With big contributions from its ace, top hitters and defense, Bee No. 1 Elk Grove High School kept its season alive and kicking.

The Thundering Herd beat Delta Valley Conference rival No. 5 Franklin 6-1 on Monday night at blustery Sacramento City College in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I-North elimination game in maintaing their championship repeat hopes.

Two days after falling to Rocklin 4-3 to halt an 18-game winning streak, the state-ranked No. 3 Thundering Herd (24-5) resembled their old selves. Junior left-handed ace Chris Martin tossed a complete-game four hitter with five strikeouts to move to 7-2 and the defense was strong.

Elk Grove plays the loser of Tuesday's Rocklin-Davis winner's bracket game on Thursday at Sac City. Rocklin will go with ace Logan Webb against Davis ace Matt Trask in what shapes up to be a terrific showdown.

Follow the action from the NorCal high school basketball semifinals tonight with The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson and a host of other reporters at the games. Joe is reporting from Grant at Cosumnes Oaks. Games are scheduled for 7 p.m.

View this post from any device

Replay the action in the Northern California regional high school basketball playoffs as The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson and other reporters provided updates and highlights on our live blog.

Click here to follow the live blog from all mobile devices.

With barely enough time to wipe away the sweat and grins from winning Sac-Joaquin Section basketball championships over the weekend, area teams now gear up for the next exhaustive round.

The Northern California Regional tournament starts Wednesday, adding the element of the unknown with matchups against teams from other sections. In other words, it gets really fun now.

Folsom, winner of 19 consecutive games, earned the No. 1 seed in the NorCal Division II field after emerging as the champion in the ultra-competitive D-II section field. The Bulldogs (29-2) have an opening-night bye. Cosumnes Oaks (14-17) is the No. 3 seed and has an opening bye and a favorable draw considering it lost to Folsom 79-62 in the D-II final Saturday, snapping a 28-game on-court winning streak.

Jesuit, the runaway winner in the section D-I section tournament, is the No. 2 seed in the NorCal D-I bracket behind once-beaten Monte Vista of Danville. The Marauders (28-3) have an opening bye and like their chances of a return trip to Sleep Train Arena, site of the section, NorCal and CIF State Championships.

Joe Davidson/jdavidson@sacbee.com
Capital Christian defensive lineman signs his National Letter of Intent to Vanderbilt as members of his family watch.

Capital Christian defensive lineman Nifae Lealao, the top high school football recruit in the Sacramento area, signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Vanderbilt on scholarship during a ceremony this morning at the school.

Lealao had offers from every Pacific-12 school. He earlier verbally committed to Stanford, but changed his mind to explore other options. He recently visited Cal and visited Vanderbilt over the weekend.

Lealao has a rapport with Vanderbilt defensive line coach Vavae Tata, who was at Stanford last season.

Get the latest updates on today’s signings at www.sacbee.com/live and read a full report in Thursday’s print edition.

Today is National Letter of Intent day for football and select other sports, and dozens of high school athletes from across the Sacramento region will make commitments to four-year colleges. Follow this live blog beginning at 7 a.m. for updates throughout the day. Share your signing photos so we can include them in a gallery: email to sacbeephotos@gmail.com and include the athlete's name, sport, high school and college and the photographer's name.


View this post from any device

These area non-football high school athletes will participate in NCAA letters of intent signing ceremonies on Wednesday at various sites.

For corrections or additions, please email Bill Paterson at bpaterson@sacbee.com and jdavidson@sacbee.com

Name, School, Sport, College

Dali Alarian, Vista del Lago, soccer, RPI, Troy, N.Y.

Randy Pench/ rpench@sacbee.com
Parents, email your photos to sacbeephotos@gmail.com so we can include them in our online gallery. Please include the athlete's name, sport, high school and college and the photographer's name.

Wednesday is National Signing Day. Here is a list of area schools with signing ceremonies, open to students, families, fans. Area schools are encouraged to update The Bee with signees by emailing to jdavidson@sacbee.com.

7 a.m. - Granite Bay, Del Oro, Elk Grove Unified School District

7:15 a.m. - Rocklin

7:45 a.m. - Christian Brothers

During Wednesday’s National Letter of Intent day for football and select other sports, dozens of athletes across the region will make commitments to four-year colleges.

If you take photographs at your high school’s signing event, please share them with us.

E-mail your photos to sacbeephotos@gmail.com so we can include them in our online gallery. Please include the athlete’s name, sport, high school and college and the photographer’s name.

– Bee sports staff

BERKELEY - Not bad for a group of kids.

With its lineup of sophomores, sometimes playing their age and sometimes competing beyond their years, Sacramento High School saved the day for Bee top-ranked powers in the MaxPreps Martin Luther King Showcase at Cal, rallying to beat longtime power Salesian of Richmond 68-61 in the late game capper.

Dragons coach Derek Swafford has had a number of terrific teams in his 11 years at the Oak Park school, but he hasn't had one quite this young and this tantalizingly talented.

No. 3 Sacramento trailed 52-39 in the second half and then surged, taking the lead for good 55-54 on a top-of-the-key Solomon Young three-pointer with 4:32 to go, and then getting just enough breathing room on a corner three by guard Tre Finch with 4:13 to go for a 58-54 advantage.

Brian Baer/Bee file, 2012
Ernie Cooper

Ernie Cooper insists this bit of news isn't a big deal. He's returning as head football coach at Granite Bay High School, and it is in fact a big deal.

After a year off of the grind for the 2013 campaign to recharge and reassess matters, Cooper confirmed that he is back to guide a program he started as a new school in Placer County in the mid 1990s. Cooper quickly transformed the Grizzlies into a Sac-Joaquin Section super power on the foundation of strength and conditioning, the Fly offense and tough, tenacious defenses.

Under Cooper , the Grizzlies won 10 league championships and five section titles. The crowning achievement was in 2012 with a Sierra Foothill League championship, a NorCal Regional Division I title and a late drive to beat storied Long Beach Poly for the CIF State D-I banner. He was The Bee's 2012 Coach of the Year and the Cal-Hi Sports and MaxPreps state Coach of the Year.

Cooper, a man who knows only one frenetic and passionate speed, coached Granite Bay throughout last spring before deciding he needed to step away.

About the Prep blog

Joe Davidson
Bill Paterson

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog.

Contact them:
Twitter: @SacBee_JoeD
(916) 321-1280

Twitter: @SacBee_BillP
(916) 326-5506

Subscribe to Sports Breaking News alerts

Follow us on Facebook

Preps Blog Archives

Note: The Preps Blog switched blog platforms in January 2014. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

Seen on Twitter

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying
Sacramento Bee Job listing powered by Careerbuilder.com
Quick Job Search
Sacramentoconnect.com SacWineRegion.com SacMomsclub.com SacPaws.com BeeBuzz Points Find n Save