najah Queenland, St. Francis; Janae Hair, Daija Ward, Sheldon.

All-league: Curtis Booth, Andrew Coyne, Mason Koshiyama, Lorenzo De La Riva, Nicholas Fiegener, Folsom; Gilbert Martinez, Alex Elko, Jesuit; Jimmy Scarr, Trae Providence, Nick Troquato, Kyle Jennings, Ponderosa; Keaton Subjeck, Sherman McVey, Oak Ridge; Sam Alnassiri, Sheldon.

March 28, 2013
Here are the All-Central Valley California League teams

Here are the Central Valley California League winter all-league teams. For corrections, email

MVP: Anthony Castaneda, Woodland Christian.
Coaches of the Year: Justin Smith, Woodland Christian; Rork Crusto, Delta.
All-league: Benny Mitchell, Woodland Christian; Mike Halverson, Victory Christian; Chase Augustino, Forest Lake Christian; Kalil Williams, Cristo Rey; Jack Dean, Sacramento Waldorf.

MVP: Becca Williams, Woodland Christian.
Coach of the Year: Tim Smithers, Victory Christian.
All-league: Ashley Williams, Woodland Christian; Molly Huffman, Emily Potts, Victory Christian; Sadie Stroup, Foresthill; Lauren Piner, Forest Lake Christian; Ella Haberman, Sacramento Waldorf.

March 28, 2013
Here are the Capital Valley Conference winter all-league teams

Here are the Capital Valley Conference's winter all-league teams. For corrections, e-mail

MVP: Tyler Berkness, Bella Vista.
All-league: Dominic Driggs, Austin Hennen, Ahmad Smith, Bella Vista; Prestin Barnett, Christian Brothers; Semir Cahtarevic, Vasilije Saraba, Del Campo; Paul Rubio, Rio Linda; Dominic Marrero, Okamont; Jake Romine, Eric Stuteville, Mason Stuteville, Casa Roble.

MVP: Ana Burch, Christian Brothers.
All-leauge: Krystal Aubert, Casa Roble; Olivia Francis, Brittany Martin, Oakmont; Teryn Jackson, Kesles Johnson, Bella Vista; Jazlynne Macklin, Laura Noble, Megan Roberson, Del Campo; Marissa Sanders, Rio Linda; Kira McKechnie, Niel Valmores, Christian Brothers.

All-league: Dru Smith, Victor Trujillo, Sam Pfau, Shayne Tucker, Sam Fowler, Dan Marotte, Shawn Council, Brennan Collins, Milen Tsvetkov, Justin Calderon, Jesse Downs, Nelson Lund, Bella Vista; Josh Vega, Kaleio Romero, Peter Santos, Tommy Krebs, Nathon Chambers, Oakmont; Brett Alfred, Reed Smith, Del Campo; Ray Biaz, Jake Minshew, Charles Hubbard, Seth Avis, Casa Roble; Stephen Andrews, Joseph Reynoso, Vaughn Hingano, Rio Linda; Chris Rios, Matt Spain, Christian Brothers.

March 28, 2013
Here are the winter All-Capital Athletic League teams

Here are the winter All-Capital Athletic League teams. For corrections, please e-mail

MVP: Isaiah Ellis, Antelope.
All-league: Gabe Bealer, Rashard Thornhill, Tyler Winston, Antelope; Kyler Joaquin, Zack Suarez, Darrin Nishi, Rio Americano; Troy Owens, Jordan Roberson, Cordova; Dallen Eddenfield, El Camino; Nolan Eger, Whitney.

MVP: Elizabeth Moulton, Rio Americano.
All-league: Tyler Ellis, Rae Rae Terlaje-Taitano, Cameo Warren, Antelope; Monae Newton, Cordova; Courtney Brignac, El Camino; Shireen Sayareh, Mira Loma; Emily Hansen, Emily Wilson, Rio Americano; Sheibi Meyer, Alana Scott, Whitney.

Coach of the Year: Brad Burton, Antelope.
All-league: Casey Burton, Daren Echeveria, Dakota Fierro, Vlad Lutsik, Brandon Matu, Tyler Moore, Nathan Rhodes, Nigel Summan, Luke Avery Ward, Antelope; Emmanual Armas, Ernie Armas, Tony Graciano, Donnie Hibbs, Antor Hollins, Mike Kintz, Ian McGarry, Austin Reynolds, Herman Thomas, Justin Yip, El Camino; Anthony Bondartchouk, Roman Glukhoy, Ruslan Glukhoy, Shawntay Humphrey, James Mullerleile, Tim Shverstov, Mira Loma; Peter Cardinale, Rio Americano; Josh Achanzan, Whitney.

March 25, 2013
11 girls scholarship signees to play in Optimist All-Star game

Many of the area's top graduating seniors will compete in the 36th annual Evening Optimist boys and girls all-star basketball games Saturday at Center High School in Antelope.

Eleven college scholarship signees have been invited to play in the 4 p.m. girls game.

Among those scheduled to play for the South Team, coached by Christian Brothers' Ron Gully, are Kennedy's Lynette Johnson (Utah State), Pleasant Grove's Dejza James (Arizona), Sacramento's Allie Green (Pepperdine), River City's Katie King (CSU Northridge), Oak Ridge's Haley Anderson (UC San Diego), Christian Brothers' Ana Burch (Stanislaus State) and Bradshaw Christian's Ashlee Jones (Nevada).

March 23, 2013
Johnson's 26 points helps Mater Dei top Mitty for state title

Junior forward Stanley Johnson had 26 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots and senior guard Elijah Brown added 11 points and six rebounds as Mater Dei of Santa Ana defeated Archbishop Mitty of San Jose 50-45 in tonight's inaugural CIF Open Division boys basketball championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

Aaron Gordon led Mitty (28-6) with 22 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks, but the 6-foot-9 senior was the only Mitty player in double figures. Connor Peterson had eight points before fouling out.

Mitty outrebounded Mater Dei 47 to 31 and outshot Mater Dei 35 to 25 percent from the floor, but made 22 turnovers to nine for Mater Dei (34-2).

It was Mater Dei's 10th state boys basketball title.

The 12-game tournament held Friday and Saturday drew a total attendance of 13,591.

March 23, 2013
O'Dowd stuns No. 2 Windward 60-45 for state Open girls title

With four Division I signees, some are calling the Bishop O'Dowd of Oakland's girls basketball team the most talented in Northern California history.

Despite that, and even with a No. 3 national ranking by, the Dragons entered Saturday night's inaugural CIF State Open Division girls basketball game at Sleep Train Arena as decided underdogs.

Their opponent, Windward of Los Angeles, was ranked No. 2 nationally and unbeaten. The Wildcats also had a 58-43 win over the Dragons Dec. 29 in a Southern California tournament and had beaten O'Dowd the previous season, 65-58, for good measure.

But O'Dowd took what everyone thought would be a down-to-the-wire game and turned it into a 60-45 rout. Up by seven points at the end of the third quarter, the Dragons (30-3) sprinted past a stunned Windward (32-1) 20 to 12 in the final quarter.

March 23, 2013
Redondo Beach ends College Park's run with D-II boys win

College Park of Pleasant Hill's amazing run through the postseason came to an end tonight with a 54-47 loss to Redondo Union of Redondo Beach in the CIF State Division II boys basketball championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

The Falcons, a small team and a No. 11 seed at the start of the Northern California Regional playoffs, won four tough games to reach the finals. They used guile and spectacular three-point shooting to upset Chico, Mt. Eden of Hayward, St. Francis of Mountain View and, in last Saturday's NorCal final, top-seeded Dublin 93-90 in overtime.

But Redondo Beach (28-8) used its superior height and jumping ability to dominate the boards and stay comfortably ahead of the Falcons in the second half.

The SeaHawks had a 48-31 rebounding advantage, including 19-3 on the offensive end, while limiting the Falcons (26-6) to 32 percent shooting from the floor and 28 percent (7 for 25) from three-point range.

"They really attacked the glass and the was the difference in the ballgame," said College Park coach Craig Battle.

Six-foot-six sophomore forward Jeremiah Headley led the way with team highs of 19 points and 13 rebounds while Ian Fox added 11 points and Derek Biale 10.
Mikey Eggleton had 14 points and Joe DeMers 13 points and 14 rebounds for College Park.

It was both schools' first state boys basketball championship appearance. The CIF started an Open Division this season with the goal of getting new faces into the state championship tournament.

"We got a taste of it, so we want to come back," Battle said. "We like your hospitality."

March 23, 2013
Lynwood wins defensive slugest in D-II girls state final

Jazmine Johnson had 11 points, six rebounds and three steals; Amber Blockmon eight points and 13 rebounds; and Nijala Johnson eight points and seven steals as Lynwood won a defensive duel with St. Francis of Mountain View 39-26 in today's CIF State Division II girls basketball championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

It was the lowest combined point total in girls state history.

Lauren Johnson led St. Francis with 10 points and nine rebounds and Jennifer Lucian had seven points and 14 rebounds as both teams struggled to score points.

St. Francis shot 26 percent from the field; Lynwood 25 percent. But Lynwood's quickness forced St. Francis into 23 turnovers.

Coach Ellis Barfield of Lynwood (29-5) credited St. Francis, which led 10-7 early in the second quarter, for putting his team on its heels.

"We really had to elevate our game, especially defensively," Barfield said.

For Barfield it was his fourth state championship team, the other three coming in D-I. He joins St. Francis coach Brian Harrigan as a four-time state winner, though Harrigan's titles came at Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.

This is his second season at St. Francis, which had five consecutive losing seasons before he arrived. The Troubadours were 18-10 last season and finish 24-9 this season in making the school's first girls state title game.

