Cal-bound seniors Allen Crabbe and Richard Solomon nearly outscored St. Mary’s HS-Berkeley by themselves in the CIF State Division IV championship game at Bakersfield this afternoon.
Crabbe — the Gatorade state player of the year in California — scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Solomon had 22 on 9-for-11 shooting, leading Price HS-Los Angeles (34-3) to an easy 69-51 over the Panthers.
Here’s the L.A. Times story on the game and Solomon’s quest to win a state title after losing in the finals a year ago while playing for Bishop Montgomery HS.
Crabbe and Solomon are among four players who signed last November and will join the Bears in the fall.
AROUND THE PAC-10
— West Virginia 69, Washington 56: The Mountaineers used a 15-4 run early in the second half to take charge and eliminate the Huskies (26-10), who had won nine straight games. Senior Quincy Pondexter, in his final game, shot just 3-for-9 and scored seven points, equaling his second-lowest total of the season. Sophomore guard Isaiah Thomas scored 13 points, but fouled out. The game featured 45 turnovers, 23 by West Virginia, which pounded the Huskies 40-25 on the boards.
Responding to rumors that he had been offered a multi-year deal by DePaul, UCLA coach Ben Howland says he is not leaving Westwood for the Blue Demons or anyone else.
“I am the coach at UCLA. I will never leave UCLA and will stay at UCLA as long they will have me,” Howland said in statement released by the university.
Which underdog Cinderella team will you root for this weekend in the NCAA Tournament?
And which of the four do think has the best chance of reaching the Elite 8?
— No. 5 Butler vs. No. 1 Syracuse, Thursday at Salt Lake City.
— No. 12 Cornell vs. No. 1 Kentucky, Thursday at Syracuse, N.Y.
— No. 9 Northern Iowa vs. No. 5 Michigan State, Friday at St. Louis.
— No. 10 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 3 Baylor, Friday at Houston.
Note: Even as a No. 11 seed, Washington of the Pac-10 cannot qualify as a Cinderella.
AROUND THE PAC-10
The Pac-10’s final surviving squad tries to get through the Sweet 16 . . .
— Washington vs. West Virginia at Syracuse, N.Y., 4:27 p.m. PDT: The 11th-seeded but red-hot Huskies (26-9), winners of nine straight games, try to fight their way into the Elite 8 round of the NCAAs at the expense of the second-seeded Mountaineers (29-6). The game matches the conference tournament champs from the Pac-10 and the Big East. West Virginia, playing without starting guard Darryl Bryant (broken foot) has won eight straight and held its past five opponents under 60 points. Having won twice in San Jose to open the tournament, the Huskies are playing just their second game all season east of Arizona.
Over the past four seasons, Cal has scored 10,064 points in 135 games. Many of those came from the likes of former players Ryan Anderson Ayinde Ubaka, DeVon Hardin and brothers Omar and Jordan Wilkes.
But on Sunday evening in Jacksonville, Fla., when the horn sounded at the finish of the Golden Bears’ 68-53 loss to Duke, more than 57 percent of those 10,064 points walked off the court for the last time.
Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson and Jamal Boykin are gone — or they will be by the time practice begins next October — and they’re not coming back.
So what will the Bears look like next season?
How well will they compete without 80 percent of their starting lineup for the past two seasons?
Who will be their starters and their leaders?
New Mexico’s Steve Alford, believed to be on Oregon’s short list, said he’ll always listen to jobs offers, but that he’s happy coaching the Lobos.
Quotes from my notebook today on new special teams coach Jeff Genyk:
HEAD COACH JEFF TEDFORD:
On why he thought Genyk would make a good special teams coach:
“He’s been successful with it before. He’s very organized. He’s very attentive to detail. He can relate to the kids very well. I think his head coaching background kind of lends itself to communicating with the whole team. The special teams coordinator does that more than any other coach besides the head coach. There are a lot of positives. He has a great background, great knowledge with offense.”
Mike Montgomery talks about how the Bears will need to go a different direction in terms of style with the graduation of four senior starters. Here’s my season-wrapup story from this morning’s editions.