Saturday, March 19, 2011

Notebook for 3/17/11

Former Sheldon High School softball star Jolene Henderson has been named the Pac-10 player of the week.  She pitched the Cal Bears to a perfect 4-0 record at last weekend's Bayer CropScience Classic in Fresno.
Henderson notched a 0.75 ERA in 28 innings of work, striking out 28 and walking just two of the batters she faced, landing her a spot on the all-tournament team.
"Thanks to support from my teammates' bats, I was able to help us to the four wins," Henderson said. "It's an honor to receive this award twice this year."
Henderson is batting .283 with four home runs and 16 RBI’s. Her Sheldon teammate, Lindsey Ziegenhirt, is now batting .260 for Cal with a home run and 11 RBI’s.
The Golden Bears are 17-2 this season and are playing in Honolulu this weekend in the Hawaiian Spring Fling Tournament. …
Locally, Elk Grove High School’s softball team lost its first two games of the season last Saturday in the Tournament of Champions tournament at Bartholomew Park.
After winning games over St. Francis, Bear Creek and Napa to open the tournament, the Lady Herd slid right into the tournament’s semi-finals.
With ace pitcher Shelby Wisdom nursing an injury, coach Jeff Alexander gave Jessica Venturelli a start on the mound. She had a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning in the game with Rodriguez High School, but surrendered a single, a double and a two-run single to lead off the frame. The time limit for the game then expired and because Rodriguez was the home team, the game was ended. Elk Grove lost its first game of the season, 4-3.
Jordan Brenner went three-for-three for the Lady Herd.
Later that night in the third place game, Kimberly Wilburn was handed the start against Vacaville. She surrendered just two runs, but then took a line drive off her knee in the fifth inning which put her on the bench. Venturelli was called on the finish the game. Meanwhile, the Thundering Herd bats couldn’t muster but five hits off Bulldog pitching and lost, 3-0.
Sarah Hannah had two of those hits for Elk Grove.
The Lady Herd, who was named the top-ranked team in the nation by Maxpreps last week, had another showdown against Pleasant Grove on Wednesday. Last week, they shutout the Lady Eagles, 1-0. ….
Elk Grove’s baseball team also suffered its first loss of the season Saturday. It was a 6-3 defeat at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose.
The Herd, who is ranked 16th nationally by Maxpreps, committed four errors against the 15th-ranked Mitty squad. Pitcher J.D. Davis started on the mound and went four innings, surrendered four runs, two of them earned, five hits, struck out eight and walked one. He also hit a home run, his second on the year. Matt Aday had two hits and two RBI’s.
On Friday, Elk Grove defeated Bellarmine, 6-3. Rowdy Tellez was three-for-three with three RBI’s. Jesse Anguiano picked up the win in relief of Ryan King.
Coach Jeff Carlson wasn’t that impressed that Maxpreps had ranked his team so high nationally.
“It is a nice honor to the program to get national recognition,” Carlson said. “The important thing is not get to into rankings and try as a team to get better each and every week. I tell the players it is important how you finish the year not how you start it as it relates to rankings.”

The Thundering Herd has a rematch against St. Mary’s March 29 in Stockton. The two schools faced off last spring in the Division I championship round of the Sac-Joaquin Section tournament. St. Mary’s won the first two games of the best-of-three set. …

The CIF NorCal Basketball Championships for Divisions I, II and III are tomorrow at Power Balance Pavilion. In the D-I boys’ game, Castro Valley, a team that has lost only once, will face De LaSalle, the club that knocked Sheldon out of the state tournament.

Franklin head coach Jesse Formaker likes Castro Valley in that game.

“Castro Valley is by far the most athletic and experienced team in Northern California,” he wrote in an email to the Citizen. “They could very well represent the North in the State game.”

He should know because Castro Valley ended the Wildcats’ season last week in a second-round NorCal game, 68-63. That’s the furthest any Franklin team has ever gone in the NorCal tournament.

Formaker said that game may have been his team’s best performance all year, despite the loss.

“In the second half of our game at Castro Valley, we played about as well as we have played all year,” he wrote. “I was extremely pleased with the heart and character we showed in responding to the adversity of the situation. It demonstrated the outstanding ability and heart of our players.”

“Our team played with great passion, commitment, and effort in the second half, pulling within two points in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, we just came up a bit short at the end.” ….

Cosumnes River College baseball notes –

On Tuesday, March 8, CRC defeated Sacramento City College, 6-2, in a non-league game. Taylor Herbert (Pleasant Grove H.S.) allowed one hit in 4 2/3 innings to earn the win.

Two days later, the Hawks scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to defeat Sierra College, 7-6. After a lead-off out, Joe Bettencourt (Elk Grove H.S.) and Phillip Roa (Elk Grove H.S.) both singled.  One out later,  Colby Brenner (Elk Grove H.S.) doubled home two runs, then Brian Murphy (Pleasant Grove H.S.) singled home the winning run.

Brenner, who went 5-6 with 4 RBI’s, had tripled home two runs in the 7th to make it a 5-4 game.

CRC then opened the Big 8 Conference schedule last Saturday, losing to Delta College, 4-3.  ….