"It's a pretty amazing step," he said of the program reaching a state final. "It's been an incredible journey, a fantastic journey."

March 23, 2013
Pacific Hills holds off Cardinal Newman in D-IV boys state final

A large rooting section and lots of moxie wasn't quite enough for Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa against star-studded Pacific Hills of West Hollywood today in the CIF State Division IV boys basketball championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

Despite twice taking a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, Cardinal Newman couldn't hold on against a talent-ladened Pacific Hills team that pulled away for a 58-52 win.

Marcus Jackson (Rice signee) had 23 points, Jahmel Taylor (Oregon) 14 and four-star junior recruit Namon Wright 17 and 11 rebounds for Pacific Hills (29-4), which won its second state title in four attempts.

Tim McCullough and Corey Hammel each had 14 for a Cardinal Newman (32-4) team now 0-4 in state finals.

Cardinal Newman took a 46-45 lead midway through the fourth quarter on two free throws by Hammel, but Pacific Hills outscored the Cardinals 13-6 the rest of the way.

A large contingent of Cardinal Newman fans drove down from Santa Rosa to support their team. Pacific Hills, a small private school, only had a handful of fans, but that didn't bother Jackson, a 6-3 guard.

"We're really a small school, so every game is an away game, even in our own house," Jackson said. "I love the atmosphere here."

March 23, 2013
Moore scores 35 but Salesian falls to Serra in D-IV state final

Michigan-bound Siera Thompson had 26 points and Oregon-bound Deandrea Toler added 20 points and eight rebounds to counteract a state-record performance by Mariya Moore in leading Serra of Gardena to a 62-60 win over Salesian of Richmond in today's CIF State Division IV girls championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

Moore, one of the nation's top juniors, had 35 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for Salesian (29-7).

Moore, one of the nation's top juniors, had 35 points 10 rebounds and five assists. In making 17 of 20 free throws, she set two new state tournament girls records. The previous high for free throws made was 13 set by Candice Wiggins of La Jolla Country Day in 2002. The previous high for attempts was 17 by Morningside of Inglewood's Lisa Leslie in 1990.

Moore's point total was fifth all-time, tied with Leslie's 35-point effort that same year. It was second all-time in D-IV to Courtney Paris' 37 for Piedmont in 2004.

Zoe Correal added eight points and 10 rebounds for Salesian.

For Serra (30-5), Caila Hailey had eight rebounds and three points and Seattle-bound post Titana Howard had seven rebounds and three points.

It was Serra's first girls basketball title in its first state appearance. Salesian lost for the second year in a row after falling last season to La Jolla Country Day.

March 22, 2013
Pleasant Grove beats Santa Monica for historic D-I state title

The senior trio of Matthew Hayes, Malik Thames and Cole Nordquist combined for 48 points and sophomore Marquese Chriss had nine points and nine rebounds to lead Pleasant Grove to a 73-57 win over Santa Monica tonight in the CIF State Division I boys basketball championship game at Sleep Train Arena.


It marked the first time a Sac-Joaquin Section boys team won a D-I boys state title and capped an amazing run by a team that didn't win its own league or section championships because of rival Sheldon, a team that lost to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose last Saturday in the first NorCal Open Division championship game.

The Eagles become only the fifth area team to win a state boys basketball championship, joining Oak Ridge at D-II and Foothill (twice) and Folsom at D-III.

It also was Northern California's only win of the night in the six state finals contested throughout the day. Six more will be played Saturday at Sleep Train, including the first Open Division boys and girls finals.

With a large partisan Sacramento crowd cheering them on, Pleasant Grove led 36-27 at the half and 56-40 after three quarters.

Hayes had a team-high 19 points, including three three-pointers. Thames added 16 points and six rebounds and Nordquist 13 points and nine rebounds as the Eagles finish the season 28-6, with three of the losses coming to neighborhood rival Sheldon.

The Eagles' defensive trio of Matthew Smrekar, Thomas Fitzgerald and James Watson added a combined 14 points and 15 rebounds.

Collectively Pleasant Grove shot 48 percent from the field while limiting a quick and athletic Santa Monica to 34 percent shooting. The Eagles outrebounded the Vikings 43-32.

Santa Monica senior forward Chris Smith led the Vikings (29-7) with 20 points and eight rebounds but Cal-bound star Jordan Mathews was limited to nine points and five rebounds in playing less than 13 minutes because of injury (back cramp) and foul trouble.

He fouled out with 7:15 minutes to play.

Bee photo by José Luis Villegas: Pleasant Grove High senior guard James Watson exults after the Elk Grove school beat Santa Monica 73-57 Friday night at Sleep Train Arena for the Division I state championship.

March 22, 2013
D-I state girls final: Long Beach Poly overwhelms Berkeley

Long Beach Poly seems to have Berkeley's number in girls basketball and that did not change tonight in the CIF State Division I championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

Long Beach Poly led 16-6 in the first quarter, 20-9 at halftime en route to 46-28 win over the Yellowjackets.

Jada Matthews had 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, and Arica Carter added 11 points to lead Long Beach Poly (30-5). Rachel Howard's 11 points and five rebounds topped the Yellowjackets (22-12), who shot only 23 percent from the field (9 of 38) and made 26 turnovers.

It was the fourth time Berkeley, making its 12th state title appearance, lost in the championship game to the Jackrabbits. Berkeley also lost to Long Beach Poly in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 title games, all at Sleep Train.

Long Beach Poly beat Monte Vista of Danville in 2009 for a fourth consecutive title before being upset the next season by Oak Ridge 55-42 in Bakersfield.

Mater Dei of Santa Ana beat Berkeley in the 2011 and 2012 championship games.

March 22, 2013
D-III boys state final: Kell leads St. Augustine to overtime win

Junior Trey Kell scored 30 points, including three free throws to tie with 2.9 seconds in regulation and six more points in overtime as St. Augustine of San Diego defeated Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco 59-52 in the CIF State Division III boys basketball championship game today at Sleep Train Arena.

The 6-foot-4 Kell made 9 of 15 shots from the floor, 10 of 13 from the foul line and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the Saints (29-4). UC Davis signee Brynton Lemar added 10 points and seven rebounds and Brent Jones nine points as St. Augustine won its first state boys basketball title.

Herman Pratt had 17 points, Deondre Otis 12 and Liam O'Reilly 10 and nine rebounds for the Fightin' Irish (21-12).

St. Augustine led 37-30 entering the fourth quarter and 44-40 with 26.8 seconds to go when David Parsons hit a three and two free throws and O'Reilly a 12-foot jumper that put Sacred Heart ahead 47-44 with 10.2 seconds to play.

But Kell was fouled with 2.9 seconds attempting a three-pointer and made all three shots.

Kell hit a three-pointer in overtime and made three of four free throws, two of which put the Saints ahead for good, 54-52 with 1:39 to go. Lemar made all four of his overtime free throws.

But St. Augustine was bothered by Sacred Heart's quickness. The Saints committed 25 turnovers.

March 22, 2013
D-V state girls final: Sophomores lead Sierra Canyon to win

Sophomore Kennedy Burke had 14 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots and sophomore Cheyanne Wallace added 11 rebounds, seven points and three blocks as Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth defeated Pinewood of Los Altos Hills 47-33 in today's CIF State Division V girls championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

Sophomoe Gabi Nevill added nine points and junior Zoe Goss eight points and six rebounds for the Trailblazers (24-9), who were making their first state girls basketball title appearance.

Gabi Bade led Pinewood (24-8) with eight points and seven rebounds while Leeana Bade added seven points and eight rebounds.

Pinewood entered the game seeking their fifth D-V girls state title.

March 22, 2013
D-III girls state final: Alemany holds of Sacred Heart Cathedral

Leslie Lopez-Wood had 16 points and Hanna Johnson 12 points and 11 rebounds as Bishop Alemany of Mission Hills held of Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco 46-40 in the CIF State Division III girls basketball championship game today at Sleep Train Arena.

Genessa Bedoya added eight points and three rebounds and Adaora Obi three points and eight rebounds for the Warriors (32-5). Ashanti Coleman had 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Fighting Irish (25-7).

It was Bishop Alemany's first state championship in two appearances. Alemany lost 67-54 to Sacred Heart Cathedral in the 1998 state final.

Bishop Alemany was cheered on by a contigent of 600 rooters who boarded buses at midnight and made the trip to Sacramento.

March 22, 2013
D-V boys state finale: Horizon tops St. Joe's on buzzer beater

With one shot, sophomore Ethan Underwood created a lifetime memory on the biggest stage for a high school basketball player.

Underwood's desperation 30-footer, released just as the buzzer sounded, lifted Horizon Christian of San Diego to an improbable 47-46 win over St. Joseph's Notre Dame of Alameda in the CIF State Division V boys championship game Friday afternoon at Sleep Train Arena.

It looked like a game that St. Joesph's had in the bag moments before.

The Pilots led 46-39 with 14.7 seconds to play.

March 22, 2013
CIF State High School Basketball championships today and Saturday; ticket info and list of all-time player greats

In its 32nd year, the CIF State High School Basketball Championships have fielded a number of stars who went onto college or NBA fame.

More could be headed this way at Sleep Train Arena, including Aaron Gordon of Mitty-San Jose, a 6-foot-9 marvel of skill and drive. He leads Mitty tonight against Mater Dei of Santa Ana with perhaps another NBA-bound body in Stanley Johnson, a 6-7 junior.

* Ticket reminder - Tickets for tonight's games includes as many games as one wants to take in (six total games), despite what is listed on the Sleep Train website indicating that there are two sessions.

