High School Sports

Rivalry time: Sacramento-Grant playoff is a meeting of storied programs, coaching pals

Grant coach Deonard Wilson has Steven Richardson (5) and the Pacers back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals. Top-seeded Grant hosts No. 5 Sacramento on Wednesday.
Grant coach Deonard Wilson has Steven Richardson (5) and the Pacers back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals. Top-seeded Grant hosts No. 5 Sacramento on Wednesday. Special to The Sacramento Bee

Old school meets older school Wednesday in Del Paso Heights in a meeting of storied basketball programs, and there may not be enough room to cram in all of the proud alums.

Carl Reed is aware of this. Reed is the Grant High School athletic director tasked with squeezing everyone in when the Pacers host Sacramento in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II boys semifinal that figures to be fun to the wire.

Before the tip, the coaches from both programs will embrace and share laughs before unleashing their teams on one another.

Seeded fifth in the tournament, Sacramento (19-9) is coached by Earl Allen, the longtime Dragons assistant coach to Derek Swafford before taking over three seasons ago. Allen is a native of Alabama who has embraced Sacramento as home.

Top-seeded Grant (23-6) is led by Deonard Wilson, in his ninth season leading the Pacers. He’s from Long Beach, though he now calls Sacramento home. Wilson and Allen for years have been staples of basketball and character development to scores of players of all ages.

And like Allen, Wilson booms of good cheer, until game time, when the coaches just plain boom: at their teams for not setting back screens and at the referees, just because.

“We’re good friends,” Wilson said of Allen. “We’ve known each other for 25 years. It’s always fun coaching against Earl. Coach Swafford called us both this morning as a mentor to both of us. He talked about the game, the rivalry. It’s special.”

Grant opened in 1932 and has seemingly been a basketball factor or force since the start. The Pacers won their first section championship in 1977 under coach Steve Williams (the tournament started in 1972), taking the Division I honor with a victory over St. Mary’s of Stockton.

Grant won the D-III section title in 1996 under coach Eric Satterwhite and the D-II section in 1999 (scores of those Pacers will be on hand Wednesday to celebrate the 20th-anniversary team).

Wilson’s Grant team reached the section finals in 2013 and last season, which included a run to the CIF Northern California finals.

Sacramento opened in 1856 and started playing basketball in the 1930s. The Dragons reached their first section title in 1982 (in D-I), a team led by guard Kevin Johnson, who later became an NBA All-Star guard, and, after that, the mayor of the state capital.

The Dragons and coach Brian Mitchell won the D-I section crown in 1996 over Jesuit. Sacramento hoisted D-III section titles under Swafford in 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Sacramento beat Grant in Del Paso Heights last season in a nonleague game, 68-62, and Grant returned the favor with a 64-54 win in December as Dee Juan Pruitt had 28 points, a contest in which its leading scorer, Steven Richardson, did not play do to injury. A senior guard, Richardson averages 18.

Izayah Talmadge had 25 points and 14 rebounds for Sacramento against Grant this season, and the senior guard leads the Dragons in scoring with 19.2 points a game.

Rio run

Rio Americano entered the D-II boys fray seeded seventh and will now host St. Mary’s in a semifinal Wednesday, thanks to a spirited 54-46 win over No. 2 Rocklin as junior guard Alex Vryonis handled the ball, broke the press and scored 14 points with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

St. Mary’s, seeded third, has to travel to Carmichael as a form of do-right punishment handed down by the section office. The Rams had to forfeit seven victories for using an ineligible player, but since the school self-reported the infraction this week, it was too late for any reseeding.

So the section informed St. Mary’s it had to travel from here on out; that started Friday at Burbank, a 66-59 victory.

Huskies home (finally)

Top-seeded Sheldon will host a D-I boys semifinal Wednesday, against No. 5 Oak Ridge, which beat No. 4 Jesuit 63-59 on Friday.

Sheldon opened the playoffs at Modesto, a 69-50 win, then went to Yolo County on Friday and toppled Davis 79-57. Sheldon traveled as punishment handed down by the section office because two players had to be ushered out of the tunnel and back to the bench during the postgame awards ceremony following last season’s section championship game against Modesto Christian at Pacific.

Sheldon seeks its seventh finals appearance this decade under coach Joey Rollings. Leading scorer Marcus Bagley — the top player in the section — did not play in the two victories due to a sore hip. Bagley attended NBA All-Star festivities in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday with his parents to watch brother and Kings rookie Marvin Bagley III compete in the Rising Stars game.

