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Queen of the Mountain: Day Two Results

DAY 3 UPDATE

Just talked to John Vasquez and tonight’s final will be Granada vs. Foothill. Granada beat Berkeley 4-2 this morning and Foothill knocked off San Ramon Valley 6-0. The championship is slated to start at 6:15 p.m.  

UPDATE
Alright, here’s the complete list of results for tonight’s games

San Ramon Valley 2, Concord 0
Foothill 4, Amador Valley 0
Berkeley 3, Benicia 1
Granada 4, Liberty 3
Irvington 16, Pittsburg 6 (5 inn.)
Campolindo 4, Antioch 3 (6 inn.)
Monte Vista 2, Washington 1 (9 inn.)
Arroyo 13, Miramonte 0 (5 inn.)

Tomorrow’s semifinals will be San Ramon Valley against Foothill (the EBAL invades Willow Pass Park) and Berkeley vs. Granada. Could it be an all-EBAL final tomorrow evening? We’ll find out. Those games start at 11:15 a.m. I won’t be able to post tomorrow since we’ll have live updates from the CIF state basketball championships (Geek numero dos Chace Bryson will be live at Arco Arena so be sure to show him some love). If there’s a weather update from the Queen that I hear of, I’ll send it to Chace and ask him to post it for me. If the weather is good, I’ll show up at Willow Pass some time in the mid-afternoon and I’ll be there for the championship at 6:15 p.m.

6 pmish: Alrighty, I’m back from Willow Pass Park where I watched San Ramon Valley beat Concord 2-0. Dominique Ortega was masterful in the circle, needing just 83 pitches to complete the shutout. She also went 3-for-4 at the plate.

On Field 2, Berkeley beat Benicia 3-1 to advance to tomorrow morning’s semifinal round. I’ll be getting a call from tournament director John Vasquez a little later and when I do, you’ll know who won tonight’s other games.

17

Live from Arco Arena: CIF State Finals — Day 1

Div. II boys: Mater Dei 65, Archbishop Mitty 53

10:05: Well that’s about it for me here. Mater Dei is celebrating on the floor and they’re about to hand out the awards. Not much more for me to say except I’ll see you tomorrow. Chace Bryson will be taking care of you for tomorrow’s games at East Bay Prep Sports. I’m not sure if he’s going to do the early games, so if I wake myself up and get out here early (which I might do to reserve a good seat for the big games at night), I may hop on and hook you up with some D-V love. Well, until next time, this is J-Durk signing off.

10:04: Gordon still not ready to give up. He tips in a miss and is fouled. He’s at the line looking to add to his 16 points. He misses the FTand also is called for a lane violation. He leaves the game and is waving his arms to the Mitty faithful while giving the ref an earful. The Mitty student section is now chanting “It was fixed.” I wouldn’t go that far, but all in all, some bad officiating all around. It’s a final now. Mater Dei has won 65-53.

10:02: Brown going to the line for MD after being fouled with 18.5 left. First is good (MD has shot tremendously from the line) and so is the second. A foul is now called as Gordon fights for rebounding position. Trice now at the line for MD. I know the game is over but that’s yet another ridiculous call. Absolutely horrible officiating tonight. Trice’s second is good. It’s 63-51 MD.

10:00: Mitty quickly fouls D-Wear off the inbound. MD will be shooing two from here out. The crowd is starting to slowly file out and D-Wear makes both FTs. It’s 59-51. Mitty won’t pull this one off and it looks like SoCal will sweep the boys games tonight. Caloiaro is fouled and misses his first FT for Mitty, the second also misses and MD rebounds.

9:58: Time to reset. Mitty has no time outs, MD has one. Brown just scored inside to make it 57-51. Gordon attempts a trey for Mitty and it bounces over the backboard. This one might be ova. It’s 57-51 MD and MD has the ball with 29.6 left. Final TO taken by MD.

9:56: Way’s 3 can’t fall, rebound for Brown. How much of a rebounding edge does MD own? It has to be big. Brown makes the first, misses the second. 55-49. Way drives the lane for a bucket for Mitty. It’s 55-51. Time out with 51.4 left.

9:54: A foul called on Mitty’s Way sends MD’s Franklin to the line for the double bonus with 1:33 left. The first misses and the second swishes. 53-49. A steal by MD’s Blake Arnet and he’s fouled by Brandon Scott going in for the layup. He’s at the line with 1:19 left and splits. 54-49.

9:51: Turnaround bank shot by Gordon makes it 52-49. MD calls a 30-sec TO with 1:40 left.

9:49: An opportunity to take the lead slips away as Chiv loses the ball OB. Brown then hits a J for MD. It’s 50-47. The teams exchange steals and Chiv is called for a foul going after the ball after losing control. That’s his fifth and he’s done with 2:10 left in regulation. Brown goes to the line to shoot 1&1. The first is good, so is the second. 52-47 MD with under 2 min to go.

9:45: Chiv with a putback and it’s 48-47 now. A missed 3 by MD is rebounded by Mitty’s Brandon Scott. He’s fouled right after and will head to the line to shoot two (MD has 10 fouls so it’s double bonus time) with 3:44 left. The first shot is well short, same for the second. But he rebounds his own miss, but a Chiv 3 doesn’t fall. Ball to MD. Ball goes off the shot clock on a miss by MD’s Brown. Timeout with 3:25 left and it’s still 48-47 MD.

9:43: A Chiv 3 pointer just rattles out. After an MD miss, Chiv tries to drive the baseline but is swatted by MD’s Brown. Timeout with 4:10 left, Mater Dei 48, Mitty 45.

9:41: A missed 3 by D-Wear, Chiv rebounds. Gordon works inside and follows his own miss with a hoop that ties it at 45 with 5:09 left. At the other end, Brown is fouled while making a layup. His FT is good and it’s 48-45 with under 5 min to play.

9:39: Andoh is giving some life to Mitty. He rebounds a missed 3 by Way and scores the putback and is fouled with 6:21 left. FT is good and it’s 45-41. A little less scoring than my score prediction indicated but my guess is it’ll go to the wire. Now a pass intercepted by Chiv, he goes coast to coast and throws up an underhand reverse toss toward the hoop that swishes in (I don’t think that’s an adequate description). TO MD and it’s 45-43 now.

9:35: Start of the fourth quarter. Andoh scores inside off an inbounds, 44-36 MD. J-Will, eh? I am White Chocolate, so that works. Pizza wasn’t so great. Probably grab something on the way home. Another bucket for Andoh and it’s 44-38. Mitty is starting to show some gusto. But now a foul on Mitty and MD is already in the bonus, shooting 1&1. Brown makes the first, misses the second. 45-38.

