Sierra looking to make up ground in Big 8

Sport Shorts
By: Nick Pecoraro
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ROCKLIN– Big 8 Conference play hasn’t given the Wolverine women much of a warm welcome.

Sierra began 2018 winning nine of its first 11 games, including the Sasha Brown Memorial Classic. Head coach Brandie Murrish, in her 13th season at the helm for the Wolverines, has seen her squad go 1-3 to start the Big 8 heading into Friday’s road contest at Santa Rosa.

The Wolverines capitalized on a 26-point first-half cushion to defeat Santa Rosa 77-55 Friday to move to 11-6.

Murrish, by the way, is just three wins shy of 300 in her tenure with Sierra.

The one win in conference play was a monstrous 96-point victory over Modesto Junior College Jan. 3. Sierra outscored the Pirates by quarter, 36-10, 25-6, 35-6 and 25-3 in the 121-25 whooping.

Lauren Richardson led six Wolverine players in double-figures with 28 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the process. Jessie Armstrong added 17 points, Shanel Jamison and Aycee Willis 16 each, and Gina Lockhart threw in 14. Amara Allen dished out 12 assists and swiped six steals for the Wolverines.

Sierra hopes to make up some ground in the Big 8 standings as it continues its three-game road stretch Tuesday at Cosumnes River and Friday at Folsom Lake before returning home to take on American River Jan. 22 – all teams with lower winning percentages than Sierra.

The Sierra men’s team, entering Friday at 2-2 in the Big 8, sat behind San Joaquin Delta, American River, Santa Rosa, Sacramento City and Cosumnes River in the standings.

Head coach John Fusano’s team began the year at just 1-5, but since have slowly started to steady the boat, going 5-6 over its last 11 contests, falling to Santa Rosa Friday night 95-78.

Sierra (6-11) has had a different leading scorer in three of its first four Big 8 Conference games, which the Wolverines split. Overall, sophomore Aidan Cantwell leads the way at 13.9 points a game with freshman forward Khalil Curtis right behind him with 13.6.

Cantwell, a 6-foot-4-inch guard from Bishop Manogue High in Reno, is also the Wolverines’ leading rebounder at 6.5 a game while shooting at a 41 percent clip from beyond the arc.


Bruins earn long-awaited PVL win

With a 76-67 win over a good Marysville team Thursday, the Bear River boys basketball team earned its first league win in nearly three years.

Marysville entered the contest at 12-5 and the No. 5-ranked Division IV team in the Sac-Joaquin Section. The Bruins and the Indians were square at 39-all at the half, but Bear River stormed past Marysville in the fourth quarter with a 20-9 output to secure the much-needed league victory.

The last PVL win for the Bruins came against Foothill back on Feb. 11, 2016. The next opponent for the Bruins, who are 1-1 in league and 10-8 overall under head coach Jeff Bickmore, is Colfax Tuesday on the road.


All-NorCal football players

The football accolades keep rolling in for local area football players.

NorCal Preps named its All-NorCal football team this week. While the repeat CIF Division 1-AA state champion Folsom Bulldogs dominated the list with six players, some key foothills players were included among Northern California’s best.

Placer offensive lineman and San Diego State-commit Joey Capra and Del Oro defensive back Dante Pericin made the first team while record-setting junior running back at Division 5-AA state champion Cameron Skattebo of Rio Linda and Johnny Guzman and Tatuo Martinson of Division 2-AA state runner-up Del Oro all made the second team.

For full All-NorCal rosters, visit


International Bowls

A few lucky Gold Country locals were selected to represent Team USA in the International Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas this weekend.

Sixteen global teams, including some from Mexico, Canada, Japan and Panama, competed over four levels – Under-16 through Under-19 – for international bragging rights.

Del Oro sophomore defensive lineman Tyler Randall, Oak Ridge sophomore quarterback Justin Lamson and El Dorado offensive lineman Tyler Dean all were chosen for the U-17 team, which blasted Team Ontario 61-7 Friday morning. The U-17 will play the Japan national team Jan. 18, streaming live on ESPN3 at 11 a.m.

Oakmont senior all-purpose player Seth Miller was selected for the U-18 team, which fell 30-25 to the Panama Sharks Friday afternoon. The U-18 team plays at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 18 against Team Canada on ESPN3.

International Bowl alumni include NFL Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, All-Pro Tyrann Mathieu and Heisman trophy finalist Dwayne Haskins.