Capitals host

Due to a scheduling conflict, Sacramento Adventist Academy did not play Denair on Friday in a D-VI boys quarterfinal but will host the Coyotes on Monday in Carmichael.

Riding an 18-game winning streak with shooting and defense, the Capitals (24-5) are a team worth a peek under coach Scott Tedmon, whose program won the D-VI title in 2017 and lost it last season to Ripon Christian.

Sacramento Adventist is led by Breckin Beaman, averaging 21.2 points, and Bryson Collins (15.7), Cameron Fowler (11.7) and Jamison Collins (11.3).

Sac-Joaquin Section basketball playoffs results, schedule

Here are round-by-round results and the upcoming schedule for the Sac-Joaquin Section boys and girls basketball playoffs:

Boys

Division I

Play-in games (Feb. 11)

No. 17 Modesto 76, No. 16 Edison-Stockton 72 (OT)

No. 18 Bear Creek 63, No. 15 Pleasant Grove 53

First round (Feb. 13)

No. 1 Sheldon 69, No. 17 Modesto 50

No. 9 Davis 58, No. 8 Monterey Trail 57

No. 5 Oak Ridge 82, No. 12 Kennedy 48

No. 4 Jesuit 91, No. 13 Turlock 63

No. 3 Modesto Christian 97, No. 14 Chavez 56

No. 6 Capital Christian 70, No. 11 Tracy 50

No. 7 Franklin-Elk Grove 72, No. 10 Gregori 62

No. 2 Folsom 83, No. 18 Bear Creek 50

Quarterfinals (Feb. 15)

No. 1 Sheldon 79, No. 8 Davis 57

No. 5 Oak Ridge 63, No. 4 Jesuit 59

No. 3 Modesto Christian 81, No. 6 Capital Christian 52

No. 2 Folsom 51, No. 7 Franklin-Elk Grove 47

Semifinals (Feb. 20, games at 7 p.m.)

No. 5 Oak Ridge at No. 1 Sheldon

No. 3 Modesto Christian at No. 2 Folsom

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division II

Play-in games (Feb. 11)

No. 16 Lincoln 57, No. 17 Vista del Lago 55 (OT)

No. 15 Elk Grove 76, No. 18 Buhach Colony 49

First round (Feb. 13)

No. 1 Grant 77, No. 16 Lincoln 50

No. 9 Ponderosa 66, No. 8 Roseville 49

No. 5 Sacramento 85, No. 12 Rodriguez 65

No. 13 Woodcreek 56, No. 4 Whitney 55

No. 3 St. Mary’s 79, No. 14 Granite Bay 59

No. 6 Burbank 69, No. 11 Inderkum 56

No. 7 Rio Americano 65, No. 10 River Valley 52

No. 2 Rocklin 84, No. 15 Elk Grove 73

Quarterfinals (Feb. 15)

No. 1 Grant 80, No. 9 Ponderosa 66

No. 5 Sacramento 59, No. 13 Woodcreek 52 (OT)

No. 3 St. Mary’s 66, No. 6 Burbank 59

No. 7 Rio Americano 54, No. 2 Rocklin 46

Semifinals (Feb. 20 games at 7 p.m.)

No. 5 Sacramento at No. 1 Grant

No. 7 Rio Americano at No. 3 St. Mary’s

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division III

Play-in games (Feb. 11)

No. 16 Sierra 54, No. 17 Lathrop 42

No. 18 Florin 57, No. 15 Mira Loma 52

First round (Feb. 13)

No. 1 Weston Ranch 71, No. 16 Sierra 40

No. 8 Center 59, No. 9 El Capitan 55 (OT)

No. 5 Vanden 80, No. 12 Kimball 75

No. 4 Manteca 66, No. 13 Cordova 51

No. 3 Central Catholic 70, No. 14 Del Campo 63

No. 6 El Camino 82, No. 11 Placer 70

No. 10 Beyer 69, No. 7 Golden Valley 54

No. 2 Wood 61, No. 18 Florin 57

Quarterfinals (Feb. 15)

No. 1 Weston Ranch 64, No. 8 Center 46

No. 4 Manteca 57, No. 5 Vanden 54 (OT)

No. 3 Central Catholic 47, No. 6 El Camino 45

No. 2 Wood 50, No. 10 Beyer 48

Semifinals (Feb. 20, games at 7 p.m.)