9:30: Andoh at the line for Mitty, makes the first, misses the second. Rebound to MD. Connor Hughes with his first bucket of the day for MD. 44-34. To answer Ben’s question, I went with a slice of cheese pizza (Friday in Lent, not supposed to eat meat and wasn’t in the nachos mood). And what player are we talking with that Kings jersey? Third quarter is complete now and it’s 44-34 Mater Dei. Mitty needs to regroup and regain it’s composure if it’s going to come back.

9:27: OK, lost the connection briefly but am back. It’s 42-33 with 1:33 left in the third. Chiv just got called for his fourth and leaves the game mere seconds after re-entering.

9:22: Brandon Scott scores and is fouled for Mitty. He misses the FT, but a lane violation gives him another shot, which also misses. John Adams tries for the board and goes over the back and is called for the foul. He slaps the floor in frustration after picking up his fourth and is hit with a T, that means he’s got five fouls and is out. The ruling is that him slapping the floor was unsportsmanlike conduct. Are these kids who are fighting for a state title not allow any emotion?!? Give me a break. Both FTs are good. It’s 42-31 MD.

9:19: We’ve got our first bit of high-flying as Gordon flies in to clean up a John Adams miss with a thunderous dunk to make it 38-29. Crowd goes wild twice, once right after it and again when the replay is shown. On the other end, T-Wear is fouled. Hits both and it’s 40-29 with 3:15 left.

9:17: A steal by Andy Brown and as he’s going in for an easy bucket, Chiv gets called for an intentional foul. Good call there. It was pretty flagrant. No reason for complaints there. That was a bad move by Chiv. Brown makes 1 of 2 and it’s 38-27.

9:15: The refs are really hearing it from the crowd on both sides. It’s still 37-27 MD, now with 4:28 left.

9:12: An NBA range 3-pointer for Chiv swishes home. 34-27 MD. Franklin answers with a trey for MD. Back to a 10-point lead at 37-27. Considering some of the fouls called, we’ve had some really strange non-calls in the second half. Sorry to say it, but these refs are flat out bad. For a state title game, we should expect better.

9:10: By the way, quick Mitty notes as the second half starts. Chris Weber has seen court time today. That’s his first action since Jan. 2.

9:00: Got halftime stats. For Mater Dei, David Wear leads with 10 points, Gary Franklin has 6. Frankin and Travis Wear share rebounding honors with 5. Franklin also has a game-high 4 assists (Mitty, meanwhile, has just one as a team). For Mitty, Collin Chiverton leads in scoring with 10, Drew Gordon has 8. John Adams (the President) is the rebounding leader with 4. Mater Dei is shooting 12-of-25 on the night (48 percent), while Mitty is a miserable 6-of-25 (that’s just 24 percent). They’ve attempted the same amount of shots and Mitty has made HALF!! Wow! Mitty’s also 0-of-5 from 3-point land, MD is 3-of-7. Mitty does own the FT line though, shooting 12-of-13 to MD’s 7-of-13. Small consolation I guess. This game is far from over though. Mitty can score in a flash and make this a game again.

8:53: MD’s cheerleaders have taken the court. How many do they have? A lot. I think I counted about 20. It’s hard. They’re moving around quickly. I can tell you one is out there with a walking cast. What a trooper! Recount, I think it’s 23. Still not positive though.

8:51: A nice feed from Andy Brown to Collin Krahe and MD leads 32-24. A 3 by Caloiaro misses short and with 2.6 left in a loose ball situation, Drew Gordon is whistled for his third foul. Andy Brown to shoot two for MD. Gordon is obviously frustrated. He’s got three fouls and Chiverton is sitting with two. Brown’s first FT is good, second is good also. 34-24. That’s a quick little spurt to give MD a 10-point lead going into halftime, which we’ve officially reached.

8:49: Agent Zero, MD’s Jamaal Trice (he wears No. o) drains a corner trey and Mater Dei leads 30-24. Timeout Mitty with 1:23 left in the half. A few back and forth turnovers and we’re at 39.5 left and the score’s the same.

8:47: Gordon fouled on a FT-line jumper with 1:57 left. First is good, second is good. 27-24. FTs are helping Mitty big time. Now another pathetic hand check foul called on Mitty’s Way. We’ve got some boos from all over the crowd, including Mitch Stephens on press row. This is getting ridiculous. Both FTs are missed by Bobby Schultz.

8:45: Collin Krahe (his first mention) at the line for MD. Makes the first, misses the second. Rebound Gordon. 27-20. Gordon working inside. A hand check call on MD. Are you kidding me? For the premiere game, this is some horrible officiating. Gordon makes both, 27-22. Can we get some real refs though?

8:43: MD ball out of the timeout. MD’s Andy Brown is hacked going up for a shot inside. He’ll shoot a pair. Makes them both. 26-20 MD. Caloiaro short on a 3, but a miss by MD is rebounded by Gordon. Gordon is blocked inside on a hook shot by T-Wear. We’re under 3 min to go in the half now.

8:39: The ref calls a moving screen foul about the same time as Eagleson. Eagleson calls for the UCLA play. Are you shocked that the ball went to Gordon? He scores inside. Only his second bucket. 24-20. Media timeout with 3:52 left.

8:37: A steal by Gordon leads to a Chiv bucket and foul. His free throw sis good with 5:26 left and its 22-16 MD. Gary Franklin for MD with a bucket in the key. 24-16. A midcourt collision is a foul on Franklin. That’s his third. Double bonus for Mitty so Jay Way shoots two for the San Jose version of the Monarchs. Both are good and it’s 24-18 MD.

8:35: A nice read and steal by Mitty’s Caloiaro and he was fouled going up for the layup. He’ll shoot two, makes the first, makes the second. 20-13 with 6:09 left. Now T-Wear scores inside. That size his hurting Mitty. Caloiaro tries to drive baseline and is called for a very questionable charging foul. Looked pretty clean to me.

8:33: D-Wear (that’s David Wear) with a layup inside. 18-11. Chiv just airballed a 3 and the MD crowd is letting him have it. Now, D-Wear knocks down a baseline j. 20-11 MD.

8:31: Apparently the technical was for some jawing between the two. One ref told Mitty coach Brian Eagleson that “they’re here to play basketball, not talk.” Weak if you ask me. Well, second quarter about to tip off.

8:29: We had double technical fouls on Drew Gordon and Jamaal Trice. Nobody on press row is quite sure why. Anyways, it’s the end of the first quarter with Mater Dei up 16-11.

8:25: Travis Wear (who will now be known as T-Wear) scores inside. Chiv fouled on a jumper. He’s to the line, makes the first, makes the second. It’s 16-11.