* Radio reminder - On the SureWest Sports Radio Show from 8-9 a.m. on Saturday morning on ESPN1320, we talked at length in the first segment with CIF Executive Director Roger Blake about high school sports, the benefit of the Open Division, the wow factor of Sleep Train and the future. Go to for the podcast here

Here's a sampling of NBA players who played in CIF title games, including some at Sleep Train (or Arco Arena):

* NBA Launching Pad:
* Tracy Murray, Glendora, 1989 - Murray had unlimited shooting range and an unlimited green light, going for a state-title game record 64 points in the D-II finals at the Oakland Coliseum against, an 89-83 loss to Menlo-Atherton. He played 11 NBA seasons.
* Jason Kidd, St. Joseph-Alameda, 1992 - Seemingly NBA ready by his junior season, Kidd tore teams apart with passes and drives in winning two state D-I championships, the second one at Arco Arena in an electrifying effort that promoted CIF officials to want to keep the title games in that venue. In his 18th NBA season, Kidd plays for the Knicks.
* Jaron and Jason Collins, Harvard Westlake-Los Angeles, 1997 - Skilled and defensive minded as twin 7-footers, Brothers Collins powered their team to back-to-back D-III titles, including one over Grant at Arco as juniors. They have been in the NBA since 2001.
* Baron Davis, Crossroads-Santa Monica, 1997 - Unstoppable in the open floor with range and the ability to power inside, the Baron keyed a state D-IV title romp over Encina-Sacramento at The Pond in Anaheim. He logged 13 NBA seasons.
* Tayshaun Prince, Dominguez-Compton, 1997 - Long and active, Prince was a pest on defense and a very effective scorer for the national powers that won two state titles, including one at Arco. In the NBA since 2002, Prince plays for Memphis.
* Tyson Chandler, Dominguez-Compton, 2001 - A 7-foot shot-blocking wonder, Chandler was a three-time state champion, all at Arco. He is one of the NBA's top shot blockers now with the Knicks.
* Chuck Hayes, Modesto Christian, 2001 - Burly inside with good skills and a penchant to lead, Hayes powered the Crusaders to the D-I title game, falling to Mater Dei by three at Arco. He now plays for the Kings.
* Ryan Anderson, Oak Ridge, 2005 - Long at 6-10 and skilled enough to handle the ball and bomb three-pointers, Anderson keyed one of the state-title game's biggest stunners, a 60-44 rout of national No. 5 Mater Dei in the D-II finals. Anderson, The Bee's Player of the Decade for the 2000s, is now one of the NBA's top shooters, with New Orleans.
* Jru Holiday, Campbell Hall-North Hollywood, 2008 - A remarkable leaper, driver, dunker and defender, Holiday won three state D-IV titles at Arco. He is now an All-Star with the 76ers.
* Jeremy Linn, Palo Alto, 2006 - The pre-Linsanity era included a senior flying down the floor to lead a decades-old public school over nationally renowned Mater Dei 51-47 in D-II. Lin now plays for the Rockets.
* James Harden, Artesia-Lakewood, 2006 - Well before "The Beard" took over his face, Harden was a prolific scorer who keyed a state D-II title run. He's now with the Rockets.
* Klay Thompson, Santa Margarita, 2008 - The son of a former NBA overall top pick in Mychal, young Thompson torched Sacramento in the D-III finals with a state title-game record 7 three-pointers and 37 points. Chase Tapley of Sacramento had 35 in the 72-55 loss.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On podcasts:
- On Facebook: sacbeepreps

March 21, 2013
How to watch CIF State basketball championship games

By Bee Sports Staff

If you can't make it to Sleep Train Arena for this weekend's CIF State basketball championships featuring the Pleasant Grove High School boys in Division I, options for following the 12 games are limited, for the most part, to streaming online. Watch it here.

Time Warner Cable, which has exclusive rights to the tournament, is broadcasting games on Time Warner Cable Sports Net, based in Southern California. Most TV providers in the Sacramento area - including Comcast Cable, Dish Network and Surewest - don't offer the channel. DirecTV subscribers can get the channel, but only in the top tier packages.

No local radio stations are airing the game.

Tickets start at $16 for general admission ($10 for seniors, students and children) for each of the four sessions. There are four games in the early session each day and two in the evening session.

March 20, 2013
Former Oak Ridge basketball player makes All-America team

Lewis and Clark College senior Kristina Williams, a former Oak Ridge standout, was named to the's All-America first team on Tuesday, making her one of the best five players in Division III women's basketball this season.


Williams received a similar honor from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association last week.

The 5-foot-9 guard averaged a team-leading 18.4 points and 8.9 rebounds for the 25-4 Pioneers.

Williams finished as the all-time leader in scoring since Lewis and Clark's transition to NCAA and she ranks in the top five all-time in career points, rebounds, steals, and assists.

The Northwest Conference MVP helped the Portland, Ore., college to three consecutive trips to the NCAA Division III tournament, including the first in school history in 2010-2011.

She helped Oak Ridge to Sierra Valley Conference titles in 2008 and 2009 and a Sac-Joaquin Section D-II title in 2009.

Photo: Kristina Williams family photo

March 20, 2013
Former prep players help Cal Poly reach first NCAA tourney

Four former high school girls basketball standouts are members of a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo women's basketball team that will make its first NCAA women's Division I basketball appearance in school history on Sunday in Baton Rouge.

The No. 14-seeded Mustangs (21-10), winners of the Big West Tournament, will play No. 3 Penn State (25-5).

Senior guard Caroline Reeves (6.6 points per game) from Nevada Union, senior forward Nikol Allen (6.5 points, 4.9 rebounds) from Davis and freshman guard Beth Balbierz (2.6 points) from St. Francis are all contributing players.

March 19, 2013
Positive Coaching Alliance honors area Little League coach

North Natomas Little League Coach Valeri Garcia has won Positive Coaching Alliance's coveted Double-Goal Coach Award for her impact on youth athletes.

The award carries a $250 prize, a trophy and mention within the websites and newsletters of Positive Coaching Alliance.

Garcia, a program advisor at UC Davis's Student Academic Success Center, has known since age 8 that she wanted to coach.

March 19, 2013
Former Elk Grove standout Gray earns Atlantic 10 honors

George Washington freshman Carlee Gray, a graduate of Elk Grove High School, was named Atlantic 10 Softball Rookie of the Week for games played March 11-17, the conference announced today.

Gray led George Washington to a 5-0 week, hitting .429 (6-for-14) with seven RBIs and five runs scored. She was also hit by a pitch four times, reaching base at a .556 clip, and slugged .714 with a double and a home run.

In addition, the first baseman did not commit an error in 36 chances.

March 19, 2013
Former Elk Grove standout Gray earns Atlantic 10 honors

George Washington freshman Carlee Gray, a graduate of Elk Grove High School, was named Atlantic 10 Softball Rookie of the Week for games played March 11-17, the conference announced today.

Gray led George Washington to a 5-0 week, hitting .429 (6-for-14) with seven RBIs and five runs scored. She was also hit by a pitch four times, reaching base at a .556 clip, and slugged .714 with a double and a home run.

In addition, the first baseman did not commit an error in 36 chances.

Gray broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning against Ohio State with a grand slam - her first career home run - as the Colonials defeated the Buckeyes, 8-4.

She then reached base in all four plate appearances in a 9-7 win over Akron, going 2-for-2 with a two-run double and two runs scored. Gray also had two hits and an RBI in George Washington's 7-4 victory over the Zips on Saturday.

Gray is batting a team-best .381 with five doubles and 14 RBIs in her inaugural collegiate campaign.

George Washington is located in Washington, D.C.

Gray was a Bee All-Metro second team selectee and the co-MVP of the Delta Valley Conference last season.

March 17, 2013
Mt. SAC wins men's and women's State JC basketball championships at CRC

It was a double-dose of net-cutting celebration for Mt. San Antonio College of Walnut on Sunday afternoon with history serving as motivation.

The basketball teams became the first from the same school to win California Community College Athletic Association men's and women's state championship in the same season, pulling the feat at Cosumnes River College.

The women Mounties capped a 34-0 season with a 54-41 victory over Mt. San Jacinto College, using a 16-0 run down the stretch to secure the a championship repeat. Mt. SAC has won six state titles since 2004, including a three-peat from 2006-09.

The Mounties became the first unbeaten women's champion since Ventura College went 38-0 in 2000. The others: Riverside went 33-0 in 1986, Sequioas 35-0 in '87 and Ventura 35-1 in '96.

Event MVP Ashley Carter scored 16 points and had seven rebounds, and Shawlina Segovia and Leticia Galarza had 10 each for Mt. SAC to off set the 24 by Mt. San Jacinto's Tina Fantroy.

Segovia, Ashley Burchfield (6 points, 7 rebounds) and 2012 State championship tournament MVP Morgan Mason each have signed letters of intent with Hawaii.

Earlier Sunday, the Mt. SAC men used a late 15-3 run to beat Chaffey College of Rancho Cucamonga 102-88 in the highest scoring men's game in state-title history in the Mounties' first title appearance since 1955.

With ball handling, passing and inside and outside scoring, guards Garrett Nevels and Corey Allen shredded Chaffey, which beat 31-0 San Francisco in the semifinals. Nevels had 32 points and earned tournament MVP honors for Mt. SAC (29-3).

Similarly heavily recruited Allen had 25 points and eight assists as the Mounties shot a remarkable 69.8 percent (37 of 53 shooting) and had 25 assists.

The Mt. SAC men's players cheered on the Mounties women and then flooded the floor to join them.

Ventura won a men and women's title in the same season on the same day in 1996, but the men's team later had to vacate its title due to an eligibility scandal.

The state final four event will move to Cerritos College in Norwalk for the next two seasons after CRC earned the bid last season.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On Podcast:

March 16, 2013
St. Joe's prevails over Capital Christian in NorCal D-V finals

By Trevor Horn

Bee Correspondent

AMERICAN CANYON - It was the new kid on the block against the old guard.

