Feb. 2. The San Jose Mercury in its Top 15 Rankings for the CCS section had SC ranked number one in boys basketball with a 23-1 record. Student Sports magazine ranked SC thirty-eighth in the nation. Boys soccer tenth at 8-2-3 and girls soccer also tenth at 8-3-2
March 25. The San Jose Mercury Winter Athletes Of the Year from Santa Cruz High. The sports were Boys and Girls basketball, Wrestling, Boys and Girls Soccer.
Boys basketball first five. Junior Russell and Cliff Sammet. Second team, Austin Swift.
Part of the information on the players. Junior Russell beset by injuries the past two seasons, Russell emerged to lead SC to the state Division III championship. Russell was a narrow runner up for the Mercury Player of the year. He scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a 67-56 victory over previously undefeated St. Augustine of San Diego in the state final. Beside his leadership and keen court sense, Russell changed games with his defense. He averaged 4.2 steals, 16.6 points and 5.6 assists per game. Coach Pete Newell said Russell was the best player in his 30 seasons at Santa Cruz.
Six foot eight Cliff Sammet never met a dunk he didn’t like. But more than his knack for the spectacular, Sammet did a little of everything for the Cardinals: scoring 13.8, rebounding 8, blocked shots 2.1 and finishing the break. His versatility was reflected on defense as well. His ability to defend in the low post and then jump out to the perimeter caused havoc. His steal and pass to Russell for a three pointer at the end of the third quarter was perhaps the most vital sequence in the state championship win. He followed by blocking shots down the stretch and controlling the middle. He’ll play at Santa Clara next season.
Coach of the Year Pete Newell. There was no more fitting ending to Newell’s 30 year SC coaching career than a state title. Newell built the program not with wins and losses in mind, but be teaching his players to play correctly. He won 15 SCCAL titles and captured his first CCS, NorCal and state titles this year. But his true Legacy will be his honor and respect of the game and how it should be played. Newell laments what basketball has become, a highlight reel of dunks and three point shots. Newell said that in today’s game, “the art of teaching in coaching is being compromised.” But, safe to say, never by Newell.
Wrestling. Drew Frampton at 154 pounds ended his season with a 34-7 record, taking second place at CCS and then placing at the State meet.
Boys Soccer. The Watsonville coach was named Coach of the Year. Watsonville had three players on the first team.
From SC, Midfielder of the Year, Julian Alvarez. First team players, Jose Santiago, Jose Sensente. San Jose Mercury Boys Soccer team includes Julian Alvarez as a Honorable Mention Midfielder
Girls Soccer: Defender of the Year, Chelsea Muir. First team members Jasmine Norouzi;
Laura Schwartz, Nikki Caiocca, Jane Shook. The team went 7-2-3 for third place In league. and 1-1 in the CCS playoffs
senior first team: junior catcher Pete Feurtado, junior shortstop Alex Stewart, junior second baseman Zak Fleming, junior outfielder Trevor Burns; senior pitcher, Brian Hennessey; senior outfielder D. J. Anthony. Six first place players had a 11-1 league record for the championship.
Practice games: Pacific Grove 26-7, North Salinas 38-2, Silver Creek 20-7, Carmel 47-6. Practice record 4-0. League: Aptos 14-14, Harbor 21-23, SLV 14-8, Watsonville 30-8, Scotts Valley 10-0, Soquel 32-36. League record 3-2-1 for fourth place. CCS Small Schools Division, Carmel 28-12, Burlingame 12-26. Season record 8-3-1.
Yearbook. This was a special season to the twelve senior players that stuck it out since freshman year. They have worked year around for four years lifting weights, practicing, conditioning and then their regular season practices. With Will Wetmore playing quarterback on offense and Billy Pedersen playing the signal caller on defense, these Cardinals know how to work together to win. Seniors were not the only ones to step up, juniors like Chris Taku and Colin Jenkins were also aggressive and ready to play.
Roster: Akim Anderson, Billy Pedersen, Adam George, Shezad Bruce Chris Marchisio, Brian George, Tony Serna, Austin Bates, Lucas Iriguchi, Alex Geise, Michael Garcia, Alex Dunton, Larry Figueroa, Evan Benevento, Will Wetmore, Matt Edmonds, Vince Smithers, Michael Marquez, Colin Jenkins, Chris Taku, Michael Norteye, Jerry Leon, Carlos Reyes, Travis Moody, Torrey Noel-Gonzales, Danny Frentz, Jesus Becerill, Wes Matthews, Sergio Escobar and Alex Serna. Head Coach Bassel Faltas and assistants Ryan Meyers, Jesse Trumball, Jeff McCormick, Matt Windt, Daniel Garcia and Dante Macleod.