8:23: By the way, we’ve literally got twin towers here in MD’s David and Travis Wear, both 6-10 juniors. Travis is a G/F, David a F. It’s still 14-9.

8:21: A miss inside by Wear. Angelo Caloiaro rebounds for Mitty. MD’s Franklin just got called for his second foul. Gordon working in the paint and rolls in a hook shot. Then back on D gets his hand on a pass and knocks it OB. It’s 14-9 MD. Traveling by David Wear. Mitty ball.

8:19: Back from the TO, Chiv just off on a 3 for Mitty. MD rebound. MD’s Blake Arnet drives and is fouled. He splits ‘em and it’s 14-6. We’ve now got Chiv (for the rest of this blog, that’s his name) at the line, the first is no good, second is good. 14-7.

8:16: Wear scores inside again for MD to make it 12-4. If I were Mitty I’d throw the ball OB to get Gordon in the game. Meanwhile, Chiv drives for two. We’ve got a foul now and MD’s Gary Franklin is shooting 3. Short on the first, rims out the second and we’ve got our first Gordon sighting at the 3:52 mark (Mitty fans cheer Druuuuuuuuu!). The third FT is good. We’ve got a media timeout. 13-6 MD.

8:14: A miss by Mitty’s John Adams. MD rebound. But a Chiverton steal goes coast to coast and follows his own miss. It’s 8-2 MD now. Now a feed inside to Wear makes it 10-2. Gordon gets ready to check in. Before he does, Enoch Andoh with a jumper to make it 10-4. Miss by MD, rebound Mitty. Gordon to enter on the next stoppage.

8:12: First points of the day are a 3-point by Gary Franklin for MD. 3-0 Mater Dei. David Wear scores inside for MD to make it 5-0. Another miss for Mitty. now a 3-pointer for Blake Arnet and Mater Dei leads 8-0. Time out Mitty with 6:17 left in the first.

8:10: Mater Dei wins the tip, but we’ve got an offensive foul on MD’s Andy Brown. Mitch Stephens says “bad call.”

8:08: Lineups have been announced. Drew Gordon is coming off the bench again tonight. He had about 20 off the bench last week, so I wouldn’t be too worried.

8:04: I tried my luck at making a sucker bet with the Chron’s Jake Leonard. I was betting him $20 that the Monarchs would win (both teams are nicknamed the Monarchs). He almost took it … almost.

8:00: OK, I’ve refueled and we’re almost set for the lineups and the anthem here.

7:44: We’re 16 minutes from tip-off here. I’ll be back shortly.

Div. II girls: Archbishop Mitty 59, Mira Costa 49

7:37: The Mitty players are over near the student section celebrating along with their classmates. Things could really get crazy if Mitty pulls off the boys-girls sweep.

7:35: A bucket by MC makes it 57-49. A nice baseball pass on the inbound leads to an Ashley Watson layup. 10 point lead now and now it’s official in the books. Mitty has won 59-49 and is going wild as they have won their second straight state title!

7:32: With the shot clock winding down after a near steal, Ariel Castillo throws up a desperation 3 and banks it home. 55-47 Mitty. I think the Monarchs got this one! After a MC foul, Iman Scott is shooting FTs for Mitty with 43.5 left. First is good, second is good. Mitty has got this in the bag.

7:30: With 1:25 left, Keri Stephanoff is shooting a pair of FTs. First one goes, second misses. 52-47 Mitty.

7:28: Mitty throws the ball away, MC takes it to the other end and calls time. With 1:46 left in OT, it’s Mitty 52, Mira Costa 46.

7:26: MC’s Richardson gets called for traveling and she is NOT happy. At the other ends, Classye James drained a 3 for Mitty and the Monarchs lead 50-46. They corral a rebound off an MC miss and are looking to add to the lead. A feed inside to Lindsey Leo and she scores. 52-46. Now a charging foul on MC and Mitty is starting to sense it.

7:24: Mitty wins the OT tip. Classye James was looking to drive and was fouled on the floor. Double bonus though so she’ll shoot two. The first misses, the second is good. 47-46 Mitty.

7:22: A miss on a drive by Watson, Mira Costa eventually controls the rebound but can’t get off a shot in time. That means we’re going to …. OVERTIME!!!!! Can’t beat that in a game of this magnitude. Although, that will cut into my going-to-get-something-to-eat time. Oh well.

7:20: Richardson at the line for Mira Costa. The first shot rattles out. The Mitty faithful roar in approval. The second swishes and we’re tied. Mitty dribbles down, then coach Sue Phillips calls time. It’s 46-46 with 19.7 remaining.

7:18: OK, back to game stuff. We’ve got 24.8 left and Mitty is holding a 46-45 lead. Mitty just called a timeout.

7:17: I was just asked by Max Preps’ Mitch Stephens who has a better shirt, him or Cal-Hi Sports’ Mark Tennis. I went with Mitch. He’s got a flannel get-up, similar to Al Borland. Mark has an unusual print on his shirt. Looks like boxes with crosses in it or something.

7:15: We’re at 1:09 left and it’s now 46-42 Mitty after a Watson FT. Then Megan Richardson hits a 3-pointer for MC and it’s 46-45 with 58.3 remaining.

7:10: FTs split by MC’s Mikah Maly-Karros makes it 44-42 Mitty with under 2 1/2 to play now. Ashley Watson drives for Mitty and draws a foul on Maly-Karros — that’s her fifth and tears are filling her eyes as she walks off the court with 20 points. He step-father, former major league Eric Karros, does not look happy up in the stands.

7:03: We’ve hit the 7 o’clock hour and Mitty holds a 40-35 lead with 4:44 left. It looks like we’ll have some descent time in between this and the main event — Mitty-Mater Dei boys. That’s good. I’m hungry. I didn’t eat before I came and have been so busy that I’ve only managed two little bowls of the free press room popcorn. What should I get from the snack bar today? While I’ve been typing, Mira Costa has closed to 40-39. This should get good. Oooh!!! We just had a foul on MC while Mitty’s Classye James was shooting a 3. That’s the fifth foul on MC’s Kylie Nakamine.

6:52: The third quarter has come to a close and Mitty is holding a 36-30 lead. Mira Costa was scoreless for the final 6:43 of that quarter. We’ve got a big 8 minutes coming up before the Mitty boys get to tackle Mater Dei in what should be a terrific state final. I hear that game is being broadcast on tape delay, so I’ll do my best to give you some solid blow by blow for that game.

6:45: With 2:59 left in the third, a FT by Mitty’s Ashley Watson has tied the game at 30-all. Will this one go down to the wire like our last contest?