No. 4 Manteca at No. 1 Weston Ranch

No. 3 Central Catholic at No. 2 Wood

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division IV

Play-in game (Feb. 11)

No. 17 Venture Academy 76, No. 16 Dixon 59

First round (Feb. 13)

No. 1 Liberty Ranch 94, No. 17 Venture Academy 49

No. 8 Bear River 66, No. 9 Calaveras 39

No. 5 Mountain House 77, No. 12 Mesa Verde 61

No. 4 Ripon 85, No. 13 Amador 64

No. 3 West Campus 73, No. 14 Highlands 67

No. 6 Marysville 73, No. 11 El Dorado 58

No. 10 Foothill 73, No. 7 Union Mine 71

No. 2 Sonora 56, No. 15 Riverbank 42

Quarterfinals (Feb. 15)

No. 1 Liberty Ranch 82, No. 8 Bear River 64

No. 4 Ripon 79, No. 5 Mountain House 58

No. 3 West Campus 79, No. 6 Marysville 47

No. 2 Sonora 68, No. 10 Foothill 52

Semifinals (Feb. 20)

No. 4 Ripon at No. 1 Liberty Ranch

No. 3 West Campus at No. 2 Sonora

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division V

First round (Feb. 13)

No. 8 Woodland Christian 60, No. 9 Rio Vista 53

No. 5 Mariposa 73, No. 12 Hughes 47

No. 4 Ripon Christian 84, No. 13 Gustine 35

No. 3 Sacramento Adventist 73, No. 14 Leroy Greene 28

No. 11 Denair 68, No. 6 Bradshaw Christian 61

No. 7 Foresthill 67, No. 10 Western Sierra 62

No. 2 Argonaut 70, No. 15 Holt 43

Quarterfinals (Feb. 15)

No. 1 Brookside Christian 84, No. 8 Woodland Christian 26

No. 4 Ripon Christian 73, No. 5 Mariposa 64

No. 2 Argonaut 77, No. 7 Foresthill 59

No. 11 Denair at No. 3 Sacramento Adventist, Feb. 18

Semifinals (Feb. 20)

No. 4 Ripon Christian at No. 1 Brookside Christian

No. 11 Denair/No. 3 Sacramento Adventist winner at No. 2 Argonaut

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division VI

First round (Feb. 13)

No. 8 Turlock Christian 80, No. 9 Alpha Charter 75 (2 OTs)

No. 5 Forest Lake Christian 84, No. 12 Freedom Christian 65

No. 6 Faith Christian 81, No. 1 Lodi Academy 53

No. 7 Victory Christian 86, No. 10 Valley Christian 74

Quarterfinals (Feb. 15)

No. 8 Turlock Christian 65, No. 1 Stockton Christian 58

No. 4 Big Valley Christian 66, No. 5 Forest Lake Christian 58

No. 3 Vacaville Christian 74, No. 6 Faith Christian 59

No. 2 Sacramento Waldorf 62, No. 7 Victory Christian 56

Semifinals (Feb. 20)

No. 8 Turlock Christian at No. 4 Big Valley Christian

No. 3 Vacaville Christian at No. 2 Sacramento Waldorf

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Girls

Division I

Play-in game (Feb. 11)

No. 17 Inderkum 52, No. 16 St. Francis 41

First round (Feb. 12)

No. 1 Bear Creek 58, No. 17 Inderkum 54

No. 8 Franklin-Elk Grove 53, No. 9 Woodcreek 46

No. 12 Davis Sr. 61, No. 5 Oak Ridge 57

No. 13 Monterey Trail 62, No. 4 Folsom 60 (2 OTs)

No. 3 St. Mary’s 73, No. 14 Pitman 38

No. 6 Cosumnes Oaks 71, No. 11 Turlock 54

No. 7 Lincoln-Stockton 47, No. 10 Edison 30

No. 2 McClatchy 85, No. 15 Enochs 27

Quarterfinals (Feb. 14)

No. 1 Bear Creek 63, No. 8 Franklin-Elk Grove 40

No. 13 Monterey Trail 63, No. 12 Davis Sr. 58

No. 3 St. Mary’s 58, No. 6 Cosumnes Oaks 38

No. 2 McClatchy 68, No. 7 Lincoln-Stockton 44

Semifinals (Feb. 19)

No. 13 Monterey Trail at No. 1 Bear Creek

No. 3 St. Mary’s at No. 2 McClatchy

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division II

Play-in game (Feb. 11)

No. 17 McNair 50, No. 16 Mira Loma 48

First round (Feb. 12)

No. 1 Antelope 90, No. 17 McNair 28

No. 8 Granite Bay 49, No. 9 Vista del Lago 45

No. 5 Elk Grove 68, No. 12 Rodriguez 45

No. 4 Del Oro 58, No. 13 Wood 42

No. 3 Whitney 63, No. 14 Grant 37

No. 11 Modesto Christian 76, No. 6 Atwater 68

No. 7 Laguna Creek 64, No. 10 Roseville 58

No. 2 Sacramento 74, No. 15 Lincoln 40

Quarterfinals (Feb. 14)