The elder statesman prevailed this time, but the future looks bright for a young and energetic Capital Christian boys basketball team.

It was the second CIF Northern California Regional Division V championship game for Capital Christian, and all five Cougars starters are underclassmen.

It was a different story for their opponent, St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda, vying for a record ninth NorCal regional title and winners of the last two Division V titles.

The Pilots made 11 consecutive free throws down the stretch to defeat Capital Christian 50-36 at American Canyon High School. St. Joseph advanced to the Division V state championship game at noon Friday at Sleep Train Arena. The Pilots will play the winner of Saturday night's late Southern California final between Horizon Christian of San Diego and San Gabriel Academy.

March 16, 2013
Oak Ridge can't overcome poor first half in falling to Berkeley

Sleep Train Arena is a lot farther from Berkeley than El Dorado Hills.

But for perennial girls basketball power Berkeley High and senior star Rachel Howard, the NBA arena has become a nice home away from home.


See a photo gallery

Playing with collective poise and confidence, and led by Howard's 23 points and nine rebounds, the No. 12 Yellowjackets defeated No. 10 Oak Ridge 56-45 Saturday to win its third consecutive CIF Northern California Regional Division I girls championship.

It was Berkeley's 12th NorCal title in 16 championship-game appearances. No girls school, regardless of division, has won more NorCal titles.

March 16, 2013
Pleasant Grove takes best shots from Deer Valley, wins NorCal D-I championship

Matt Smrekar got decked in the game's opening seconds and Marquese Chriss took a sharp elbow to the eyebrow a moment later.


See a photo gallery

The Pleasant Grove Eagles collectively picked themselves up, wiped off the dust and growled right back.

When it was over, Pleasant Grove stood as a first-time CIF Northern California Regional Division I champion, withstanding Deer Valley's best best shots in every way for a 73-60 victory on Saturday night.

Eagles players celebrated on the Sleep Train Arena floor after a trying season of frustating seconds. Pleasant Grove was second to rival Sheldon in the Delta River League, second to those same Huskies in the Sac-Joaquin Section D-I finals, but not about to settle for second here.

Smrekar was floored by a Marcus Lee elbow as the Eagles senior tried to lay some interior muscle on the 6-foot-10 McDonald's All-American in the lane. Chriss, a 6-6 post, was clocked by a similar tactic. Seeded second in the field, Pleasant Grove hardly flinched, using offensive balance and making 27 of 28 free throws to bounce the top-seeded Wolverines of Antioch.

Matt Hayes had a game-high 20 points, Malik Thames scored 17 on his 18th birthday and Cole Nordquist produced 16 and 12 rebounds in the program's greatest basketball achievement. Thames also earned the CIF Sportsmanship award.

Lee, the remarkably athletic 6-10 center headed to Kentucky, had 10 points (9 below his average) to go with 16 rebounds. Kendall Smith led Deer Valley with 17 points.

"Very proud of how we handled this," Eagles coach John DePonte said.

Pleasant Grove now plays Southern California D-I Regional champion Santa Monica next Friday night at Sleep Train.

For more on Pleasant Grove's milestone victory and a Bee photo gallery, check after midnight on and/or in Sunday's print version of the paper.

Bee photo by Randall Benton: Matthew Hayes hugs Eagles head coach John DePonte following their victory.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On podcast:

March 15, 2013
Chaffey College upsets state No. 1 San Francisco with late game winner in state JC men's semifinals

Jeff Klein was to the point with his Chaffey College men's basketball team early Friday.

Bound off the bus and prepare to compete, he challenged them, or sit there and pack it in.

The Panthers competed.

With hot outside shooting for double-digit second-half leads, and just enough pressure defense to keep the state's No. 1 team out of full-bore, end-to-end fastbreak mode, Chaffey stunned City College of San Francisco 87-85 in a California Community College State Final Four semifinal at Cosumnes River College.

The Panthers (27-6) advance to Sunday's 1 p.m. title game at CRC against Mt. San Antonio and target the program's first state championship. Chaffey won a regional title in 1931 and reached the Southern California regional finals in 1994. That team is being inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame.

San Francisco, in the postseason for the 30th time, won state titles in 1962 and 2011 and were runner-up in 1966, '78, '81, '86 and 2010. The 1986 Rams team lost in the finals to Sacramento City College, led by All-American guard Kenny Drummond.

San Francisco's season ended at 31-1, and so did its hopes of becoming just the fifth team in state tournament history, starting in 1952, to win a state title with an unbeaten record. Only Fresno City in 2005 accomplished the feat in Northern California, going 35-0.

San Francisco guard Chuks Iroegbu of Franklin High School in Elk Grove tied it at 85 with an inside bucket with 37 seconds left. Sango Niang won it with a jumper in the lane with 3.2 seconds left after working the clock for more than 20 seconds.

San Francisco called a time out, and Delon Wright's top-of-the key three at the buzzer was long, setting of team celebration with streams of fans pouring onto the floor.

Dulani Robinson and Quincy Smith led the Rams with 16 points each. Iroegbu had 10. Ryan Nitz had 20 for Chaffey, which made 11 three-pointers.

* Mt. San Antonio 84, Merritt 75 - Guards Corey Allen and Garret Nevels scored 24 and 22 points, respectively, for the Mounties, who advance to the title game for the first time since 1955. Mt. Sac (27-3) made the state final four for the first time in 28 years in 1985.

Merritt (18-12) was the lowest seeded team to make the state final four, emerging as the No. 15 seed in the Northern California bracket by beating American River College 63-62 on a buzzer beater in an out-bracket opener.

The Thunderbirds were without two of their best players at CRC. After a 79-76 NorCal playoff win over Ohlone in Fremont, a post-game fight broke out. It started in the stands, poured onto the court and then outside of the gym.

An army of Division I college coaches were on hand, packed into one side of a full gym, including Bob Huggins of West Virginia. They were on hand to scout a number of recruits.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On podcast:
- On Facebook: sacbeepreps

March 15, 2013
State JC men's final 4 starts today at Cosumnes River College

San Francisco City College seeks its second California Community College men's basketball championship in three seasons as it looks to cap its first unbeaten season at Cosumnes River College.

The Rams (31-0) take on Chaffey College (26-6) in a semifinal at CRC today at 7 p.m., following the 5 p.m. semifinal between Merritt College of Oakland (18-12) against Mt. San Antonio College (27-3).

The championship game is Sunday at 1 at CRC.

March 14, 2013
Sac High places four on 2014 girls basketball NorCal Top 40

Sacramento High, which lost in the CIF Northern California Regional girls basketball playoffs on Friday at St. Mary's of Berkeley, should be poised for another strong run next season.

Four of the eight area players in the Northern California's Class of 2014 Top 40, compiled by, are Dragons.

They are 6-foot-4 post Ayanna Edwards at No. 7; 5-11 wing Chaya Durr at No. 11; 5-6 point guard Zonyia Cormier at No. 20; and 6-1 forward/post Simone Sheppard at No. 21.

Other area players to be ranked are No. 17, 6-2 post Dalayna Sampton of Florin; No. 18, 5-10 shooting guard Najah Queenland of St. Francis; No. 19, 6-1 post Aaliyah Pena of Pleasant Grove; and No. 26, 5-9 guard Jasmine Redmon, Monterey Trail.

St. Mary's guard duo of 6-1 Gabby Green and Mikayla Cowling are No. 1 and No. 2.

For the complete list, go HERE

March 14, 2013
Former Nevada Union football standout to coach Foothill

Former Nevada Union football player and assistant coach Tim Trokey, who spent 12 years coaching in Alabama, has been named the new Foothill football coach.

Trokey, a Bee All-Metro halfback at Nevada Union in 1990, played receiver and was a kick return specialist as the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.

He was an assistant coach, including stints as offensive and defensive coordinator, for seven seasons at state power Alabama Christian in Montgomery, Ala.

Trokey became a head coach at Montgomery Catholic, where he took a struggling program and turned it into a playoff team in his five seasons at the school. In his last season in 2008, the team finished 8-3, the school's best record since 1994.

He returned to California in 2009 and became an assistant coach at his alma mater. He was a defensive backs coach last season at Del Oro.

Trokey replaces interim coaches Jesse Phillips and Chris Johnson, who took the reins of the team four games into the 2012 season when first-year coach Scott Swartz abruptly resigned to take a job in Utah.

Foothill finished 1-9 last season.

March 14, 2013
Laguna Creek's Pope No. 1; 11 others make NorCal hoops list

Twelve area players, including 10 that are 6-foot-5 or taller, are listed among Northern California's Top 40 high school junior class boys basketball prospects by

Laguna Creek's 6-8 Malik Pope, a national recruit, still holds down the No. 1 spot in the Class of 2014 rankings.

Grant's 6-7 Cameron Oliver is No. 7 and Capital Christian's 6-8 D.J. Wilson is No. 11.

All three were injured this season.

Cameron suffered a knee injury before the season; Pope broke his leg during regular-season play; and Wilson injured his back during the Cougars' Sac-Joaquin Section playoff run.

Other forwards or post players on the list are: No. 14, Jesuit's 6-6 Lake Lutes; No. 16, Capital Christian's 6-6 Nifae Lealao; No. 17, Ponderosa's 6-9 Chris Snyder; No. 20, Casa Roble's 6-9 Mason Stuteville; No. 22, Cosumnes Oaks' 6-5 Alex Van Dyke; No. 29, Jesuit's 6-8 Brady Anderson; No. 37, Franklin's 6-7 Benson Osayande.

Two area guards made the list - Capital Christian's 6-foot Tyler Jennings, No. 26; and Burbank's 5-7 Jalen Coates, No. 27.

