Pineiro-Sarbata Scoring Duel Highlighted Arnett
Cleaning up some odds and ends from last week's Kendall Arnett Tournament or how to survive three days of exciting non-stop basketball:
* While Saturday's Arnett championship battle between Placer and Del Campo proved to be an up-tempo run and fire affair that was entertaining for fans, lost in the Cougars' second straight Arnett title championship win was the individual scoring duel between Placer's Isaiah Pineiro and Del Campo's Vasilije Sarbata. Pineiro scored 26 points against San Juan in the opening round, 34 more against El Camino in the semis and 31 in the finals versus Del Campo to finish with a tournament high 91 points. Sarbata, meanwhile, hit for 33 points against Colfax, 19 against Woodcreek before dropping 35 on the Hillmen in the final. Included among Sarbata's championship game effort was a scintillating 17 of 18 display from the foul stripe, all of them clutch to hold off a late charge by the Hillmen. Not surprisingly, the junior sharpshooter was the tourney MVP. Pineiro's 91-point total is one of the most in recent memory but he fell short of the tourney record of 99 points set in 1973 by Rocky Perry of Roseville which should be noted was done without a three-point line.
* Speaking of high-scoring Arnett efforts, the tournament record 41 points tallied by Fred Besana in the second 1971 tourney, a record that still stands, had to weather a 39-point effort in the 1973 tournament by Placer's Benhard Peat, known better these days as Eddie Vanderdoes' grandpa. Besana went on to play quarterback at Cal and had stints in the NFL and USFL while Peat, who by the way still looks like he could go up and down for 32 minutes, earned a football scholarship to Cal before venturing to play professional basketball in Germany.
*With 6-7 Will Buell, 6-6 Matt Larson and 6-5 Wade Lewis in reserve, Colfax coach Mike O'Connell has some height options down low that will cause some opponents headaches this season. Can you imagine the Falcons' imposing height if Pineiro was with that group? It almost happened. Pineiro spent his youth days – including playing for the Sierra Foothills Little League All-Stars – in the Colfax area before moving to Auburn just before middle school. Colfax's loss was Placer's gain.
*Speaking of Colfax, the Falcons' boys team must have set some sort of Arnett Tournament record when it defeated Union Mine to win the consolation championship Saturday. For the record, since 2004 or nine Arnett tournaments, the Falcons have won the consolation championship seven times. Over that span, Colfax has won the most games in the Arnett (18) of any tournament entry. Colfax won the Arnett in 2010 and finished fourth in 2004.
*If you are in need of a post Arnett tourney fix, some final boys non-league hoops action abounds this week. Placer (12-4) caps its pre-season Thursday at Marysville while Bear River (10-3) hosts River City. On Friday, in an attractive match-up, Del Oro (8-4) , coming off a third place finish in the Whitney Christmas Classic, hosts Del Campo and Colfax entertains Whitney. On Saturday, Bear River plays at Inderkum and Del Oro hosts Monterey Trail.