The headliners are the big guys generating nationwide recruiting offers, a book-smart guard drawing interest from Ivy League schools and a defensive-minded guard who has caught the attention of West Coast programs.
But don’t overlook the unsung players for the Woodcreek and Sheldon high school boys basketball teams.
We need everyone to win, and this really is a team.
Paul Hayes, Woodcreek boys basketball coach
In the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I final Saturday night at Pacific, Woodcreek beat Sheldon 69-68 not just because 6-foot-11 Jordan Brown made two free throws with 0.1 seconds left. The nationally recruited junior has plenty of help.
And Sheldon didn’t earn the No. 1 seed for the section tournament and the No. 2 seed for the Northern California Open playoffs – behind Woodcreek – solely because of the backcourt skills of Elishja Duplechan, an Ivy League recruit, and defensive stopper Drew Cobb.
Woodcreek complements Brown with guards Tyrell Roberts and Jackson Hughes, who combined for 43 points against Sheldon. Reserve guard Delis Boggs-Smith hit a 3-pointer to give the Timberwolves a 67-66 lead with 42.5 seconds left. Sheldon’s unheralded players include forward LJ Williams and energizer guard Dale Curry.
“We need everyone to win, and this really is a team,” Woodcreek coach Paul Hayes said.
Section boys soccer – Jesuit repeated as D-I champion, beating Sheldon 2-1. It’s the 12th title for coach Paul Rose, the winningest coach in state history with 780 victories, third-best ever nationally.
Michael Galane and Lucas Churchill scored for the Marauders, who have won nine titles dating to 2001.
▪ RJ Moorhouse scored twice, including a 35-yard bullet, to lift Cosumnes Oaks past Gregori of Modesto 2-0 for the D-II title, the program’s second in four seasons.
Headed to Sacramento State on scholarship, Moorhouse finished his senior season with 30 goals and 10 assists. His 35-yarder was the match’s highlight.
“I just hit it, man, and I just prayed,” he said. “God helped me out a little bit on that one.”
Said Gregori goalie Cristian Martin: “Great player. We shouldn’t have let him take the shot, but he took the shot, and he took the game.”
▪ In other finals, Lincoln beat Central Valley of Ceres 3-1 in D-III, West Campus defeated Escalon 3-0 in D-V behind Mateo Pasqua’s three goals, and Cristo Rey edged Le Grand 1-0 in D-VII.
Section girls soccer – Davis beat Woodcreek 2-0 to repeat as D-I champion, extending its unbeaten streak to 45 matches. The Blue Devils avenged their only blemish in a 22-0-1 season after a 1-1 tie with the Timberwolves in December. Sidra Bugsch and Maya Doms scored for Davis, which won its sixth championship in its 10th title game appearance. The Blue Devils scored 137 goals this season.
▪ In other finals, Roseville and Whitney went to penalty kicks in D-II after going scoreless, and 10th-seeded Roseville prevailed 4-2. Vista del Lago received goals from Payton Kaestner, Emily Ormson and Hannah Trengove in a 3-1 victory over Sierra of Manteca in D-III. Woodland three-peated as D-IV champion, defeating Liberty Ranch 2-0 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie. Woodland will return 13 players next season, including goalkeeper Mackenzie Hatanaka. Amador beat Capital Christian 3-2 in D-V, and Bradshaw Christian defeated Hughson 3-1 in D-VI.
Spring rankings – In The Sacramento Bee’s first spring rankings, Oak Ridge is No. 1 in baseball and Sheldon No. 1 in softball.
45 Unbeaten streak for the Davis girls soccer team, the two-time reigning Sac-Joaquin Section champion
Oak Ridge returns ace Trenton Denholm, who went 10-1 last season, and John Cross, who went 6-2. The Trojans seek their first section D-I title.
Sheldon pursues a section D-I three-peat. The Huskies return ace Taliyah Miles, who went 23-2, and Bee Co-Player of the Year Maci Fines, an infielder. Coach Mary Jo Truesdale is in her 20th season at Sheldon.
The Bee’s preseason baseball rankings
(With last year’s record)
1. Oak Ridge (24-7)
2. Elk Grove (26-10)
3. Jesuit (22-9)
4. Davis (21-8)
5. Granite Bay (15-13)
6. Woodcreek (23-9)
7. Franklin (15-12)
8. Pleasant Grove (15-13)
9. Sheldon (17-10)
10. Capital Christian (26-3)
11. Christian Brothers (24-6-1)
12. Vista del Lago (23-5-1)
13. Del Campo (20-10)
14. Lincoln (26-6)
15. Yuba City (21-9)
16. Bella Vista (22-9)
17. River Valley (19-8-1)
18. Del Oro (12-14-1)
19. Oakmont (16-12)
20. Rio Americano (17-12)
1. Sheldon (30-2)
2. Rocklin (24-3)
3. Del Campo (21-7)
4. Vista del Lago (24-6)
5. Casa Roble (22-8)
6. Woodcreek (19-7)
7. Bella Vista (19-11)
8. Elk Grove (18-12-1)
9. St. Francis (14-12-1)
10. Bear River (29-4)
11. Ponderosa (13-9)
12. Pioneer (20-5-1)
13. Whitney (15-9)
14. Del Oro (13-13-2)
15. Yuba City (20-8-1)
16. River City (17-9-2)
17. Cosumnes Oaks (9-10)
18. Placer (15-9)
19. Union Mine (18-6)
20. Oak Ridge (11-17)