6:42: They just announced a winner of a giveaway contest, I believe it’s the iPod giveaway. The winner was Gerald Pleasant from Oakland. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that’s the same Gerald Pleasant who is the former Castlemont boys basketball coach.

6:37: Alrighty folks, I’m getting little response from you. I’m disappointed I must say. Anyways, Mitty trails Mira Costa by 3 with 4 minutes and change left in the third.

6:15: We’ve hit halftime with Mitty trailing 26-20. Since this is on TV, we’ve currently got Sue Phillips (Mitty coach) being interviewed by Christine Nubla (yowsers! – good choice for a sideline reporter).

6:10: I’ve got one question for CIF. I see the team benches and the courtside seats across the way all have these really nice plush seats. Not that the media seats are bad (they’ve got some cushioning) but they aren’t as good as those other ones. Can’t we get the same treatment as those folks?

6:06: We’re a little more than midway through the second quarter and Hannah Stevens just hit a 3 to cut Mitty’s lead to 20-14. Thought I’d catch you up if you’re not watching.

5:37: We’ve just tipped off here. No need for full blow by blow since you guys can (and probably have) tuned in to FSN for the broadcast. Just below I’ll be typing in some final thoughts on the St. Pat’s-Country Day game before returning to provide some color commentary.

Division IV girls: St. Patrick-St. Vincent 67, La Jolla Country Day 65

5:43: Again, a congratulations to St. Pat’s. That was a terrific game and it’s nice to see Alex Cowling end her prep career on top. I’ve told many a people that she’s the best prep girls players I’ve seen not named Paris. The post-game press conference featured some wonderful banter. Coach Dr. Rodney Faucett talking about performing surgery on days before coming to games and practices, followed by Cowling mentioning how he once came with blood on his shoes! Yikes! The good doctor confirm that the patient survived. Also, big ups to the St. Pat’s contingent that made the trip. They made an impact, just ask the Country Day coaches and players who spoke about how they got rattled when the St. Pat’s crowd started going wild. Well, that about wraps it up. Please feel free to post any questions you have for me in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer.

5:09: Even though I’m not writing off this game, I’m going to head in shortly to the press conference just to listen in on St. Pat’s. Like I said, Cowling’s such a great interview. I want to hear her after this one.

5:04: St. Pat’s is still going crazy and rightfully so. This was one heck of a game. To rally from I believe 15 down after blowing a similar lead last year. That’s some sweet revenge! Congrats to Alex Cowling — she’s one of the best interviews you’ll ever come across — and the rest of the Bruins. Great game, great win, great season.

5:01: The inbound went from Moore to Terrell, back to Moore who was finally fouled with 2.8 left. Moore did maybe a little over exuberant celebrating getting ready to shoot. It’s not over yet, but it’s closer. Fulcher fouled out on the play. Moore’s first is good, the second would guarantee no worse than OT. She misses, but CD can’t get off a shot. St. Pat’s storms the court as Division IV girls state champions!!! The final is St. Pat’s 67, Country Day 65. Wow! What a game!

4:59: Both FTs miss. Fulcher gets the rebound for CD, but misses a layup. The ball then knocked out of bounds. St. Pat’s ball with 7.9 left. The Bruins will be in the double bonus on the next foul, so they’ll be shooting two. To reset again, St. Pat’s 66, Country Day 65 with 7.9 seconds left.

4:57: Elegado drives and banks one in to give CD the lead. At the other, Jamiez Terrell hits an off-balance jumper to make it 66-65 St. Pat’s. Now CD’s Conners is fouled and she’ll shoot two with 13.7 seconds left and her team trailing by one. Can you feel the pressure?

4:55: The CD rooting section behind me is starting to chant “Torreys, Torreys, Torreys.” This should be a thrilling finish no doubt. Too bad for SP they don’t have Cowling. Good CD defense leads to a shot clock violation by St. Pat’s. CD ball with 1 minute remaining.

4:53: This could be huge. A foul on Cowling and that’s her fifth. The high school career of the Loyola Marymount-bound star is over. Hopefully her team can hold on for her. Elegado at the line with SP leading 64-59. The front end of Elegado’s 1&1 misses. But rebound CD. Dominique Conners drives, scores and is fouled. FT is no good but she gets her own rebound and scores. It’s now 64-63 SP. Time out St. Pat’s with 1:32 left.

4:51: WOW!!! Rojas drains another trey for the Bruins. They lead 64-57. Coach Rodney Faucett is getting pumped as is this entire crowd. A layup by CD’s Ariana Elegado and it’s 64-59 with 2:03 left. Now a charging call on SP, CD ball.

4:49: Carter hits both free throws. 61-56. St. Pat’s is starting to feel it. CD’s Janae Fulcher is fouled inside and will shoot two. The first is good, the second misses. Cowling rebound. Near turnover in the backcourt but SP’s hold onto it.

4:47: Traveling on CD. St. Pat’s ball. Carter for SP goes up for a rebound and is hacked from behind. Carter will shoot FTs but first CD calls time. 3:27 left and St. Pat’s leads 59-56.

4:46: CD’s Fulcher scores inside, 57-56. SP tries to feed Cowling down low and she’s fouled. She’ll go to the line. Where is Dave Schoen when we need him with some useless info? C’mon Schoener, get us that Kentucky name. Cowling makes both, 59-56.

4:44: Wow!!! Rechel Carter with a 3 for St. Pat’s and the Bruins have grabbed a 55-54 lead. This gym is absolutely rocking!! A foul on CD after a St. Pat’s rebound and Ashley Moore is at the line for St. Pat’s with 4:24 left. She hits the front end of a 1&1, the second is good and it’s 57-54 SPSV.

4:42: Cowling drives and is fouled. She’s at the line, makes the first, the second rims out but rebound to Rojas, but St. Pat’s turns it over. St. Pat’s gets it back and Rojas scores inside. Then CD throws it away. 54-52 CD with 4:52 left.

4:40: A 3-pointer by St. Pat’s Taylor Rojas makes it 50-47 with about 6 minutes to go. Wow! The teams exchange buckets. It’s 52-49. CD scores, 54-49.

4:38: The Bruins have cut into the lead and it’s now 50-44. They’ve been the comeback kids in the playoffs. Can they do it again?

4:35: Start of the fourth quarter has Country Day on top 50-39.

4:29: A 12-0 run has given CD a 48-33 advantage. Ouch!

4:25: Almost midway through the third, it’s 39-33 Country Day. A question posed here by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jake Leonard. Does anybody remember the player from Kentucky (circa 1997-ish) that used to bend all the way down to the floor when shooting his free-throws. Jake recalls him being about a 5-10 white guys who was a 3-point and free-throw specialist. Anybody know the name? He asks because Alex Cowling has a very similar FT stroke.