For the complete list, go HERE

March 13, 2013
Lutz throws perfect game for William Jessup softball team

Senior Andrea Lutz threw a perfect game as William Jessup University defeated Concordia University-Nebraska 5-0 in game two of a doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Kathy Lund Park.

While the Warriors scored five runs in the third inning, Lutz shut down all 21 batters she faced in seven innings. She gave up no hits, no walks and finished with nine strikeouts.

Lutz, a native of Oakdale, improves to 8-4 with a 2.01 earned-run average.

It's the second perfect game in school history, but first complete seven inning perfect game, according to Jeff Bussell, William Jessup's sports information director.

Kara Besseghini threw a five-inning perfect game in a 14-0 win over Bethany University in 2010.

With a 7-1 victory in game one, William Jessup is off to its best start in school history at 18-8.

March 13, 2013
Jason Stowers named Woodcreek's new football coach

Former Del Oro and Colfax assistant Jason Stowers has been named Woodcreek's new football coach.

During his 11 seasons at Colfax, Stowers served in several capacities, including nine seasons as defensive coordinator and special teams coach. He spent the last three years as an assistant at Del Oro.

"Jason brings a wealth of experience as a football coach and teacher from two outstanding schools in the area - Colfax and Del Oro," Woodcreek principal Jess Borjon said in an e-mail. "We are excited about the energy and passion he brings to Woodcreek High School and are looking forward to working with him."

Stowers replaces John Hildebrand, who stepped down after six seasons as coach to spend more time with his family.

March 13, 2013
Former Delta coach Bob Lee to lead McClatchy football

Former Elk Grove and Delta coach Bob Lee is McClatchy's new football coach.

Lee coached for eight seasons at Delta and compiled a 49-31 record before stepping down after the 2011 season.

Lee's first Saints team, in 2004, finished 8-4 and won a Northern Section championship.

His 2010 team went 10-0 before losing to Bradshaw Christian in the playoffs.

Lee was a head football coach for one season at Elk Grove in 2002.

Lee replaces Malcolm Floyd, the former McClatchy football star (then known as Malcolm Seabron), who went 14-36 in his five seasons as head coach of the Lions.

March 12, 2013
Oak Ridge girls; Capital Christian boys reach NorCal title games; Bradshaw Christian and Florin girls and Sac boys end seasons

Ali Bettencourt had 23 points and Haley Anderson added 13 as the No. 10 Oak Ridge defeated No. 3 Heritage 51-50 in Tuesday's CIF Northern California Division I girls basketball semifinal in Brentwood.

The win avenges a 19-point regular-season loss to the Patriots (26-6). It was Oak Ridge's third consecutive NorCal playoff road victory.

The victory also moves Oak Ridge (28-4) into Saturday's D-I final at Sleep Train Arena against defending champion Berkeley, a 54-46 winner over Gunn of Palo Alto.

The Yellowjackets are a familiar NorCal playoff foe.

This will be the fourth year in the row the Trojans have faced Berkeley, which ended Oak Ridge's season the last two years after the Trojans defeated them on their way to a state championship in 2010.

In other semifinals:

Dublin 81, Sacramento 76- The Dragons led 55-52 entering the fourth quarter but couldn't hold on against the top-seeded Gaels (26-6) in Dublin. Aaron Cameron scored 19 points, and freshman center Devin Young had 14 points and eight rebounds for Sacramento (26-7).

St. Francis 44, Florin 31 - The No. 4 Panthers (23-9) couldn't get untracked against the top-seeded Lancers (23-8) in Mountain View.

Piedmont 31, Bradshaw Christian 27 - The No. 3 Highlanders (22-9)outscored the No. 2 Pride (28-3) 10-6 in the fourth quarter to win in South Sacramento.

Capital Christian 66, University-San Francisco 50- Nifae Lealao had 21 points and Trey Belton 15 to lead the No. 2 Cougars (26-4) past the No. 3 Red Devils (25-9) and into Saturday's Division V title game at American Canyon High School against St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda, a 44-41 winner over Branson of Ross.

March 12, 2013
Sheldon tops Salesian 63-59 in NorCal Open thriller

By Joe Davidson

MORAGA - Their versatile star was mired in a lingering shooting funk, the floor leader hobbling so badly you wondered if he shouldn't come out to save the foot.

But to understand the Sheldon Huskies this season is to appreciate the grit and drive of its senior standouts who crave a lasting legacy.

Withstanding a furious rally by the state's top-ranked team and overcoming their own fatigue from pouring every ounce into this CIF Northern California Regional Open Division semifinal, Sheldon inched past Salesian of Richmond 63-59 in overtime Tuesday night at Saint Mary's College.

Dakarai Allen struggled a bit shooting, managing 11 hard-earned points (he averages 18), but he had plenty of other contributions. The 6-foot-6 wing found his hobbled running mate, D'Erryl Williams, for a bounce pass in the lane for a 62-59 lead, then he blocked McDonald's All-America Jabari Bird's lean-in three-point attempt from the corner with three seconds to go to emphatically end it. Allen recovered the ball, was fouled and made a free throw to account for the final score, ending the Pride's 20-game winning streak and 75-0 run against NorCal foes in the past several seasons.

NorCal Division I champions a year ago, Sheldon now targets the first NorCal Open crown. The Open is a concept the CIF initiated this season to pit elite teams.

Sheldon (27-5) plays Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, the two-time defending CIF Division II champion, Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena. Mitty beat Modesto Christian in the other semifinal 58-53.

Darin Johnson hit a three-pointer for a 58-57 Sheldon lead, and Antonio Lewis had a floater seconds later with 1:40 left for a 60-59 lead in another example of a balanced attack. A strong 6-4 guard headed to Washington, Johnson made five threes and had 24 points, Allen had 11, Williams eight and Lewis seven, including a flying 35-foot bank-in three to end the first half to put Sheldon up 35-24.

"I couldn't come out because I didn't want it to be my last game," said Williams, whose right foot was encased in an ice bag after the game. "If I couldn't walk, I was still going to play. And we're not done. We've played through adversity like this to get where we are and to win a state title."

Said Allen, "We practice (today). We know that. We're not done. Feels great."

The game was every bit as thrilling as expected, pitting the two top-ranked teams in Northern California by MaxPreps.

Sheldon avenged last month's 69-60 nonconference road loss to Salesian (30-4), and has won nine in a row since. In that game, the Pride was fresher down the stretch, and the Huskies missed all 14 of their three-point shots.

Sheldon was hot early in the rematch, making six first-half three-pointers and nine overall. Then Salesian settled down, played superb defense and held the Huskies scoreless over a 4:50 stretch into the fourth quarter.

Bird (23 points) keyed the rally, but he was stymied in the fourth by the long-armed Allen.

The game was moved from 1,920-seat Albany High to the 3,500-seat McKeon Pavilion because of the anticipated full crowd. It was full here, including a throng of Sheldon student rooters nicknamed "The Pound" and the school's award-winning band.

Sheldon coach Joey Rollings was spent afterward. He embraced Pride coach Bill Mellis as the two have formed a fast friendship.

"Just great for the kids," Rollings said afterward.

March 12, 2013
Thames scores 31 as Pleasant Grove shocks De La Salle

If you are going to get your basketball program's signature win, it might as well come against De La Salle of Concord, one of the most venerated boys basketball programs in Northern California.

That's what No. 2-seeded Pleasant Grove did Tuesday night on its home court in thumping the No. 6 Spartans 68-51 in the CIF Northern California Regional Division I semifinals.

"That was a big win for our program," said Pleasant Grove senior point guard Malik Thames, who had 31 points and showed amazing poise and court leadership. "De La Salle is a great program. They have a great tradition and great fans. We just wanted to show everybody that we deserved the No. 2 seed."

The victory sets up a magnetic D-I championship final Saturday at Sleep Train Arena between the Eagles and top-seeded Deer Valley of Antioch, a 54-52 winner over Bellarmine of San Jose.

"It's going to be a great game," Thames added. "I know Kendall Smith (UNLV signee) real well, and they have a McDonald's All-American in Marcus Lee (Kentucky). It's going to be a high-energy game."

Pleasant Grove (26-6) showed plenty of energy and resourcefulness in rolling a shellshocked De La Salle squad (26-5), which for the second year in a row was eliminated in the semifinals by a Delta River League team. Last year, Jesuit beat the Spartans 44-41 in Concord.

Pleasant Grove - a quarterfinal loser at De La Salle last season - was making its first NorCal semifinal appearance ever against a school that has been to the NorCal Regional championship game 11 times, winning five titles.

But it was cool, calm and collected Pleasant Grove that looked like the poised, veteran team.

Among the highlights:

• The Eagles shot 52 percent from the field, and Thames was 10 for 13, including three three-pointers. He also was 8 for 9 from the foul line. Cole Nordquist added 14 points, and Matthew Hayes had 13.

• The defensively renowned Spartans had been holding opponents to an average of 37 points. Pleasant Grove led 37-17 at halftime.

• De La Salle's leading scorer, 6-5 Arizona-bound senior guard Elliott Pitts, didn't take his first shot - a free throw - more than two minutes into the second quarter. Pleasant Grove led 24-12 at that point, though Pitts finished with 17 points.

• Hayes capped the first and second quarters with long-distance buzzer-beating three-pointers, Thames did the same at the end of the third quarter, and defensive whiz James Watson (one of the prime hounders of Pitts) put an exclamation point on the victory with a monster block with 5.8 seconds left.

"We wanted to speed the game up, and our shots were falling," said Thames, who had 32 points in a game against Granite Bay during the regular season. "We played well today. Hopefully we can continue to do that and get to State."

