Joe Davidson

Prep basketball notes: Woodcreek boys already in playoff mode

Coach Paul Hayes’ boys basketball team is ranked No. 5 in The Bee’s top 20 and the Timberwolves are riding a five-game winning streak. ... Hayes asks an official for an explanation during a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Playoff game against De La Salle High School of Concord on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in Concord.
Coach Paul Hayes’ boys basketball team is ranked No. 5 in The Bee’s top 20 and the Timberwolves are riding a five-game winning streak. ... Hayes asks an official for an explanation during a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Playoff game against De La Salle High School of Concord on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in Concord. jvillegas@sacbee.com

The pressure cooker usually associated with the playoffs started early for the Woodcreek High School boys basketball team.

The fifth-ranked Timberwolves have won five in a row, including four in overtime: 80-71 at Rocklin, 71-68 at Oak Ridge, 58-56 at Folsom and 67-62 at home against Granite Bay.

Woodcreek’s Sierra Foothill League schedule concludes Tuesday against visiting Nevada Union, the last team to beat the Timberwolves, 59-52 on Jan. 22. With four overtime wins since, Woodcreek is ready for anything.

“It’s the craziest thing,” longtime Timberwolves coach Paul Hayes said. “It’s odd. I’ve never played that many overtime games in such a short period of time. I told the kids that the way we keep winning, it says a lot about the character of our team. It’s not happenstance or by coincidence that we’re winning these. And the SFL, holy cow. What a league.”

Woodcreek (18-8) again will be a threat in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, which also will include Folsom, Sheldon, Jesuit, Granite Bay and longtime powerhouse Modesto Christian, whose only loss is to Folsom in a season opener. Playoff brackets will be announced Thursday, and out-bracket games will be held Friday before the full crush of openers Feb. 24.

Last season, the Timberwolves advanced to the Northern California Division I championship game with a senior-dominated team and dominating freshman Jordan Brown. Though nine seniors graduated, some key players returned, including third-year starting guard Justin Asuncion.

Brown, a 6-foot-10 center-forward, scored 38 points against Granite Bay on Friday, but the 5-5, 130-pound Asuncion sealed the win with six consecutive free throws in the final 35 seconds. Other key players include guards Chris Cagle, Jackson Hughes, Tyrell Roberts and Kyle Turner.

The focus for opposing defenses is Brown, who is averaging 26.3 points.

“These recent games definitely gives us that extra experience,” Hayes said. “When it’s crunch time, we’ve been there, and we’ve been successful. We’re talented and athletic, just young. But we’re growing.”

Cruz breaks McClatchy records – McClatchy wing Jordan Cruz soon will have her name dotted across the record board in the Lions’ rustic old gym.

The 5-10 junior set school records for points (44) and three-pointers (12) in a game as McClatchy routed Valley 85-34 in a Metropolitan Conference game Wednesday. But she said she was just as proud of scoring 19 points and making five late free throws to help the Lions beat rival Sacramento 60-55 on Friday.

McClatchy senior twin guards Kelsey and Kristi Wong added 15 and 13 points, respectively, Friday and played inspired defense for the defending CIF State Division I champions.

Et cetera – Led by senior guard Irene Colivalu’s triple double, Rosemont beat Cordova 54-41 to clinch a share of the program’s first Sierra Valley Conference championship (with El Dorado). Colivalu had 15 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists for the Wolverines, who expect to challenge for the section Division III section title. Colivalu is averaging 17.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 7.4 steals.

▪ Ponderosa’s Danielle Craft, a four-year starter, has broken the school’s career scoring record with 1,847 points. The Bruins conclude the Capital Valley League schedule by hosting Cosumnes Oaks on Tuesday on Senior Night, and Craft is sure to receive an ovation. The 6-foot Craft has played every position and is averaging 17.6 points and 9.5 rebounds.

▪ Granite Bay guard Daeja Black, a four-year starter, has overcome an ACL tear to set the school’s all-time scoring record. Black has 1,796 points, averaging 17.4 points over 103 career games. She also has career averages of 7.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.2 steals.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

The Bee’s Top 20

With records through Saturday and last ranking:

Boys basketball

School

W-L

Last

1. Sacramento

24-1

1

2. Folsom

23-3

2

3. Sheldon

19-4

3

4. Jesuit

22-4

4

5. Woodcreek

18-8

5

6. Granite Bay

19-7

6

7. Liberty Ranch

27-0

7

8. Burbank

20-6

8

9. Capital Chr.

17-9

9

10. Placer

23-3

11

11. Antelope

19-7

10

12. Whitney

22-4

12

13. Elk Grove

19-7

14

14. Inderkum

18-7

16

15. El Camino

19-7

13

16. Ponderosa

19-7

18

17. West Campus

22-4

19

18. Vista del Lago

18-8

19. Christian Bros.

16-10

20. Lincoln

22-4

20

Girls basketball

W-L

Last

1. Oak Ridge

24-1

1

2. McClatchy

21-5

4

3. Antelope

25-1

2

4. Sacramento

18-8

3

5. Christian Bros.

20-6

5

6. St. Francis

22-4

6

7. Folsom

18-7

7

8. West Campus

20-6

8

9. Elk Grove

17-9

10

10. Cosumnes Oaks

17-9

9

11. Pleasant Grove

17-9

11

12. Inderkum

18-7

12

13. River Valley

22-4

13

14. Rio Linda

15-11

14

15. Franklin

18-8

15

16. Ponderosa

17-9

16

17. Placer

17-7

17

18. Colfax

21-5

18

19. Capital Chr.

18-7

19

20. Rosemont

20-6

Joe Davidson

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