No. 1 Antelope 65, No. 8 Granite Bay 43

No. 5 Elk Grove 63, No. 4 Del Oro 47

No. 3 Whitney 58, No. 11 Modesto Christian 44

No. 2 Sacramento 77, No. 7 Laguna Creek 41

Semifinals (Feb. 19)

No. 5 Elk Grove at No. 1 Antelope

No. 3 Whitney at No. 2 Sacramento

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division III

Play-in game (Feb. 11)

No. 17 Center 58, No. 16 Pioneer 36

First round (Feb. 12)

No. 1 Vanden 77, No. 17 Center 54

No. 8 Bradshaw Christian 71, No. 9 Livingston 46

No. 5 Nevada Union 62, No. 12 Cordova 47

No. 4 Manteca 66, No. 13 El Capitan 39

No. 3 Placer 59, No. 14 Merced 51

No. 6 Kimball 61, No. 11 Beyer 46

No. 7 Lathrop 44, No. 10 East Union 21

No. 2 Christian Brothers 66, No. 15 Los Banos 21

Quarterfinals (Feb. 14)

No. 8 Bradshaw Christian 61, No. 1 Vanden 53

No. 5 Nevada Union 52, No. 4 Manteca 46

No. 3 Placer 60, No. 6 Kimball 49

No. 2 Christian Brothers 58, No. 7 Lathrop 44

Semifinals (Feb. 19)

No. 8 Bradshaw Christian at No. 5 Nevada Union

No. 3 Placer at No. 2 Christian Brothers

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division IV

Play-in game (Feb. 11)

No. 16 Bear River 61, No. 17 Natomas 57

First round (Feb. 12)

No. 1 Colfax 77, No. 16 Bear River 18

No. 8 Dixon 59, No. 9 Highlands 40

No. 5 Ripon 51, No. 12 Orestimba 27

No. 4 Union Mine 47, No. 13 Hughson 22

No. 14 Mountain House 64, No. 3 Sonora 63

No. 11 El Dorado 54, No. 6 Capital Christian 43

No. 7 Calaveras 54, No. 10 Central Catholic 42

No. 2 West Campus 60, No. 15 Liberty Ranch 24

Quarterfinals (Feb. 14)

No. 1 Colfax 54, No. 8 Dixon 30

No. 4 Union Mine 60, No. 5 Ripon 58

No. 11 El Dorado 70, No. 14 Mountain House 55

No. 2 West Campus 61, No. 7 Calaveras 50

Semifinals (Feb. 19)

No. 4 Union Mine at No. 1 Colfax

No. 11 El Dorado at No. 2 West Campus

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division V

First round (Feb. 12)

No. 8 Rio Vista 51, No. 9 Hughes 48

No. 11 Millennium 43, No. 6 Leroy Greene 41

No. 7 Le Grand 52, No. 10 Holt 32

Quarterfinals (Feb. 14)

No. 1 Mariposa 64, No. 8 Rio Vista 22

No. 4 Western Sierra 70, No. 5 Golden Sierra 67

No. 3 Woodland Christian 60, No. 11 Millennium 18

No. 2 Argonaut 65, No. 7 Le Grand 25

Semifinals (Feb. 19)

No. 4 Western Sierra at No. 1 Mariposa

No. 3 Woodland Christian at No. 2 Argonaut

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

Division VI

First round (Feb. 12)

No. 8 Sacramento Adventist 65, No. 9 Victory Christian 42

No. 7 Stockton Christian 59, No. 10 New Life Christian 27

Quarterfinals (Feb. 14)

No. 1 Forest Lake Christian 51, No. 8 Sacramento Adventist 38

No. 4 Ripon Christian 67, No. 5 Turlock Christian 30

No. 6 Sacramento Waldorf 37, No. 3 Vacaville Christian 30

No. 2 Valley Christian 63, No. 7 Stockton Christian 45

Semifinals (Feb. 19)

No. 4 Ripon Christian at No. 1 Forest Lake Christian

No. 6 Sacramento Waldorf at No. 2 Valley Christian

Championship

Feb. 22 or 23 at Golden 1 Center

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Joe Davidson has covered sports for The Sacramento Bee since 1988 and is award-winning authority on high school sports, specializing in going behind the scenes. Davidson was a high school athlete in Oregon, where he participated in football and track.


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