4:10: Halftime update. Country Day leads 34-28. I’m close to wrapping up my St. Mary’s story and then I can bring you more updates.

3:52: With about 6 minutes left in the second, St. Pat’s just grabbed a 17-16 lead.

3:46: End of the first quarter and St. Pat’s is trailing 16-14. Yes, Alex Cowling has returned for those who were wondering. She had three points in the period.

3:33: St. Pat’s is trailing 6-2. Alex Cowling had to leave with a bloody nose. They’re trying to get her patched up right now. More updates to come after I finish writing my story.

2:59: Updates for this game will be provided as soon as possible. Have to do post-game interviews with St. Mary’s and Campbell Hall and write up a sidebar story, then I’ll get some updates going for the D-IV girls.

Division IV boys: Campbell Hall 83, St. Mary’s 61

2:56: SM’s Aalim Moor and CH’s Keegan Hornbuckle were awarded the sportsmanship awards. As CIF likes to say, “it’s the most prestigious award it gives out.”

2:54: The awards presentation is about to start. I’ll be bolting shortly to attend the post-game press conference. I’ll return later to give some post-game stuff and then I’ll hop on with some St. Patrick-St. Vincent vs. La Jolla Country Day updates as soon as I can.

2:52: C.J. Andallo gets his name in the box score for SM as he’s fouled and goes to the line. Let’s see if he can get some points. The first FT misses, the second is short. Now Neal Sampson is in the box score for SM as he goes to the line. He misses the first and the second. The line has not been kind to SM. The St. Mary’s rooting section is singing the school’s first song it sounds like. This one is officially over. Campbell Hall wins 83-61 to claim the Division IV boys state title.

2:50: McBroom is fouled and goes to the line for CH. Hits the first, misses the second. 79-61. We’re under a minute now. McBroom going back to the line. Makes the first. Nodar goes to his bench for a new five. Time to get the reserves an opportunity to step onto the floor at Arco. The second FT makes it 81-61 and McBroom heads back to the line after a SM turnover. First is good and now CH empties its bench. McBroom makes the second and it’s 83-61.

2:48: Aalim Moor scores his first points of the day with a drive to make it 78-61. TO Panthers. They’ll try to stretch this game out but there’s not enough time left in this one.

2:47: A miss by CH, then a steal and score by Rutherford. SM’s Shields misses a 3. Time to foul for SM and Will Brew does. That’s his fifth and his high school career is officially over. CH is working the clock now. McBroom drives and is fouled with 1:19 left. His two FTs make it 78-59.

2:45: Holiday tips in his own miss, 74-57. Will Brew is fouled by Holiday and now that’s the fifth for the UCLA bound star. It may still be too late for SM, but that helps. Will is at the line to shoot 1&1 with 2:15 left. The first is good, so is the second. It’s 74-59.

2:43: Holiday dribbles through several defenders, then feeds Rutherford for a layup and that might do it. It’s 72-55. Will Brew scores inside for SM. 72-57.

2:41: A steal by Dom Lee and Chris Brew at the other ends scores and is fouled with 4:07 left. The FT goes is and it’s a 19-0 run by the Panthers. But that run finally ends as McBroom hits a 3 to make it 7-55.

2:39: A missed 3 by Chris Brew and the outside shots are not falling. But a nice outlet and a pass from Dem Lee to Chris Brew leads to a jam and it’s 67-49. They’re creaping back in. Now Dem Lee hit’s a 3-pointer from NBA range to cut it to 67-52 with 4:20 left. Time out Panthers as Lee celebrates his shot at halfcourt. This one may not be in the books quite yet.

2:36: Semien on the run for SM goes in for a layup and is fouled. He makes the FT to finish the three point play. 67-45. Dem Lee is now fouled inside and will shoot two. He makes them both. 67-47.

2:34: Off a CH turnover, Will Brew dishes ahead to Dom Lee for a jam. SM then takes a full TO, trailing 67-42 with 6:46 left in the season.

2:32: Hornbuckle inside from McBroom, 67-38. Dom Lee finishes an alley-oop lay in. Then he cuts through the lane, gets the feed and finishes. It’s 67-40. It’d be nice to see SM at least finish on a strong note here.

2:29: A 3 by Hornbuckle makes it 65-34 and this one is all but over. Chris Brew gets fouled shooting a 3 with 5.1 left. That foul was on Holiday — his fourth. I don’t think it’ll cost CH. Brew misses the first, makes the second, makes the third. 65-36. The quarter ends and CH had a 23-8 advantage in the period. Fourth quarter is likely going to be garbage time here. It’s been a tough game here for SM. Not the way they wanted to end a great season.

2:26: Will Brew just picked up his fourth foul with 2:20 left in the third and he has to leave. Holiday makes two FTs. 58-32. Dem Lee scores on a 3-on-1 break and it’s 58-34. CH has a 16-6 advantage in the quarter. Holiday follows his own miss for CH and we’re at 60-34 with under a minute left in the third. Now Rutherford inside. 62-34.

2:24: Dem Lee misses two FT for SM. Frustration is starting to mount for the Panthers. They’ve gotten a few steals but haven’t been able to convert into points at the other end. Now McBroom hits a jumper before getting knocked over. 54-30. A turnover for SM gives it back to the Vikings and McBroom with a runnerto make it 56-30. Three misses at the other end before Will Brew finally gets a loose ball and scores. It’s 56-32.

2:22: Dem Lee just drove for a jam, but was called for traveling before the drive. Nothing is going right for SM. The Panthers are trying to force things now. A miss by CH is cleaned up with a jam by Holiday and this one is on the verge of getting out of hand. It’s 52-30.

2:20: A steal by McBroom and he goes in for an easy layup. Time out St. Mary’s with 5:01 left in the third. Panthers trail 50-30.

2:18: Nodar tells his bench “We’re losing our composure, we need to get our composure back.” Rutherford hits 2 of 3 at the line for CH and it’s 46-30. Now he gets an easy bucket at the other end and this is starting to get away from SM. It’s 48-30.

2:16: Holiday with the first points of the second half and CH is up 44-28. SM needs a run and it needs one NOW! Will Brew at the line, misses both. The FTs are killing SM right now. Marcus Semien does get the board and putback for SM. 44-30 even though the scoreboard says 40-28.

2:14: Second half has started. That was an eventful halftime with those score confusions. Both teams are struggling to score early in the half. Blocks at each end. Nodar apparently is not happy with the official from the San Francisco Section. He tells another ref “The guy from San Francisco is killing me and he’s from my area.”

