Friday, February 27, 2015

Demps Ready To Lead Hornets To Big Sky Title

Cody Demps is getting used to long road trips now that he’s a basketball player at Sacramento  State, a school that is a member of the Big Sky Conference.

“Yeah, it’s not 20 minute bus rides any more,” he chuckled.

That’s what just about every road game meant for the 6-4 shooting forward when he was the man who primarily guarded the top-opposing scorer while he played high school ball at Pleasant Grove.

Traveling in the Big Sky means you are visiting spots like Montana, Montana State, Idaho and North Dakota during their coldest months.

But, when his Hornet squad is playing at home, in the diminutive Hornets’ Nest with his capacity of 1.012, everything is nice and warm. That’s been especially the case this season.

Sacramento State, for the first time in anyone’s memory, is in first place entering the final week-and-a-half of the season. A 13-1 record this year at home, including a perfect 9-0 mark for Big Sky games has brought out even the casual fans.

And Demps has absolutely loved it.

“I am not surprised we are where we are right now because we have put in the work,” he said. “But, what is a little surprising is to see all the overwhelming support we’ve got.”

The Hornets are the only team in the league not to lose a conference home game.

The Hornets are performing at a level that the area hasn’t seen in quite a while. It’s been since 1988 that a Sacramento State team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The last league championship was in 1976-77 when a member of the Far Western Conference.

They’ve never won a Big Sky basketball championship since joining that league in 1996.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sheldon, PG, EG, COaks,BC Boys Advance

The Elk Grove-area boys basketball teams hit about .500 in their playoff openers Tuesday night. Whereas that's a good batting average, this isn't baseball.

Pleasant Grove and Sheldon advanced in Division I action in easy wins. Elk Grove squeaked by Whitney, 47-46, in a Div II opener. Cosumnes Oaks rolled over Bethel, 85-51, also in Division II. In D-5, Bradshaw Christian also was victorious.

However, the seasons are over for Monterey Trail, Franklin and Jesuit.

The Marauders have to be stinging after a two-point loss to Granite Bay Tuesday. Franklin was handled by River City, 62-53. Also disappointing was the Mustangs' 65-58 loss to Kennedy, the second place finisher in the Metro League, even though Monterey Trail finished the year so strongly.

Florin, which finished third in the Metro League, also lost its playoff opener.

On Friday night, Pleasant Grove will host Kennedy while Sheldon plays at home against Oak Ridge in a old-Delta River League rivalry.

Elk Grove will play at #2 seed Modesto Christian while Cosumnes Oaks will host Beyer in Division II action. Bradshaw will be at #2 seed Brookside Christian in Division V.

The winners of these games will advance to next Wednesday's Section semi-finals. Divisions I through IV will be at Sleep Train Arena. Divisions V and VI semifinals are played at Galt High School. But their championship games will be at Sleep Train.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Brackets Posted For Masters' Wrestling

The Sac-Joaquin Section has posted the Brackets for the Masters' Wrestling Championships which get underway Friday at the Stockton Arena.

The top 32 grapplers in each weight division throughout the Section compete with the top six moving onto the CIF State Wrestling Championships the next weekend in Bakersfield.

Elk Grove, which won the Div. 1-A championship last Saturday, is a pre-tournament favorite because it qualified all 14 wrestlers for the Masters. Watch out for Del Oro and Folsom from Div 1AA and Oakdale from Div 3.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Larson Finishes 34th at Daytona

The 2015 Daytona 500 will probably be one Kyle Larson will want to forget.

He finished in 34th place, thanks mainly to several mistakes pitting. Larson over-shot his pit stall, was penalized for speeding on pit road, served a pass-through penalty when his crew lost equipment and he nearly spun out in the infield grass when he tapped his brake to avoid speeding onto pit road with 44 laps to go.  
Kyle Larson at the wheel of the #42 NASCAR Sprint Car
“It was a pretty eventful race,” Larson told reporters afterwards. “I spent the first 80 or so laps, just riding. And then we came down pit for green flag stops.
“My shifter had broken, and I couldn't find my shifter and just got confused on pit road and missed my pit box and then sped leaving. So we got down a lap.”
Still, Larson fought his way back as he got a free pass with 37 laps remaining to put him back on the lead lap before the restart on Lap 165. Going into the concluding green-white-checkered finish he crashed on the final lap as he tried to maneuver the #42 Target Chevrolet up in the pack. TV replays showed poll sitter Jeff Gordon spun out, tapped Larson's car on the right rear panel and forced it into the infield.
“It was a nice recovery, but we made too many mistakes,” crew chief Chris Heroy said. “The crash is disappointing, but that happens here. It's bad from a points perspective, but it's all about winning here. We don't want to have the kind of mistakes we had today, which kept from having a chance to win.”

Saturday, February 21, 2015

EG Wrestlers Win Div I-A Championship

Elk Grove did more than win the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I-A wrestling championship Saturday. They ended a streak of Division I titles by Vacaville dating back to 1994.

The Bulldogs had a full-Nelson hold on that blue banner the past twenty years. Now, Pat Coffing’s boys have another banner to hang in the Cartwright Gym.

“And, those don’t come easily,” Coffing claimed. “Elk Grove High School has never won this tournament. Absolutely, this was our best performance of the year. This will be our fifth Section title in school history.”
EGHS Wrestlers, 2015 SJS Div.1A Champions

The last time Elk Grove’s grapplers won a Section banner was 2009 when the Herd beat Vacaville for the Division I Team Dual title. Now, with all 14 wrestlers qualified for this weekend’s Masters Wrestling Championships in Stockton, the Herd is setting themselves up to win that banner for the first time since 2001. However, Coffing says the Division I-AA champions, Del Oro, may have something to say about that first.

“Del Oro is the best team in the Section,” he claimed. “Even though Folsom beat them in a dual, Del Oro had some kid out who was at the doctor’s and really Folsom should have never been at the Section duals and we should have been beaten by Del Oro.”

Folsom defeated Elk Grove on Feb. 7 for the 2015 Division I Team Dual Championship. That was the Bulldogs’ second consecutive team championship.

At last weekend’s Divisionals, which were at McNair High School, Elk Grove won three individual championships, three others were second and seven wrestlers grabbed third place medals.

In what may be the finest performance by an Elk Grove wrestling squad since they finished third in the state championships in 2005, Coffing had plenty of plaudits for his guys.

“I wanted to make it very, very clear to our student/athletes that we are in the business of developing young men,” Coffing said. “When you win (the Divisional championship) act like it was the tenth one you won. You have to admire the confidence and control Vacaville had on this (championship) and beating them is a big deal. It really is.”

Coffing thinks this may be the first time he’s ever taken an entire team to the Masters where the top six finishers in each weight group will advance on to the CIF State Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield in two weeks.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why Was Bradley Placed On Admin Leave? News 10 Knows

News-10 (KXTV) will report today at 5 p.m. what they have been told on exactly why Mat Bradley, Elk Grove High School's boys' basketball coach, has been put on administrative leave. Bradley has not coached the Herd the past week and a half and has also not be at his teaching post at Albiani Middle School.

The allegations are quite outlandish from what I was told this afternoon. No one from the school is talking about Bradley's situation at all.

In the meantime, the Herd is preparing for a playoff game next Wednesday at Whitney. Though the Herd was 12-15 this season, 3-11 in the Delta League, Maxpreps ranked Elk Grove #10 in Division II basketball. Under new Sac-Joaquin Section playoff rules, the top three in each league (top four in the Delta and the Sierra Foothill League) make the post-season along with any team ranked in Maxpreps' top 12.

More on Bradley after we hear the News 10 report .....