March 12, 2013
Antelope's Tyler Ellis verbally commits to New Mexico State

Antelope senior forward Tyler Ellis has verbally committed to play women's basketball for New Mexico State.


The 6-foot-1 Ellis, a four-year varsity player for coach Sean Chambers, averaged 18.8 points and 17.4 rebounds this season for the Titans (19-9).

Chambers called Ellis one of the best girls rebounders he has seen in the area "in a very long time."

"Tyler has the most unique set of skills I've seen for a player her size," added Chambers, the former Highlands star who played professionally overseas. "Great hands, feet and instincts. She has an extremely high-level basketball IQ."

Ellis, a two-time All-Capital Valley Conference selection, is the twin of Antelope boys star Isaiah Ellis, the CVC Player of the Year.

He has yet to announce where he will play college basketball.

March 10, 2013
Oak Ridge, Florin, Bradshaw Christian advance; CBS, Bear River and Capital Christian fall in NorCal girls basketball

Three area teams - Oak Ridge, Florin and Bradshaw Christian - have advanced to the CIF Northern California Regional girls basketball semifinals on Tuesday after wins Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Christian Brothers, Bear River and Capital Christian saw their seasons come to an end with quarterfinal defeats.

Here are highlights:

• No. 10 Oak Ridge knocked off its second higher seeded team in NorCals with a 52-40 win over No. 2 Wilcox in Santa Clara. Oak Ridge opened the playoffs with a 57-48 win over No. 7 Amador Valley in Pleasanton. Oak Ridge will play Tuesday at No. 3 Heritage of Brentwood, a 67-45 winner over No. 6 Lowell of San Francisco. Heritage handed the Trojans (28-4) their only Northern California loss -- other than to Kennedy in the D-I section semifinals -- in the Campolindo Shootout Jan. 26.

March 9, 2013
Pleasant Grove, Sac High and Capital Christian advance; Antelope, Grant, Liberty Ranch eliminated in NorCal boys

Three area boys basketball teams will join the Sheldon boys in CIF Northern California Regional semifinal play after winning games tonight.

Here are tonight's highlights:

• Malik Thames had 18 points and Matthew Hayes added 13 as No. 2 seeded Pleasant Grove defeated No. 10 Piedmont Hills of San Jose 60-36 in Elk Grove. The Eagles will play host Tuesday to No. 6 De La Salle of Concord, a 43-39 winner over No. 3 San Leandro.

March 9, 2013
Florin dedicates emotional NorCal win to former teammate

The Florin High girls basketball players are a resilient bunch.

Just hours after attending a memorial service for a former teammate, the Panthers dug down deep Saturday night and held off Montgomery of Santa Rosa 41-37 in the school's first home CIF Northern California Regional girls basketball playoff game.

Zakiya Richmond, who graduated from Florin last year and was a popular player for the Panthers, was found dead in her bed Feb. 25 by her mother, Kelly.

March 8, 2013
St. Mary's of Berkeley tops Sac in historic NorCal girls game

It seemed only appropriate that Sacramento and St. Mary's of Berkeley meet in the historic inaugural CIF Northern California Open Division Regional girls basketball game on Friday night in Berkeley.

No. 4 seeded St. Mary's is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and No. 5 seeded Sacramento is 156 years old, though it's been an independent charter school since 2003.

Despite that neither has much history with one another because they normally play in different divisions - Sacramento in D-II and St. Mary's in D-IV.

But this season, the CIF put what it viewed as the eight best teams in Northern California in the much-debated private-school dominated Open Division.

Sacramento's first foray did not go well. The Dragons fell 43-31 to the Panthers.
It was just two much Mikayla Cowling and Gabby Green for St. Mary's (29-4).

March 7, 2013
High school club rugby teams to compete on Saturday

The Sacramento Hurricanes and Davis Blue Devils high school rugby club teams will kick off a day of rugby matches, from youth through adult, 9 a.m. on Saturday at Robla Park in North Sacramento.

The Hurricanes are a club program that draws players from throughout North Sacramento, including Grant High School, the perennial football power. Their youth and middle school teams also will compete on Saturday.

The Sacramento Amazons, a South Sacramento-based high school girls rugby club that won a national title in 2010, will play the Pleasanton Cavaliers at noon.

To cap off the day, the Sacramento Lions will play host to the Old Puget Sound Beach Rugby Club of Seattle, Wash., at 1:30 p.m. in a battle of USA Club Rugby Men's Division I teams.

March 6, 2013
Oak Ridge girls, Sac High boys advance in NorCal playoffs; CBS, Capital Christian girls, Liberty Ranch boys also move on

Three of seven area girls teams and two of six area boys teams won in tonight's opening round of the CIF Northern California Regional basketball playoffs.

Advancing to Saturday's second round in girls were Oak Ridge in Division I, Christian Brothers in D-III and Capital Christian in D-V.

Moving on for the boys were Sacramento in D-II and Liberty Ranch in D-IV.

Eliminated girls teams were Kennedy in D-I at home and Del Oro in D-II, Placer in D-III and Colfax in D-IV on the road. Boys teams losing on the road were Bella Vista in D-I, Rocklin in D-II, Casa Roble in D-III and Colfax in D-IV.


March 6, 2013
Berkeley's mastery of Kennedy continues in NorCal girls

Kennedy has history with Berkeley, one of the state's historic girls high school basketball programs.

Entering Wednesday night's CIF Northern California Regional Division I playoffs, the Cougars had played Berkeley four times in the last six years and lost each time - twice in NorCal championship games, including last season at Sleep Train Arena, once in the semifinals and another time in the quarterfinals.

But the No. 5 seeded Cougars figured their chances were better this time.

No. 12 Berkeley had to play in Greenhaven after a rare "down" season by its standards. The Yellowjackets lost in the North Coast Section semifinals and, with no player taller than 5-foot-11, struggled against teams with a dominant post player.

March 4, 2013
Forecasting the NorCal basketball playoffs by division with comments/insight

A breakdown of the Northern California Regional basketball playoffs:

1. Salesian-Richmond (30-3).
2. Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (26-4)
3. Bishop O'Dowd-Oakland (26-3)
4. Sheldon (25-5)
5. Serra-San Mateo (25-5)
6. Modesto Christian (28-3)
7. Newark Memorial-Newark (23-7)
First round:
No. 5 Serra at No. 4 Sheldon
No. 6 Modesto Christian vs. No. 3 Bishop O'Dowd at Chabot
No. 7 Newmark Memorial at No. 2 Archibishop Mitty
First-round bye: Salesian
Joe D's take: The new Open makes for intrigue and excitement, yes, but there are some grumpy folks in this mix, including Sheldon. The Huskies are mixed on the Open concept. Yes, they can hang with anyone and beat anyone, but the main design of the Open concept is to allow public schools a fighting chance to compete for NorCal and state titles as private schools have dominated over the years. So here's Sheldon now in an Open mix flooded with private schoools. Most alarming is how the four-time defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champions gained just a 4-seed. It makes sense to have at least a 3-seed, behind Salesian and Mitty, teams the
Huskies lost close games to. But one of the main Open criteria is state rankings, and Sheldon has been ranked higher in NorCal and in the state than O'Dowd in the last month or more by MaxPreps and Cal-Hi Sports. Still. Sheldon wants the Open Division, and it wants a shot at the best, and that means Salesian looms. Salesian is the defending state D-IV champion, but remember, private schools in smaller divisions doesn't mean less talent. Salesian is big time and it features McDonald's All-American standout guard Jabari Bird. Sheldon has perhaps the best starting five in the North with Dakarai Allen, D'Erryl Williams, Darin Johnson, Ryan Manning and Antonio Lewis, and it's a group with something to prove. Salesian beat Sheldon 69-60 last month in a nonleague game in the East Bay. Bird took over late. The game included a 3-man officiating crew that sucked the life out of the tempo with 46 total calls and referees and coaches barking at each other from both sides. Expect the next 3-man crew to allow a bit more flow, should the teams meet again, and expect fresher legs as both teams played the night before in the last meeting.
And what about Mitty? The Monarchs won the last two CIF State D-II titles and still feature McDonald's All-American Aaron Gordon, who has an NBA body now. O'Dowd has a superb team, too, as does the No. 7 seed in Newark Memorial, which lost a close game earlier this season to Pleasant Grove, then rolled the rest of the season and now draws Mitty. Shoot, they're all loaded in this field.
Projected final: Sheldon vs. O'Dowd. Yes, that means the Huskies beat a Salesian team that has a 75-game NorCal winning streak. If it's going to happen, it happens now.

Division I
1. Deer Valley-Antioch (24-5)
2. Pleasant Grove (24-6)
3. San Leandro (23-6)
4. Bellarmine-San Jose (23-6)
5. McClymonds-Oakland 21-7
6. De La Salle-Concord (24-4)
7. Oakland (18-11)
8. Freedom-Oakley (19-9)
9. Bella Vista (24-6)
10. Piedmont Hills-San Jose (23-7)
First Round:
No. 9 Bella Vista at No. 8 Freedom
No. 12 Santa Teresa vs. No. 5 McClymonds
No. 13 Lincoln at No. 4 Bellarmine
No. 14 Bethel at No. 3 San Leandro
No. 11 Palo Alto at No. 6 De La Salle
No. 10 Piedmont Hills at No. 7 Oakland
First-round byes: No. 1. Deer Valley; No. 2. Pleasant Grove
Joe D's take: If there were no Open Division, Sheldon most assuredly would have gained the No. 1 seed here as it is a combined 4-0 this season against Deer Valley and Pleasant Grove. As it stands, this is a new tournament - and it will be a fun one. Deer Valley is coming off its first North Coast Section D-I championship, a run that includes beating longtime power De La Salle in the semifinals. Deer Valley has the field's most incredible athlete/player in 6-foot-10 high flyer post Marcus Lee, a McDonald's All-American headed to Kentucky. Pleasant Grove has been oh-so-close in three agonizing losses to Sheldon, including 60-57 in the Sac-Joaquin Section D-I finals Saturday. The Eagles, in their second NorCal showing, have three three-year starters who work beautifully together in Cole Nordquist, Matt Hayes and Malik Thames with two unsung cogs in 6-6 sophomore post Marquiss Chriss and gritty forward Matt Smrekar.
And there's De La Salle, still the masters of playing defense, cutting off the baseline, collpsing the inside and competing under guru veteran coach Frank Allocco, who earlier this season won his 600th career game. A De La Salle-Pleasant Grove semifinal is the ultimate PG test, and DLS is the team that eliminated PG last season in the NorCals. Bella Vista, which battled Pleasant Grove to the wire in a section semifinal, plays at Freedom of Oakley in what should be a great opener. The winner draws waiting and resting Deer Valley.
Projected final: Deer Valley vs. Pleasant Grove. Can Pleasant Grove beat De La Salle? Absolutely, but it cannot allow DLS to put the defensive clams on like last year's NorCal contest.