2:10: It’s pretty unanimous on press row that it should be 40. That’s a lot of people to all be wrong. It seems press row is incorrect. I guess we all missed a steal of an inbound pass by Rutherford and a score. It was right after the runner by McBroom and it happened while the entire press row put their heads down to write. Crazy!!! So we’re now saying 42-28 is right. I remember hearing some cheering as I looked at my computer to type. That must’ve been when it happened.

2:06: Now we’ve switched back on the scoreboard to 42-28. Did we all miss a bucket? Looking back at what I typed, it adds up to 40 unless I’m missing something.

2:05: We’re having some discussion here on press row. We think the score is wrong. I’ve got some people thinking it’s 40-28, some think it’s 39-28, now the scoreboard has changed to 43-28. Jeesh!!!! Robert Jordan chimes in “How do you get that wrong at this level?” I have to agree. Discussion is ongoing right now.

2:03: Wow, the fab fresh for CH, Austin McBroom is good. He drives for a runner, then hits a jumper. Press row is pretty impressed with this 5-10 freshman. It’s 39-28. SM trying to hold for the last shot but a drive doesn’t connect. The rebound and outlet goes to Rutherford and the 6-3 senior for CH hits an 3-pointer at the buzzer and it’s quickly 42-28. That’s one heck of a run for CH to take back control right before the half.

2:01: Nodar giving a ref grief about a foul and the ref started to get a little heater. Nodar replies “Don’t get mad.” The ref replies, “I ain’t mad, I’m excited.” CH hits one FT, now Chris Brew at the line for SM, makes 1 of 2, it’s 33-28.

1:59: Now Demetrius Lee with a bucket and SM is starting to get juiced. The Panthers are on a 12-5 lead since Holiday had to leave with his third foul.

1:57: Sorry, had some connection porblems. I’m back now. Dom Lee just scored inside to cut CH’s lead to 32-25.

1:53: Demetrius Lee with a block and Holiday now called for a reaching foul in the backcourt. That’s his third foul and that could spell trouble for CH. Chris Brew misses the end of the 1&1. “Another free throw (miss),” Nodar laments. A charging call on McBroom and Chris Brew scores. Then a 3 for McBroom and now Will Brew scores. It’s 30-19.

1:51: Holiday now connects from 3-point land and it’s a double-digit lead for CH at 25-15. A steal now by Holiday leads to a dunk and a 27-15 lead. SM needs to gets this game under control or CH can put it away quickly. A missed runner by Will Brew and Nodar isn’t happy with his over-aggressive play-making and sends Justin Shields in to replace him. Now a travel call on Chris Brew. Still 27-15.

1:49: A trey for Hornbuckle and CH opens a 20-15 advantage. A missed jumper by Will Brew and Nodar complains outloud that the team is taking too many jumpshots. McBroom then hits a runner and it’s 22-15. CH. Will Brew now shooting 1&1 for SM and misses the front end.

1:45: No scoring over the last couple a minutes. Just a couple of fouls. We’re now up to 10 in the first quarter. 6 for CH, 4 for SM. The quarter closing with McBroom airballing an NBA range 3. After one, it’s 17-15 CH.

1:43: Chris Brew shooting two FTs for SM, first one goes, same for the second. 30-second TO for SM, it’s 17-15 CH with 1:19 left in the first.

1:41: Dallas Rutherford connects from long range and CH grabs a 16-13 advantage. SM coach Manny Nodar is asking his staff who hit the 3, he wants to know who to blame for leaving him open. Holiday now at the line for CH with 1:34 left, connects on 1 of 2 and CH has a 17-13 lead.

1:39: CH takes the lead as McBroom hits a trey. But Dom Lee finishes another miss and we’re tied at 13-all.

1:37: Keegan Hornbuckeles tips in a Holiday miss. But back on the other end, it’s Dom Lee inside to regain the two-point lead. Holiday gets fouled at the other end with 3:30 left in the first. Misses the first and makes the second. 11-10 SM.

1:35: Austin McBroom cuts through the lane and tosses one in for Campbell Hall. Dom Lee with a putback off a Will Brew miss, 9-5. Now Jrue Holiday drives the middle for two, 9-7.

1:33: Will Brew with a drop pass to brother Chris, who elects to finger roll it home (c’mon Chris, go for the Jam!) It’s 6-3 SM. Dom Lee now at the line for SM, hits 1 of 2. 7-3 SM.

1:31: James Johnson to the line for Campbell Hall. He was fouled by SM’s Dominique Lee while going up for a jam. He makes 1 of 2. 2-1 SM. Now on the other end Will Brew with a nifty dribble drive into a slam for a 4-1 lead. This game is going to be high flying . Johnson on the other end with a lay in, 4-3 SM.

1:29: Tipoff came exactly one minute early. It was won by Campbell Hall, but SM gets the first points of the day. Off a TO, Chris Brew tried to send home a slam, but missed. He was fouled and hit the two FTs. 2-0.

1:26: My apologies to XTower, I am finally here and logged on. Got caught up having to argue with the lady at the parking entrance. I DON’T PAY THE $10.00!! The anthem’s been sung, the lineups are currently being announced. Whoosh! We’re getting ready to get started.

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EBAL swimmers to watch

As mentioned in today’s Herald, here is a list of some swimmers to watch for in the EBAL as submitted by their coaches:

AMADOR VALLEY

GIRLS
Key Returnees: Kayleigh Foley (SR, Sprint Free), Marina Allen (SR, Fly), Melissa Pease (SR, Fly), Jennifer Cotton (SR, Diving), Casey Coughlin (JR, Distance Free), Marie Schmidt (JR, Distance Free), Jenn Docto (JR, Sprint Free), Chloe Lowder (JR, IM & Back), Brittany Grider (JR, Back), Nicole Plihal (JR, Free), Ashley Salustri (JR, Diving), Lisa Grau (SO, Diving), Christina Zhang (SO, Breast), Alicia Brown (SO, Fly), Chelsea Finn (SO, Breast), Emily Pease (SO, Back)

Key Newcomers: Catherine Breed (Free), Tory Houston (Breast), Natalie Wong (Fly), Danielle Stickler (Back), Ali Hernbroth (Breast), Lindsey Baxter (Back)

BOYS
Key Returnees: Cole Payan (SR, Sprint Free), Mike White (SR, Diving) Scott Arellano (JR, Sprint Free & Back), Jake Bahls (JR, Free & Fly), Jason Cunningham (JR, Sprint Free & Fly), Uggi Lee (JR, Fly), James Raynel (JR, Free & Back), Trevor Landas (JR, Breast), Tyler Pullen (SO, Diving), Krishnan Rajagopalan (SO, IM & Fly), Casey Long (SO, Diving), Eric Gates (SO, Back), Brian Zhang (SO, Free & Fly)

Key Newcomers: Andrew Seitz (Free), Tim McLaughlin (Free), Edward Zhang (Fly), Kyle Surber (Breast)

FOOTHILL

GIRLS
Key Returnees: Melissa Bonnel(SR), Stephanie Csongor(SR), Nikki Doi(Sop), Krystal Lau(JR), Colleen Mayes(JR), Lisa Narum(SR), Neda Nguyen(SR), Taylor Peterson(SR),
Bethany Poon(JR), Amanda Schmitz(SR), Hannah Schmitz(FR), Sara Schoch(SR),
Amanda Venama(SR), Karen Wang(SO), Holly Micheff(SR Dive), Erin Thompson(JR Dive).

