Granite Bay to play in state rugby club final
Granite Bay defeated the Burbank Islanders 50-32 Sunday at the Cherry Island Soccer Complex in Elverta to win the Northern California Youth Rugby Association NorCal boys varsity club championship.
The win advances Granite Bay to the state finals May 25 at Treasure Island against a Southern California champion still to be determined.
Granite Bay, which features players from Granite Bay, Del Campo, Casa Roble and Oakmont high schools, opened the NorCal playoffs with a 36-14 win over then-No. 11 nationally ranked Golden Gate of San Francisco. Granite Bay followed with a 46-29 win over Hayward, a match that featured nine lead changes.
The team includes a number of players from Granite Bay's CIF State Bowl championship football team, including backfield standouts Taft Partridge and Johnny Cooley.
First-year coach Chris Miller, a former Jesuit and Cal rugby player, says 17 of his players will compete in college next year, including Justin Ramirez, another Granite Bay football standout, for national power Cal.
By winning the NorCal title, Granite Bay climbed to No. 19 in the most recent RugbyMag.com national high school club top 25.
Center softball pitcher fans 16 in 2-0 loss
Center's Haileigh Arthur-Tardiff suffered a tough loss in Tuesday's Pioneer Valley League softball finale against Bear River in Lake of the Pines.
Arthur-Tardiff struck out 16 Bruins and allowed only three hits. But that last hit a two-run, walk-off homer by Rachel Last gave Bear River a 2-0 win in eight innings.
Nerissa Long struck out 13 batters, walked two and allowed five hits for Bear River (12-9, 9-1), the league champion. Cassidy Martin had two hits for Center (5-12, 2-8).
Bella Stolo went 2 for 2 with a home run and five RBIs, and Amy Marks drove in three runs and pitched a two-hitter to lead No. 13 St. Francis (16-8, 6-4) past No. 9 Oak Ridge 15-0 in five innings and secure a Delta River League playoff berth.
Tiana Brown's game-winning RBI hit led No. 17 Cordova (15-6, 8-2) past No. 20 Antelope 4-3 to earn a share of the Capital Athletic League title with the Titans (14-13, 8-2).
National rule change for basketball coaches
Basketball coaches will be allowed to go onto the court in an effort to break up a fight or keep a situation from escalating under a rule change approved by the National Federation of High School Associations.
Previously, the coach had to first be beckoned to the court by an official.
While the coach and assistants must continue to ensure that players remain on the bench during a fight, the NFHSA officials agreed that the presence of the coach on the court could be instrumental in preventing an escalation of hostilities.
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.