Division II
1. Dublin (24-6)
2. Antelope (25-6)
3. Mt. Eden-Hayward (19-10)
4. Grant (23-8)
5. Sacramento (24-6)
6. Chico (20-6)
7. Montgomery-Santa Rosa (23-8)
8. El Camino-South San Francisco (22-7)
9. Rocklin (20-10)
10. St. Francis-Mountain View (12-16)
11. College Park-Pleasant Hill (22-5)
12. Pleasant Valley-Chico (14-13)
9. Bella Vista
First Round:
No. 9 Rocklin at No. 8 El Camino
No. 12 Pleasant Valley at No. 5 Sacramento
No. 11 College Park at No. 6 Chico
No. 7 Montgomery at No. 10 St. Francis
First-round byes: No. 1 Dublin; No. 2 Antelope; No. 3 Mt. Eden; No. 4. Grant.
Joe D's take: It's interesting that Newark Memorial draws a 7-seed in the Open as it clearly would've been the 1-seed here otherwise, having beaten Dublin three times this season. So why not Antelope as the top seed? The committee may view the North Coast Section stronger than Antelope's Sac-Joaquin Section, and Dublin beat Sacramento, which beat Antelope. Yes, every detail and bit of data is crunched. Still, this is a fun, wide-open field even with two-time defending state champion Mitty of San Jose in the Open. Grant taking on Sacramento in a potential second-round game would be a classic rematch from a down-to-the-wire section semifinal. The rematch would be in Del Paso Heights, with the winner likely drawing Dublin in the semifinals.
Antelope can run, score and defend. It has length and athletes and a fine coach in Rob Richards. But what about health? Inside bruiser Isaiah Ellis has a bad foot
that may sideline him (he went down in the section title win over Grant). And there's Rocklin, a section semifinal loser to Antelope facing El Camino of South San Francisco on Wednesday in the Peninsula.
Projected final: Antelope vs. Dublin. Antelope wins this if it has banger Isaiah Ellis, the team's leading rebounder and shot blocker. Otherwise, it's Dublin, though a Dublin vs. Sacramento-Grant winner would be a classic, too. Dublin has five losses to Open teams.

Division III
1. Sacred Heart Cathedral-SF (18-11)
2. El Cerrito (22-1)
3. Enterprise-Redding (24-3)
4. Sierra-Manteca (27-5)
5. Drake-San Anselmo (24-6)
6. Weston Ranch-Stockton (21-7)
7. Burlingame (21-8)
8. San Marin-Novato (20-11)
9. Casa Roble (24-6)
10. Miramonte-Orinda (17-10)
11. Mission-San Francisco (15-14)
12. Santa Cruz (19-11)
13. Shasta-Redding (15-12)
First round:
No. 9 Casa Roble at No. 8 San Marin
No. 12 Santa Cruz at No. 5 Sir Francis Drake
No. 13 Shasta at No. 4 Sierra
No. 6 Weston Ranch at No. 11 Mission
No. 10 Miramonte at No. 7 Burlingame
First-round byes: No. 1 Sacred Heart Cathedral; No. 2 El Cerrito; No. 3. Enterprise.
Joe D's take: Sacred Heart is the top seed as it hails from the brutal West Catholic Athletic League that includes Mitty and Serra of the Open, among others. El Cerrito played league rival Salesian close in three losses. Enterprise is the top team in the North state, rolling with a 16-game winning streak, last losing to El Cerrito in a close game. Casa Roble looms as a darkhorse, having lost to Sierra-Manteca in a section semifinal, and no one in this field features the length of brothers Eric Stuteville (6-foot-10) and Mason Stuteville (6-9).
Projected final: El Cerrito vs. Sacred Heart Cathedral. In normal years, Bishop O'Dowd is here, but this is no normal season.

Division IVSeeds
1. Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa (29-3)
2. Riordan-San Francisco (18-11)
3. Marin Catholic-Kentfield (23-8)
4. Soquel (22-7)
5. Summerville-Tuolumne (29-2)
6. Menlo-Atherton (20-7)
7. Liberty Ranch-Galt (22-9)
8. Corning (27-2)
9. Arcata (24-7)
10. Half Moon Bay (22-7)
11. St. Mary's-Berkeley (17-7)
12. Orland (24-5)
13. Colfax (24-6)
14. Riverbank (24-4)
First round:
No. 9 Arcata at No. 8 Corning
No. 12 Orland at No. 5 Summerville
No. 13 Colfax at No. 4 Soquel
No. 14 Riverbank at No. 3 Marin Catholic
No. 11 St. Mary's-Berkeley at No. 6 Menlo
No. 10 Half Moon Bay at No. 7 Liberty Ranch
First-round byes: No. 1 Cardinal Newman; No. 2. Archbishop Riordan
Joe D's take: The Open is designed to thin out the heavies, which really also means to move around the private schools. That happened to a large degree, but the D-IV field here is top heavy with private schools with the field also full of community-based programs such as Summerville, Liberty Ranch, Corning, Arcata, Half Moon Bay, Orland, Colfax and Riverbank. Newman is the clear favorite, though Riordan is battle tested from the rigors of the best league in Northern California in the West Catholic Athletic League. Soquel nearly upset two-time defending State D-II champion and Open No. 2 seed Mitty in an early Central Coast Section playoff game. The newcomer to all of this is Liberty Ranch in just its third varsity season with a major rise from four wins to six to 22 this season under rookie coach Josh Williams, a natural for this sort of gig, and leading talent Michael Meserole. Corning has a 27-2 record out of the North Section with 6-6 junior post Michael Shoemaker averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds. Corning could face Cardinal Newman in a second-round game in a meeting of Cardinals.
Projected final: Cardinal Newman vs. Riordan. Newman was rolling until falling to Salesian in the Section D-IV finals, and there's no shame in that. Riordan is used to pressure games, having competed in the West Catholic Athletic League.

Division V
1. St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda (22-11)
2. Capital Christian (24-4)
3. University-San Francisco (24-8)
4. Branson-Ross (19-12)
5. Brookside Christian (27-2)
6. Central Catholic Modesto (25-4)
7. Head-Royce-Oakland (24-5)
8. Liberty Christian-Redding (23-7)
9. Ripon Christian (23-5)
10. Pinewood-Los Altos Hills (14-11)
11. Alma Heights-Pacifica (26-4)
12. Modoc-Alturas (23-5)
First round:
No. 9 Ripon Christian at No. 8 Liberty Christian
No. 12 Modoc at No. 5 Brookside Christian
No. 11 Alma Heights at No. 6 Central Catholic
No. 7 Head-Royce at No. 10 Pinewood
First-round byes: No. 1 St. Joseph N.D.; No. 2 Capital Christian; No. 3 SF University; No. 4 Branson.
Joe D's take: St. Joseph is the home of Jason Kidd, who led the Pilots to NorCal and State D-I titles his final two seasons as a prep marvel in the early 1990s, and it's recently been the home to guru coaching leader Don Lippi, who has won it all. Capital Christian has big-time talent but a big-time loss with 6-foot-8 leaper D.J. Wilson sidelined with a bad back.
Projected final: Capital vs. St. Joseph in a game of skill and discipline, an old coach in Lippi going against a fearless rookie leader in Devon Jones.

- Follow on Twitter: @SacBeeJoeD
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- For radio podcast breaking down All-Metro teams by division:
- For story links and fan commentary:

March 2, 2013
Sheldon beats rival Pleasant Grove in thriller to 4-peat as Section D-I champion

Sheldon High School four-peated as Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champions on Saturday night with a thrilling 60-57 victory over rival Pleasant Grove at Sleep Train Arena.

It was the most anticipated game and, fittingly, the most entertaining and intense of all the section semifinal and final games, regardless of gender or division.

A Dakarai Allen block triggered a fastbreak that Darin Johnson finished with a soaring dunk for a 56-50 lead with 2:23 to go. D'Erryl Williams had a putback off a teammate's missed three-point for the final score, and Cole Nordquist was just short on a buzzer three.

Nordquist had a dunk to cut it to 58-57 with 54 seconds to play.

Williams had just six points, but he pulled down seven of his game-high rebounds in the fourth quarter. Allen, his childhood pal also headed to San Diego State via scholarship, had just eight points, but he made plenty of other plays.

Williams and Allen have started on all four of Sheldon's four section title teams. Sheldon is the first section large school to pull the feat. It will now advance to next week's NorCal Open Division. Pleasant Grove will go to the NorCal D-I field.

Johnson, the Washington-bound guard, had 21 points, and Antonio Lewis had 14 points and nine rebounds. He was named the Sportsmanship winner of the game, matching Matt Smrekar of Pleasant Grove.

