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High school boys basketball notes: Upsets continue to mark season

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 - 11:08 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 - 11:23 pm

Upsets have become the theme for area boys basketball this season, especially for teams seeking league championships and those trying to stay in the playoff hunt.

Take last week, for example:

• Florin pulled the stunner of the season when it beat No. 10 Kennedy 66-53 in Metropolitan Conference play. Trevon Smith had 23 points, 16 rebounds, six steals and five blocks to keep the Panthers’ playoff hopes alive entering this week. Said coach Tuan Nguyen: “We’ve been upbeat and this was a big momentum boost. Smith was the man. He even heard MVP chants from the crowd.”

• Justin Priest made two late free throws and had 13 points as newly ranked No. 19 Oak Ridge dropped Pleasant Grove six spots to No. 20 with a 46-44 victory in Delta River League action to maintain its playoff hopes.. Then again, it’s difficult to call this win an upset considering the Trojans have beaten the defending CIF Division I state champions twice (52-49 on Jan. 15).

Sophomore guards Tyus Millholin and Matt Battaglia and senior forward Connor Sende have led the Trojans. Millholin is the son of former Ponderosa coach Dave Millholin, who was known to emphasize defense.

“Trust me, I get the 30-minute speech in the car ride to games about how we need to play to win, how I need to jump off the ball, to box out,” Tyus Millholin said. “My dad’s a huge part of my career. The league is crazy. No game is easy, and there is a ton of talent and competition.”

• No. 17 Rocklin beat No. 12 Woodcreek 67-48 to avenge a Sierra Foothill League loss. This created a second-place tie in the SFL with Rocklin and Woodcreek behind No. 6 Del Oro, which clinched the title. Vinnie Safin had 16 points, Max O’Rourke 14 and Evan Gustafson 11 for Rocklin.

• Ponderosa won’t make the playoffs, but it always thinks upset. The Bruins beat Oak Ridge 59-48 on Jan. 31 for their lone DRL victory. Last week, Ponderosa lost at No. 3 Jesuit 55-51 as 6-foot-9 senior center and captain Chris Snyder scored 21 points. Friday, Pleasant Grove needed double overtime to beat Ponderosa 60-54.

Appeal denied – Cosumnes Oaks was denied in its appeal to overturn the Sac-Joaquin Section’s decision to hit the Wolfpack with 16 forfeits for what was deemed an athletically motivated transfer. At 8-16, No. 5 Cosumnes Oaks has to win its final two Sierra Valley Conference games to qualify for the Division II playoffs.

Rollings to return – Sheldon coach Joey Rollings will return to the bench tonight at Ponderosa after serving a four-week suspension levied by the Elk Grove Unified School District for allegations of undue influence to lure players to campus. Rollings, who has guided the Huskies to a record four consecutive section D-I titles, denied trying to recruit players, but he did say his program must improve in other areas targeted by the district, such as offseason open gym workouts and Sheldon parents talking to parents of other teams.

Schedule switch – The McClatchy-Sacramento game has been moved from Feb. 18 to Feb. 17 so it won’t go head-to-head with the girls Metro title game between No. 1 McClatchy and No. 2 Sacramento.

THE BEE’S TOP 20

Records through Monday

Team Rec. Prev.

1. Capital Christian 21-3 1

2. Folsom 22-2 2

3. Jesuit 22-2 3

4. Sacramento 20-4 4

5. Cosumnes Oaks* 8-16 5

6. Del Oro 24-1 6

7. Del Campo 21-3 7

8. Grant 20-5 8

9. Franklin 16-8 9

10. Kennedy 17-7 10

11. Burbank 18-6 11

12. Woodcreek 18-7 12

13. Monterey Trail 18-6 13

14. Encina 21-3 15

15. Christian Brothers 16-8 16

16. Cordova 16-7 17

17. Rocklin 14-11 18

18. Lincoln 18-6 19

19. Oak Ridge 12-11 –

20. Pleasant Grove 12-11 14

* Forfeited 16 games

Read more articles by Joe Davidson



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