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Falcons find redemption at Crabbe

Sierra Scoop
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Notes from a week spent wondering why I didn’t do more curling in my youth:
Joey Jergo and the Colfax High boys entered Earl Crabbe Gym Thursday with a chip on their shoulders, even after clinching the Pioneer Valley League title on Tuesday.
Placer’s most impressive victory of the season came at the Falcons’ expense. The Hillmen handed the Falcons their only PVL loss last month — on Colfax’s home court no less. The Falcons have also had their fair share of trouble at the Crabbe, particularly in the Kendall Arnett Tournament, where they seem to be jinxed in the first round.
“It’s Placer, at Placer and the final game for the seniors at Earl Crabbe Gym,” Jergo said. “The stands will be packed both ways, but I think more importantly, it’s a big game for the 18 players on our team and the players on their team.”
The game’s atmosphere lived up to the hype and Colfax lived up to its billing as the PVL’s best, fending off Placer for the win.
The win was especially gratifying for Jergo, who has spent countless hours at the historic Auburn gym and is tight with many of the Placer players. Jergo’s brother Sean was a star for the Hillmen before graduating in 2004 and sister Nani Schoenig also played at Placer.
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In trading Kevin Martin last week just before the NBA’s trade deadline, general manager Geoff Petrie was essentially admitting he made a mistake in tabbing the shooting guard as the Kings’ cornerstone player.
The emergence of rookies Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi certainly played a role in Petrie’s desire to make the trade. But Martin’s play was making it tough to explain how he was worthy of being the team’s top paid player.
Your franchise player is one that you can at least envision leading your team to a championship. We rarely, if ever, saw that kind of dominance from Martin. Even when he played well on the court, you never saw the passionate, take-charge leader the Kings desperately needed the last few years.
Martin, even with his hideous jump shot, can score. But he brings nothing else to the table. He could not guard other shooting guards, rarely set up baskets for teammates and simply could not figure out how to play with Evans. He even seemed to stop sneaking out for easy baskets in transition this season — one of Casspi’s uncanny skills.
The Kings got a nice post player in Carl Landry, which may not seem like equal value for Martin in the short term. But Petrie was clearly looking for another chance to establish the Kings’ cornerstone for the long term. He cleared out a big chunk of salary cap space, meaning the Kings can go after talent on the rich free agent market next summer.
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Placer High senior Colin Brown aced the tough part of his senior project on Super Bowl Sunday in Huntington Beach.
Brown finished the Surf City Marathon with a time of 4:15:23 and placed 958th out of more than 2,300 runners in the marathon alone. Look for a great track season from Brown this spring.