Sheldon High boys basketball team rolls in summer tourney

Published: Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2013 - 8:12 am

While it's only summer basketball – in which official scorebooks aren't kept, games are played to running clocks and player rotations are deep – Sheldon, Christian Brothers and Lincoln came away from the 60-team Sheldon Trail Summer Jam boys basketball tournament last weekend pretty pleased.

Sheldon three-peated as the elite Platinum Division champion, going 8-0 in the three-day tournament.

In Sunday's divisional finals at Monterey Trail High School, the Huskies beat Rodriguez of Fairfield 72-59, Bay Area power Campolindo of Moraga 56-48 and then Delta River League rival Jesuit 61-38 in the semifinals.

The Huskies capped the tourney with a 69-46 win over Christian Brothers.

All of which pleased Sheldon coach Joey Rollings.

The four-time defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion is trying to replace 10 seniors, including the entire starting lineup.

Although inexperienced, Sheldon remains talented and deep.

Leading the way on Sunday were junior transfers Trey Belton (Capital Christian), a 6-foot-5, 225-pound inside force, and Jabbar Brown (Vallejo), and sophomore varsity returnees Devin Greene and Ian Miller. Rollings used 16 players.

"We had a good weekend, but we still have a lot to learn," Rollings said. "But it's always fun to win, and it extends the tradition."

Christian Brothers and Lincoln hope to create some tradition of their own under young coaches.

The Division III programs surprisingly reached the 12-team Platinum Division from competitive pool play on Friday and Saturday.

Christian Brothers beat El Cerrito, a North Coast Section D-III finalist last season, 65-64 and Sierra Foothill League power Del Oro 43-40 to go 4-0 in pool play on Saturday.

The Falcons then topped Drake of San Anselmo 70-64 and rallied to beat Grant 52-50 on Prestin Barnett's coast-to-coast driving layup with less than a second remaining on Sunday.

Lincoln beat defending CIF Division I state champion Pleasant Grove 56-44 and Johansen of Modesto 61-58 in pool play on Saturday. The Zebras defeated Riverbank 55-42 in their first Platinum Division game Sunday.

In the semifinals, Lincoln and Christian Brothers played one of the best games of the tournament, with the Falcons prevailing 62-60 in overtime on Matt Vanenburg's falling-down, fadeaway jumper near the top of the key with 1.8 seconds left.

"That makes basketball a lot of fun when you can finish games like that," said Christian Brothers coach Brian Chavez. "It's still June, but this was a huge growing step for us in winning so many close games. It's going to give us a big confidence boost going into November."

Senior point guard Marcus Salgado's 40-foot runner that would have won it for Lincoln hit the back of the rim and bounced out at the buzzer. His long three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation sent the game into overtime at 56-56.

Salgado finished with 24 points while Lincoln big men Logan Stayner and Mitch Holt combined for 24. Taylor Ross, a junior, topped CBS with 19 points.

"It's nice to get a chance to show people that we can play because, as a small school, we're not expected to be up there," said Lincoln coach Rob Ash. "We told the guys that it's summer league, so don't read too much into it. But we're on the right track if we're in the company of Jesuit, Sheldon and Christian Brothers."

Ash said friends texted him with congratulations after Lincoln beat Pleasant Grove on Saturday.

"A lot of the bigger schools don't want to play us, so this is a big opportunity for us," Ash said. "We didn't expect to beat Pleasant Grove. But the nice part with these guys is that they feel they can play with anyone."

Chavez felt the same about Christian Brothers, though with one exception – for now.

"They're Sheldon," Chavez said of his team's title game loss. "They don't stop, and they have a lot of talent. They are the benchmark of where we're trying to get to. I'm glad we got to play them."

Call The Bee's Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.

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