Wolverine women gaining on Big 8 leaders
It appears the Sierra College women’s hoops team has gotten back on the right track.
After starting off 1-3 in the Big 8 Conference, the Wolverine women have since won seven of their last eight and sit fourth in the standings, three games behind first-place San Joaquin Delta (11-1) with four to go.
Friday at Modesto, Skyy Jackson came off the bench with 19 points to lead six Wolverines in double-figures in the 96-37 victory over the Pirates.
Gina Lockhart had 17 on 8-of-10 shooting, Lauren Richardson had a double-double with 13 points and 17 boards and Kailee McCarrick added 12 points with nine assists and five steals to highlight Sierra’s output.
But the true turning point may have been the Jan. 29 win over Diablo Valley, the No. 1 team in California who had previously won its first 20 games of the season. Sierra held the top scoring team in the state to single-digits in each of the first two quarters and kept the pressure on the Vikings the rest of the way.
Shanel Jamison had 16 points and 13 boards, McCarrick had 15 and Jessie Armstrong 14 while Aycee Willis made up for a cold shooting night by pulling down 10 rebounds for the Wolverines, who took the final of 68-53.
Sierra (17-7, 8-4) came within three points of upsetting Delta Tuesday in a close 68-65 outcome. The Wolverines wrap up the regular season with three straight home games against Santa Rosa, Cosumnes River and Folsom Lake before the season finale at American River.
Sierra men back to .500
The Sierra men have worked their way back to the .500 mark in the Big 8. Following a 92-75 win at Modesto Friday, the Wolverines currently sit in fourth place.
Delta has a tight grip on the Big 8 at 11-1 and a 2.5-game lead over Santa Rosa and Cosumnes River and just four to play.
Sierra (10-14, 6-6) has improved on virtually all of its statistical categories since Big 8 play began. Aidan Cantwell (14.2 points per game) and Khalil Curtis (14.1) continue to lead the pack in the scoring column while Karn Goraya and Justin Asuncion are also contributing double-digits.
Sierra looks to make a postseason push in the final three weeks of the season with games against Santa Rosa and Cosumnes River upcoming.
Baseball starts season 5-0
After five games, only Bakersfield, Feather River and El Camino have equal or better records in the state than the Wolverines’ baseball team.
Sierra has outscored the opposition 61-9 while hitting .290 as a team thus far. Freshman catcher Zack Jensen is hitting .533 with a team-leading nine RBIs in the early part of the season. Sophomores Zach Bushling (.476) and Lincoln High grad Charles Middleton (.400) have helped pace the Wolverines’ lineup.
The starting rotation of Elijah Garcia, Ryan Gil and Austin Loeb have combined to allow just three earned runs over 23 innings.
Sierra returns All-Conference players Bushling, Middleton and Matt Lopez to head coach Rob Willson’s defending Big 8 champions. The team’s 35 wins in 2018 were the most since the Wolverines’ State Championship season in 2008.
Willson, meanwhile, who has won over 400 games in his tenure at Sierra alone, is approaching 600 in his career. As of press time, Willson was 14 wins shy of his next milestone victory.
Sierra was set to play Feather River at home Wednesday afternoon and will host Solano at 2 p.m. Thursday before heading to Solano Saturday.