Key Newcomers: Catherine Fong (FR), Addie Mantor(FR Dive).

BOYS
Key Returnees: Bobby Barrett(SR), Chris Clark(SO), Jeremy Crane(SR), Pat Darrow(SR), Jeffery Fong(JR), David Hsieh(SR),Joe KIm(SR), Andrew Kuo(JR),
Billy Nelson(SR), Bryan Qi(SR), Kyle Schempp(SR), Tyler Spott(JR Dive), Bret Trombley(JR).

Key Newcomers: Jon DePrez(SR Dive), Chris Dotson(FR), Pete Huang(FR), Tyler Pederson(SO Dive), Stefano Salvoni(SO)

GRANADA

GIRLS
Katrina Anderson, Alexa Danner, Haley Boehrer,Audyre McLaggan

LIVERMORE

GIRLS
Key Returners: Brooke McKinney, Kayleigh Torres, Sarah East, Carol Wilson, Rebecca Graves, Robyn Dozier, Jena Macias, Linay Mitchell

Key Newcomers: Alex Accornero, Ashley Defenbaugh, Carrie Melrose, Nicole McCaffrey, Kathryn Rambo, Maddie Sweeney, Taralyn Torres

BOYS
Key Returners: Hayden Christensen, Baljinnyam, Dashdorj, Derek Gutierrez, Luke Gutierrez, Brian Henderson, Scott Henderson, Briant Jacobs,
Matt Hawkins, Keith Testerman.

Key Newcomers: Kamran Abri, Scott Crowder, Johnny Cruz, Eric Santin

MONTE VISTA

GIRLS
Key Returnees: Olivia Anderson(sprint), Paige Bradley(sprint, IM), Shelby Burman(back), Bari Cappelletti(sprint), Kelly Mendoza(distance), Kelly Peterson(fly and breast), Shannon Purcell(sprint), Kristin Rogers(distance), Jessie Rogers(distance), Sloan Saunders(sprint), Sydney Saunders(spint), Ocean Trail(sprint), Karley Troup(fly and distance), Nicole Varvitsiotes(breast), Stacie Wong(back), Teresa Steffens(sprint)

Key Newcomers: Katie Creed(fly), Lauren Damien(fly and back), Laura Kelly(IM and breast), Callie Klein(fly and back), Emily Malin(IM), Sabina Woodward(sprint), Vanessa Woodward(sprint), Maggie Steffens(sprint)

BOYS
Key Returnees: Travis Bailey(fly), Brian Carpentier(sprint), Craig Chang(IM), Kevin Chen(IM and breast), Vince Kaaret(breast), Parker Klein(fly and back), Andrew Martino(sprint), Mike Millstein(sprint and fly), Spencer Peugh(sprint and back), Brandon Yee(distance)

Key Newcomers: Ryan Chen(distance and breast), Matt Chiodo(fly), Daniel Kaaret(breast), Kevin Lu(IM), Matt Rahn(breast), Alan Robertson(sprint), Eric Sasse(distance), Matt Sturla(back), Patrick Scott(sprint), Andrew Yee(distance)

SAN RAMON VALLEY

GIRLS
Seniors: Kelley Shaw, Miranda Schneider, Kirstyn Colonias
Juniors: Elizabeth Burchard, Keri George, Lyndsay Herman, Grace Hochstatter, Kristi Lee, Elizabeth Parrish.
Sophomores: Aimee Crocker, Taylor Munk.
Freshman: Jacquie Gruendl, Caitlin Hamilton, Nicole Tsang, Stephanie Wraith
Freshman Divers: Katja Pidel, Theresa Nelson

BOYS
Seniors: Stu Busha, Pierce, Porter, Thomas Rugg, Tyler, Teddy Yorke
Juniors: Justin Gribble, Byron Gruendl, Drew McLaughlin, Michael Moruza, Kevin Schirmer, Patrick Weiss
Sophomores: Jamie Cook, Jason Roudney. Trevor Ryan

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Live blogging from CIF state finals

Hey folks, well just wanted to let you know that I’ll be bringing you the live updates from tomorrow’s CIF Division IV boys basketball state championship game between St. Mary’s and Campbell Hall. I’ll also be writing up a story off that game, so I’ll have to take a little time afterwards to write, then I’ll hop back on and give you as much as I can from the girls Division IV game between St. Patrick-St. Vincent and La Jolla Country Day.

The final two games on the night (Div. II girls — Mira Costa vs. Archbishop Mitty and Div. II boys — Mater Dei vs. Archbishop Mitty) will both be televised on FSN Bay Area, so I won’t give you blow by blow, but I’ll probably stick around and provide some commentary for you folks. Feel free throughout the day to drop me and questions and I’ll do my best to answer and as always, please let’s get the comments rolling. I want to beat the 153 comments that we got from last week’s NorCal finals.

Also on Saturday, I’ll be turning blogging duties over to my cohorts at East Bay Prep Sports. Since I’ll be covering both the Berkeley and McClymonds games, I won’t be able to do the blogging myself but they’ll hook you up over there. Don’t be shocked if you see me drop in with some Mack comments though.

By the way, check out Friday’s Oakland Tribune for some killer coverage of Mack as it pursues the school’s first official state title. There will be a feature focusing on Coach Moe’s final game with Mack, plus capsules with photos and short bios on the entire team, including their nicknames and best memories from this past season. A few guys on the team made the mistake of not giving a nickname, so Coach Moe filled one in for them. They’ll be in for a surprise when they see the paper.

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Queen of the Mountain: Day One Results

Thanks to those who have posted results. Here’s the complete list.

