Drew Cobb may not be the first person you mention when breaking down the excellence of Sheldon High School basketball the last couple of seasons.
But he’s in the first sentence, and generally punctuated with an explanation point.
The stout 6-foot-3 junior guard sets a tone of fierce intensity for one of the region’s longtime powerhouse programs with his versatility, athleticism and grit. Cobb was one of a host of Huskies who contributed to a 104-59 triumph over Granite Bay on Friday night in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff quarterfinal at Sheldon.
On a team dripping with speed, skill and shooters, Cobb is best known for his defense. He is the Huskies’ designated stopper, and he takes on all comers of all shapes and sizes with equal gusto. Guard? Forwards? Posts? He’s game.
But Cobb also can handle the ball and distribute as a natural point guard. He can break the press, spin down the lane and hit jumpers. In other words, pick your poison in dealing with this lot, one that includes shooting forward Matt Manning and explosive guards Isaiah Brooks, Elishja Duplechan and Devin Greene.
Cobb had 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Manning had 23, 13 and seven, Brooks had 22 points, and Greene andDuplechan had 13 each.
“Cobb does everything for us,” said Manning, a 6-6 wing. “He’s really come into his own.”
Said Cobb: “I really take pride in my defense, and I feel I’m a versatile player. I try to help the team any way I can.”
Cobb, like each of his fellow starters, sports some mean grades, too. He’s a 3.8 student and so into his studies that when his U.S. history teacher. Josh Crabtree. told him he was getting an A-, he quickly corrected him, “No, sir. I’m getting an A.”
“And he’s right,” said Crabtree, the public address voice for Sheldon on Friday.
The Huskies (22-4) will need an A-game across the board to topple the hottest upper-division team in the section. Sheldon will play Modesto Christian, the winner of 28 consecutive games, on Wednesday in a semifinal at Sleep Train Arena, where a victory would put the Huskies in the final for the sixth time since 2010. Modesto Christian is led by 6-10 center Robinson Idehen.
“Drew guards every position, and he loves it,” Sheldon coach Joey Rollings said. “It’ll be a great challenge.”
Granite Bay (20-9) was led by Kovey Palmaer’s 18 points. Charlie Tooley, a superb guard headed to Nevada, had 14. The Grizzlies played without Darren Nelson, who was in a walking boot.
Nelson, also a superb baseball pitching prospect, said he hopes to be ready for his spring sport.
“It’s hard just to watch,” he said before the game, “but we’ll play hard.”