Robert Fong has been around long enough to know better than to put too much stock into one Metropolitan Conference victory.
Kennedy High School's veteran boys basketball coach was delighted with his Cougars scoring the upset of the season so far in bouncing previous Bee No. 2 Sacramento 66-59 Friday night in Greenhaven, but he remains guarded.
"We beat the mighty Sac High Dragons for the first time in forever, and they're good," Fong said. "Our fans are thrilled and I have a lot of texts, and I thought I'd be euphoric, but it hasn't hit me. Don't get me wrong. It feels great to win, but we've got a lot of unfinished business."
The Cougars host another ranked Metro foe tonight, No. 10 Burbank. No. 19 Kennedy (11-7) sits atop the league at 6-0, one game ahead of Sacramento and Burbank, both 5-1..
Freshman guard Cole Taira, 5-foot-6 of energy and poise, led Kennedy with 14 points and cool free-throw shooting down the stretch against Sacramento. Matt Nakatomi had nine points, and Joey Healow, Devon Edwards, To'A Kolokihakaufisi and Jovan Perez combined for 31.
Kennedy went 2-5 without Healow, a junior post who had a broken thumb.
Sheldon thriller Minus its coach and one of its best players, top-ranked Sheldon beat Bay Area heavyweight Deer Valley of Antioch 97-92 Saturday night in what could become a prelude to a March showdown with the introduction of the Open division for elite playoff teams.
Washington-bound guard Darin Johnson scored 42 points for Sheldon. D'Erryl Williams scored nine of his 17 in the fourth quarter, mostly on powerful drives or post-up moves for the host Huskies, who played without Dakarai Allen (eye injury and flu) and coach Joey Rollings (ejected Friday in a win over Oak Ridge).
Mike Bradley coached Sheldon and was pleased to see Antonio Lewis score 19 points with 11 rebounds and 6-6 freshman Ian Miller get 11 points, four rebounds and three steals and draw two charges.
Deer Valley was led by guard Kendall Smith (31 points) and 6-10 Kentucky-bound post Marcus Lee (30 points, 11 dunks, 15 rebounds and eight blocked shots).
Second-ranked Pleasant Grove hosts rival Sheldon on Friday with first place in the Delta River League on the line.
Pleasant Grove is led by three three-year starters: guards Malik Thames and Matt Hayes and forward Cole Nordquist.
Frantic finish Malik Pope hit a three-pointer with 36 seconds left as host Laguna Creek erased a 10-point deficit and survived two Grant attempts at the game winner as time ran out in a 67-66 Delta Valley Conference victory Friday.
Pope had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Andrew Lewis scored 24 points. Ledarius Nguyen scored 15 points, and Jericho Avery had seven points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
De'Sean Parsons had 27 for Grant.
PVL power The Pioneer Valley League has three ranked teams: No. 11 Colfax, No. 14 Lincoln and No. 20 Placer.
Lincoln has won 13 consecutive games, including over former No. 8 Del Oro 74-69. The Zebras host Placer on Wednesday and Colfax on Friday.