Foothill 14, Antioch 3,
Amador Valley 5, Campolindo 4
Liberty 12, Miramonte 1
San Ramon Valley 2, Pittsburg 0
Concord 2, Irvington 1
Berkeley 3, Monte Vista 1
Benicia 5, Washington 4 (9 inn.)
Granada 10, Arroyo 3

I was at the Amador Valley-Campolindo game and I was impressed with Campo’s effort considering the Cougars had already played a game today. Amador’s offense was a little too much though and a great relief outing from Haley Douglas kept the Dons on top. Across the field from where I was, tournament director John Vasquez let me know that Benicia’s 5-4 win over Washington in nine innings might have been the game of the tournament. Benicia gets to play Berkeley tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s championship round looks like this:

San Ramon Valley vs. Concord, Foothill vs. Amador Valley, Berkeley vs. Benicia, Granada vs. Liberty.

I’ll be there at 5 for the Concord/SRV game. Should be a good one.

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Softball news and notes

I got out to my first softball game of the year yesterday and saw Freedom beat Foothill 3-1. Freedom is good. I mean, really good. Foothill isn’t there quite yet but you can see that given some time, Matt Sweeney will have those girls ready for the league season and possibly a postseason run.

Today, the Queen of the Mountain kicks off at Willow Pass Park in Concord. I’m headed out to tonight’s 6:45 game between Amador Valley and Berkeley and I’ll be there all three days. Should be a great weekend of softball.

Now, I won’t have live updates but I’ll try to give a recap of the day at the end of each day. Also, we’re going to have live updates from the state basketball championships here on the East Bay Prep Sports Blog on Saturday so I don’t want to mess with that. Anyway, I should have more to follow later tonight.

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Changes on prep row

I know some of you have been following our ongoing labor situation here at the Contra Costa Times and the Bay Area News Group-East Bay. I know that because a few coaches have asked me about it. As for me, well, you’re stuck with me but in much the same vein as my colleague Jimmy Durkin did over at Prep Corner last night, I wanted to acknowledge the four guys we’re saying goodbye to today.

From our staff here at the Times, we say farewell to Bill Kruissink and Ricardo Sanchez Jr. Most of you know Ricardo as Mr. Volleyball here on the blog but his girls hoops coverage was among the best in the area and we’ll miss him. Also, we’ll miss his all-around game in our Friday pickup basketball games. Good luck in SoCal.

As for Kruissink, well, the guy is probably the biggest reason I have my job right now. I started writing for the Danville Times weekly when I was a junior at Cal and we took on some incredibly fun story ideas in the nearly two years under his supervision. It wasn’t until I actually joined the paper full time that I knew how much legwork went into setting that stuff up for me. I know he went to the mat to get me hired full-time when I graduated. Plus, he was there covering the game when my baseball team won its first league title since 1991 and he delivered one of the most memorable Two Geeks performances in history. BKR, we’ll all miss you.

To the Deen (Steve Herendeen) and the Whistle (Dennis Miller), we’ll miss you guys. I’m in the same boat as Jimmy when I look back on my playing career and I’m fairly sure Steve covered a few of my games as well. As for the Whistle, we all knew who to go to when we needed some Valley knowledge and losing that wealth of information is going to hurt. Also, who else do you know that takes his own pictures for the Athlete of the Week section? We’ll be seeing you both down the road I’m sure.

So, life goes on I suppose. We are now a much leaner (it’s impossible for us to get meaner) machine and we’ll be re-evaluating our focus in the weeks to come. You’re going to see some changes and I’d ask that you bear with us as we figure out how to do some of the things we do with less people. One thing I’ll try to keep doing is this blog and maintaining our online presence because I know there are people out there reading.

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Farewell to two of the best

Tomorrow will be an emotional day for us in the newspaper business as we say good-bye to more than 100 employees company-wide who had their buyouts accepted. At the prep sports level, we say good-bye to a pair of mainstays in Oakland Tribune local sports editor Steve Herendeen and Tri-Valley Herald local sports editor Dennis Miller. Combined, the duo has served the company for 47 years — experience that just can’t be replaced.

Anyone who has ever picked up one of the papers in our chain (Oakland Tribune, Tri-Valley Herald, Daily Review and Fremont Argus) over the past three decades has undoubtedly read one of their articles. Chances are, if you played high school sports in the area, they covered one of your games. I know Herendeen, in fact, was on the sidelines when I equaled my career high in rushing in a football game against Piedmont several years ago.

They were both a rare breed, ones who truly enjoyed covering local sports. It’s where they felt they belonged and it’s where they stayed until the end of their newspaper careers. Personally, working at the Oakland Tribune the past seven months with Herendeen as been a treat. While I had been on staff with Steve before, the opportunity to work day in and day out with him was more beneficial than I can describe. It was truly an opportunity to learn from a legend and I’ll miss having him around. Today, as I was reading over his farewell column that will run tomorrow (Tuesday), it was a tough thing to do. It will be hard to arrive at my desk, lean over to the next cubicle, and not see him there. Or to hear that office door open, and not be followed by the sounds of his swishy pants strolling over. I learned a lot from him, and I know my colleagues Michael Bower and Steve Waterhouse would say the same. We’ll do our best to maintain the level of local sports coverage in his absence, but it won’t be easy.

The same can be said for Miller. Always one to ruffle some feathers, his dedication could never be questioned. If there’s a bigger advocate for the athletes and teams in the area he covered, I’d like to meet him. Dennis was the Valley. And while he’d bust your chops to prove a point, he was always there to support a colleague. During my first stint with ANG Newspapers, as I was preparing to graduate college, I was seeking a full-time position. Dennis was among the first to tell me that if I ever need a letter of recommendation, to let him know. I also remember when I first got started writing, my soccer knowledge was a little lacking. A couple calls to Dennis and I got much more up to speed quickly.

Good luck to both as they prepare to enter new journeys and challenges. We’ll never be able to replace you.

To our readers, times are changing. With a smaller staff, we won’t be able to do the same things as we have before. But fear not, we’re as dedicated as always to providing the best possible coverage of local sports we can.

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Triggas takes sixth at Big Ten Championships

And you thought I wouldn’t be able to find wrestling news in the offseason… A quick scan of the results from this past weekend’s Big Ten Championships shows that Campolindo grad Nikko Triggas finished sixth at 125 pounds. Triggas, who has been in the lineup all year for the Buckeyes, lost 13-5 to Illinois’ Gabe Flores in the fifth-place match.

Also, keep your eye on the upcoming Dapper Dan Tournament, the prestigous Pennsylvania vs. USA tournament. Las Lomas’ Jason Welch will be the USA’s 160-pounder. That tournament kicks off this weekend.

With wrestling tailing off, I’ll have more softball than you can shake a stick here on the East Bay Prep Sports blog. This weekend the season begins in earnest with the Queen of the Mountain tournament at Willow Pass Park in Concord. I’ll have a preview in the paper later this week as well as some commentary here on the blog.