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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