Malik Thames had 18 points, Nordquist 19 and Matt Hayes 13 for the Eagles.

Sheldon beat Pleasant Grove twice in Delta River League play.

For more, read Sunday's Bee.

- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD

March 2, 2013
Kennedy gives St. Mary's battle before falling in D-I girls final

Kennedy was the last hope of the night Saturday for public school girls basketball in the Sac-Joaquin Section championships at Sleep Train Arena.

And for nearly three quarters the defending Division I champions from Greenhaven matched perennial section power St. Mary's of Stockton basket for basket.

But there is a reason why the Rams are ranked No. 17 nationally by USA Today and No. 4 in California by Cal-Hi Sports.

They wear teams down with their combination of talent, depth and versatility, which the top-seeded Rams eventually did in beating the No. 3 Cougars 63-47 to capture their first D-I banner and their section-leading 14th overall.

March 2, 2013
Antelope beats Grant to defend Section D-II boys championship at Sleep Train

Antelope High School players grimaced when they saw leading rebounder and top muscle man Isaiah Ellis go down in a heap in the first half Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena.

The powerful 6-foot-7 senior would not return, but his teammates absorbed his loss and gained another win.

Pulling away late from upstart Grant, the No. 2-seeded Titans defended their Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship with a 70-63 victory that featured highlight plays for both sides and tough second-half defense for Antelope.

For Antelope, forward Gabe Bealer scored 24 points and had seven rebounds, soaring for dunks and powering inside. He matched buckets with Grant's equally impressive De'Sean Parsons, who had 27 points and eight rebounds and some dunks of his own.

Tyler Winston, the football star receiver headed to San Jose State on scholarship, was effective at guard, scoring eight points with a game-high five assists. Rashard Thornhill, a 6-3 guard, had 14 points and six rebounds, and his corner three-pointer with 55 seconds left gave his team a 69-61 lead.

Isiah Quintero had seven points and eight rebounds, Leonard Hazewood had four rebounds, Nick Golovko had four points and Mister Harriel contributed three rebounds and three steals for Antelope, which along with Grant will advance to the Northern California Regional playoffs that start next week.

Read Sunday's Bee for more.
- Joe Davidson
- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD

March 2, 2013
Summerville surges late, beats Liberty Ranch in Section D-IV title game

The upstart team in these Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball playoffs finally tasted defeat after a spirited, quantum-leap season and 3-0 postseason start, but it wasn't due to lack of effort.


That's never the case for Liberty Ranch High School, where first-year coach Josh Williams implores his group to compete - or they can sit. On Saturday, the Hawks of Galt had a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter of the Division IV title game against No. 2-seeded Summerville, but gave way to hot shooting and superior inside play down the stretch.

The Bears of Tuolomne pounded out a 63-52 victory at Sleep Train Arena to claim the program's first basketball championship.

Connor Morningstar led Summerville with 12 points, and fellow 6-foot-7 forward Rosendo Amaya-Wood had nine and 14. As he has all season, Michael Meserole paced fourth-seeded Liberty Ranch (22-8), scoring 24 points and yanking down nine rebounds. DeAndre Stallings, the 6-5 future of the program as a skilled sophomore, had 15 points, including three three-pointers.

Summerville (25-3) has been around seemingly since the beginning of time, first competing for a section title in 1982 and last doing so in 1991. Liberty Ranch, by contrast, has been around seemingly for a few months. In truth, the school is in its third varsity season, rising from four victories in a debut season to six last season to 22 this campaign, and then toppling top-seeded and storied Colfax in overtime in a semifinal as a 4-seed.

Williams has been here before, the NBA arena that serves as a goal for section basketball teams. He was a sophomore on the 1998 Galt Section D-II title team that was led by all-time program great Phillip Ricci, now playing overseas. Ricci is a fan of Williams and his young team, following the team's achievements through the Internet and social media.

"This means a lot more now as compared to a player," Williams said of the title experience. "I'm very happy for our guys for the experience. No one talked about us in October, and rightfully so. The love and respect I have for my team...they've made it special."

Both teams will advance to the Northern California D-IV Regional tournament that starts next week.

Bee file photo by Jose Luis Villegas: Michael Meserole of Liberty Ranch

- On Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
- On podcast:

March 2, 2013
Sacramento tops Metro rival Florin 48-37 for D-II girls title

Junior guard Chaya Durr scored a career high 27 points and grabbed six rebounds and 6-foot-4 junior center Ayanna "Shaq" Edwards had 11 rebounds and seven blocks to lead top-seeded Sacramento to a 48-37 win over No. 6 Florin in today's Sac-Joaquin Section Division II girls basketball championship game at Sleep Train Arena.

Junior guard Zonyia Cormier added nine points and two steals and senior center Breanna Garrett seven rebounds as the Dragons won their third consecutive section title. The two previous came in D-III.

Daijah Joe-Smith led Florin with 17 points and nine rebounds and Dalayna Sampton added seven points and 10 rebounds in a matchup of Metro Conference rivals. The Dragons also beat Florin twice in league.

March 2, 2013
Bradshaw Christian tops Bear River for D-IV girls title

Making 13 of 15 free throws in the final quarter, No. 3 Bradshaw Christian defeated top-seeded Bear River 50-40 in today's Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls basketball championship game at Sleep Train Arena in a matchup of two of the section's most successful programs.

Sophomore Erika Bean had 19 points and three steals; senior Ashlee Jones 18 points and seven rebounds; and sophomore Jordyn Bell nine points and 10 rebounds for Bradshaw Christian (27-2), a South Sacramento private school, playing its second season in D-IV.

Junior Kaitlyn Reina topped Bear River (26-4) with 19 points and nine rebounds, despite missing nearly six minutes in the second half with a right ankle injury.

March 1, 2013
19 area athletes advance in CIF state wrestling tourney

By Trevor Horn
Bee Correspondent

A total of 19 local wrestlers from the Sacramento region are still in
contention for the CIF State Boys Wrestling Championship in
Bakersfield after day one of the tournament on Friday.

Included in that is six wrestlers that have advanced to the
championship semifinal brackets beginning today.

Those six have qualified to finish in the top-8 in the state and are
two wins away from a state title.

Of the six left in the championship brackets, four came in ranked in
the top-3 in their weight classes in the state.

March 1, 2013
Senior leaders help CBS to outbattle Vanden in D-III girls final

Niel Valmores and Ana Burch have been through a lot together.

They've played basketball on the same team since the sixth grade, and the have been four-year players and senior leaders this season for the Christian Brothers girls varsity.

For the first three years, they saw their seasons end in disappointment in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff semifinals.

But this year, when they made it to Friday's D-III championship game at Sleep Train Arena, they were not going to be denied.

March 1, 2013
Capital Christian boys repeat as Section D-V champions; Capital girls fall in first title bid

Capital Christian sent its two basketball teams to Sleep Train Arena on Friday night to win Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championships.

One lost a crusher, the other won a thriller.

The girls fell to Brookside Chrisitan 72-28 in their second trip to the NBA arena in wearing a collective look of shell shock, but thrilled for the opportunity nonetheless.


Some two hours later, the Capital Christian boys celebrated a 40-39 victory over Brookside Christian ro repeat as small-school champions.

The boys expect to earn a high D-V seed when the Northern California Regional field is announced Sunday. The girls will also advance, albeit as a lower seed on the road. Nicole Colbert led Cougars (20-10) with seven points and seven rebounds. Guard Tiara Tucker scored 24 points for Brookside (26-4), which repeated as section champions.

"We're really happy to just get here, and we fought to the end," said Suzanne Baker, in her 17th season coaching the Capital Christian girls. "This is new for us. I'm proud of how the girls played. We've overcome so much - serious injuries, the flu. It's a big stage here. Our guys team is used to it."

Tyler Jennings made a free throw with .07 left to account for the final score. .

"I was nervous," Jennings confessed. "I knew I couldn't let my team down."

Capital Christian (24-4) prevailed despite going cold in the second half and not having the services of explosive 6-foot-8 wing D.J. Wilson. The junior prospect is out with a back injury, suffered Thursday. Forward Trey Belton and guard Uchenna Iroebgu had nine
points each, guard Justice Shelton-Mosley had eight and post Nifae Lealao had seven to go with six rebounds. Belton had 11 rebounds and keyed a defense that stalled the Knights, who lead all D-V teams in scoring at 86 points a game.

Capital now seeks the school's first state championship in any sport and just the area's fifth state basketball title.

"We've been through everything - flu, broken bones, torn ACL's, bad backs - and we keep with it," Jones said. "We've gone through all of that and I like our chances. These guys want more. They have great character.

Read Saturday's Bee for more...

Bee photo by Jose Luis Villegas: Capital Christian's Trey Belton spins on Knights Nick Payne before hitting a jumpshot in there second quarter in Friday nights D-V championship game between Capital Christian and Brookside Christian on March 1, 2013 at the Sleep Train Arena, in Sacramento, California.

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- Joe Davidson joins Mike Finnerty on the SureWest Sports Radio Show to break down the season with season honors for all girls and boys basketball divisions on Saturday from 8-9 a.m. on ESPN1320. Show is linked later to

March 1, 2013
Jesuit honored as nation's top boys soccer team

The Jesuit High School boys soccer team, which went 27-1-1, posted a state-tying 23 shutouts and won its 10th Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship this fall, was honored today as the nation's top boys soccer team by the web-site MaxPreps and the Army National Guard.

The players and coaches were recognized during the school's spring sports rally, where they were presented with the inaugural national championship banner by MaxPreps founder and president Andy Beal.

Jesuit also finished No. 2 nationally in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's fall rankings.

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 or

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