RANDALL BENTON / rbenton@sacbee.com

Ryan Manning and his Sheldon teammates are considered favorites to win this weekend's Sheldon-Trail Summer Jam, played at four Elk Grove-area schools.

High school basketball: Sheldon-Trail Jam to tip off Friday

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2012 - 9:21 am

It has developed into the monster high school boys basketball event of the summer.

The fifth annual Sheldon-Trail Summer Jam on Friday through Sunday will feature 60 teams and 175 games at four Elk Grove-area schools.

It's the largest non-Amateur Athletic Union summer boys basketball tournament in Northern California, said tournament co-director and Monterey Trail coach Ken Manfredi.

Teams scheduled to compete include defending section champions Sheldon (Division I), Antelope (D-II) and Foothill (D-III). Twelve teams that finished in The Bee's top 20 are entered.

Pleasant Grove, El Cerrito, Chico and Campolindo of Moraga, all participants in last season's CIF Northern California playoffs, also are entered.

Another team to watch will be Central of Fresno, which lost in last season's D-I Central Section semifinals to Bullard of Fresno.

Central is coached by Loren LeBeau, a disciple of Vance Walberg, creator of the up-tempo, Dribble-Drive Motion offense that so many teams use today.

While Central figures to be in the title mix and Antelope is the defending champion, Sheldon is considered the tournament favorite.

The Huskies won the 32-team Valley-CRC Summer Showcase earlier this month, beating defending D-III NorCal champion Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco in the final. Sunday, the Huskies beat Bellarmine of San Jose 64-47 in the championship of the highly competitive Dougherty Valley Summer Shootout in San Ramon. State champions Archbishop Mitty of San Jose and Salesian of Richmond also were in the 40-team field.

Pool play for the Sheldon-Trail tournament will be Friday and Saturday at Sheldon, Monterey Trail and Elk Grove high schools and at Smedberg Middle School.

The top 12 teams will advance to the single-elimination Platinum Tournament on Sunday at Sheldon starting at 8 a.m., with the title game at 6 p.m.

Also Sunday, Gold and Bronze tournaments will be held at Monterey Trail; a Silver tournament at Elk Grove; and a Copper tournament at Smedberg.

All games will feature 20-minute halves with a running clock. The clock will stop in the final two minutes if teams are within 10 points of one another.

All-day admission each day is $6 for adults; $4 for seniors 60 and older; $3 for children 5 to 12 (4 and younger free).

"This is biggest fundraiser of the year for both of us, and it beats selling candy or coupon books," said Manfredi, who runs the tournament with Sheldon coach Joey Rollings. "We've gone from being a competitive local tournament to being a competitive regional tournament."

Titans expect challenges – Despite having two of the best big men in Northern California, Antelope boys basketball coach Rob Richards thinks last year's 30-win season is going to be impossible to replicate – and not just because his Titans graduated their top four guards.

"Everything fell into place last season," Richards said of his D-II section championship team that went 30-2. "But now we have a tougher schedule, and we're no longer sneaking up on anybody."

Antelope, which returns 6-foot-6 post Isaiah Ellis and 6-5 forward Gabe Bealer, will play in early December in the 59th annual Gridley Invitational Basketball Tournament – one of Northern California's top events – and later that month in the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in Palm Desert.

Bullard bullish in Rocklin – Fresno boys basketball power Bullard won Sunday's Sac Area Summer Showcase at the Hardwood Palace in Rocklin.

Bullard defeated the NorCal Elite 72-57 in the Gold Bracket title game.

Oak Ridge defeated Rio Americano 47-37 for the Silver Bracket championship.

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