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Sheldon Wins Section Title, Again

Here's the summary of the game from Wil DeBoard of the SJ Section:
The Huskies (23-7) won their second consecutive Section title behind 27 points and 14 rebounds from senior forward Darius Nelson. Sheldon is coached by Joey Rollings, who won a Section title with the Huskies' girls team in 2006 as well.
Sheldon received 18 points apiece from Ramon Eaton and D'Erryl Williams and 10 points form Dakarai Allen.
Jesuit, the DRL runner-up to Sheldon, got 17 points apiece from Akachi Okugo and Parker Uu. Broan Glodowski added 15 points.
It was the third meeting between the DRL rivals, and Sheldon won all three. Both advance to the CIF NorCal Tournament, which begins next week. NorCal brackets for all divisions will be released Sunday afternoon.

My comment - business as usual. Superior talent prevailed over a good coached team. Darius was outstanding as usual, but the difference was that Jesuit had no answer for the athelticism of Ky Thomas, D'Erryl Williams and Dakarai Allen.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Notebook 3/4/11

Brief notes from my sports notebook:

Can they make it four in a row? That’s the question before the fans of the Bradshaw Christian School’s girls’ basketball team as they take on Brookside Christian for the Division V basketball championship today at 4 p.m. at Power Balance Pavilion.

The Lady Pride once again walked right through the playoffs this season. Tuesday, they made minch meat out of Vacaville Christian, 68-32. Bradshaw had won previous playoff games by 43 and 40 points to this point.

To pick up their fourth straight Section championship banner, they’ll have to face a team, Brookside Christian, whose leading scorer is a freshman, Tiara Tucker. She led the Sac-Joaquin Section with a 31  points per game average.  Brookside dispatched Turlock Christian, 72-60, in the other semi-final matchup on Tuesday.

The Pride have been led the last four seasons by UC-Davis-bound Lauren Beyers, along with forward Jordie Smith and fireplug guard Fernandi Espinosa. But, this year sophomore guard Ashlee Smith has risen to the occasion for the Pride.

The last girls’ basketball team to win a Sac-Joaquin Section championship four years in a row was St. Francis which took the D-III titles between 1991 and 1994.   ….

As fired up as Elk Grove wrestling coach Pat Coffing was about his team’s performance last Saturday at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters’ Meet in Stockton, he’s a little more reserved when talking about the Thundering Herd’s chances at the California State Meet this weekend in Bakersfield.

“I think (Martin) Ramirez has a good chance of being successful,” Coffing said about his 119-pounder who is ranked fourth in the state by The California Wrestler website. “The rest of my guys will go (to Bakersfield) and compete. There’s no reason success can’t happen there.”

Coffing was elated last weekend when for the first time since he’s been coaching at Elk Grove he had nine wrestlers all place at the Masters. He brought 11 total to the event at the Stockton arena.

“I told them the way they competed made me as proud about any team that I’ve coached,” he said.

But as a team, Elk Grove finished third after two straight years of ending up second. Didn’t matter that much to Coffing because of those Herd wrestlers who placed, six of them qualified for Bakersfield. He says any of his young men could place there, too, this weekend.

“It’s kind of like Disneyland, dreams do come true sometimes,” Coffing described wrestling at the state meet. He recalled several area wrestlers who had numerous losses during the season, yet placed high at the state meet.

“It just happens,” he said. “You just have to perform. You have to dance with the girl that brought you. Be yourself and wrestle within yourself and just be stubborn and tough. A lot of kids start getting shaky when it really counts.”

Besides Ramirez, Elk Grove’s 215-pounder Josh Letuligasenoa has a decent chance of placing at state as does 285-pounder Bryan Hayasida. 112-pound wrestler Danny Inong has come on in the last month.

Coffing thinks coming off the strong showing in Stockton will help his guys at the state meet.

“We just competed with ice in our veins,” he said. “Some guys wrestled above their heads. Our schedule prepared them for this pressure. A lot of kids (at other schools) aren’t (prepared).”

“There’s some that have a wonderful record and lose the first day because they haven’t been tested.”

Coffing is also taking with him 103-pounder Jacob Lopez and 160-pounder Scott Votino.

Sheldon will be represented by two wrestlers, Laith Alnassiri at 140 pounds and Roger Bain at 189 pounds.

Coffing says he expects Bakersfield High School and Clovis West to battle for the state team wrestling title. …

When word got to PGA Champions Tour professional Loren Roberts a year ago that high school golf programs would be eliminated in the Elk Grove school district in a cost-saving measure, Roberts wrote out a check for $70,000. High School golf was saved locally thanks to his generosity.

As a way to say thank you, all the EGUSD golf teams competed Monday in the first-ever Loren Roberts Invitational at the Rancho Murrieta Country Club. And, Roberts himself was in attendance. …

Cosumnes Oaks football coach Ryan “Scooter” Gomes texted the Citizen Tuesday to report that junior Marcus Rios was offered a scholarship to play football in 2012 for Boise State. Gomes wrote, “(Rios) told coach (Chris Petersen) he wants to play for him and the Broncos and to be teammates with Robert Ash.”

Rios is a 6-0, 160-pound free safety who had 47 tackles, one interception and two fumble recoveries for the Wolfpack last fall.

Ash, a defensive end, will graduate in May and attend Boise in the fall.

Gomes also texted he expects a few Pac 12 schools to also go after Rios.

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