Dec. 3. Sentinel County Stats. Final individual prep football leaders from SC.
INDIVIDUAL RUSHING by place, name, number of carries, yards gained, average yards gained per carry and total touchdowns.
PL NAME CA YA AVG TD
5 Jenkins 94 527 5.6 5
8 Figueroa 111 481 4.3 4
15 Taku 60 305 5.1 3
25 Wetmore 46 179 3.8 6
27 Geise 34 177 5.2 1
INDIVIDUAL PASSING by place, name, completions, attempts, yards, touchdowns and interceptions.
PL NAME CO ATT YA TD INT
2 Wetmore 97 194 1,464 12 6
INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING by place, name, passes caught, yards gained, average years gained per catch and touchdowns
PL NAME CA YA AV TD
2 Norteye 33 593 17.9 5
6 Bates 27 388 14.4 5
10 Pederson 23 344 14.9 2
INDIVIDUAL SCORING by place, name, touchdowns scored, field goals kicked, two point conversions, one point conversions, total points scored.
PL NAME TD’S FG 2PT 1PT TP
3 Norteye 10 0 0 0 60
10 Wetmore 6 0 0 0 36
12 Bates 5 0 1 0 32
15 Jenkins 5 0 0 0 30
17 Bruce 0 1 0 25 28
21 Figueroa 4 0 0 0 24
SC TEAM OFFENSE was first for the season in the county.
Total plays on offense 282; total rushing yards 1,946; passing 1,494; total yards gained 3,440; average yards per game 286.6.
SC TEAM DEFENSE was second on defense in the county.
Games played 12; gave up a total of 150; total yards given up by the run 1,666; against the pass 1,242; total yards given up 2,908; average yards given up per game 242.3
Lineman of the Year, Tony Sema
First team offense: Chris Marchisio, lineman; Larry Figueroa, running back; Recievers/tight ends: Billy Pedersen and Michael Norteye.
First team defense: Evan Benevento, lineman; Billy Pedersen, linebacker; Michael Norteye, secondary.
Second team defense: Shazad Bruce, lineman; Austin Bates, linebacker.
Honorable mention: Lucas Iriguchi, Colin Jenkins, Chris Taku, Danny Frentz and Alex Geise.
Will Wetmore was picked as league Co-MVP by the coaches. He was a three year starter, led his teammates by example and helped the Cards to the CCS semifinals two years in a row. He was the quarterback, team punter and safety. He is not only a standout on the field, but in the classroom as well carrying a 4.2 grade point average Coach Faltas said, “I hope he comes back and coaches. He could be an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach at the varsity level next year. Sometimes I think he knows the offense better than I do.” Wetmore was considered to have the third best quarterback stats in the Monterey Bay Area. He ran for six touchdowns and had four interceptions from his safety position. Check the Sentinel list of county leaders in all categories.
Yearbook. Even though they only won two games, they still came out on top, having fun and acting like family. It also welcomed new students into school and got them better acquainted with their peers.
Roster: Evan Milburn, Alez Taku, Ernesto Castaneda, James Rooney, Kevin Cosio, Dayne Quist, Cody Boaz, Robbie Emberson, Ozzy Reyes, Alex Gomez, Dylan Boule, Ryan Schofield, Jose Gaona, Simon Christy, John Colby, Bryce Burk , Joe Patron, John Mata-Fennell, Guerrero Villareal, K.C. Schmidt, Quinn Garner and Victor Moreno. Head coach Erik Redding and assistants Bytheal Ratliff and three others.
Yearbook. Roster: Raymond Cramer, Stephan Palmer, Seth Crumrine, Jamie Tashnick, Josh Strong, Edgar Oliva, T. J. Patel, David DeLeon, Eric Ruiz, John Mathews, Albaro Flores, Peter Osbourn, Daniel Estrada, Marco Zamora, Joseph Papa, Nick Gemme, Erik Rodriguez, Chris Gemme, Andy Rivas, Yogi Patel, Andrew Odren and Justin Nance. Same coaches as the JV’s
CROSS COUNTRY BOYS
Yearbook. The sport is different, in that it is not so much about beating the other team, as about beating yourself or improving your performance/time.
Roster: Michael Landry, Connor Barthel, Milo Strasser, Chris Proffitt, Charlie Harrison, Ben Kletzer, Theo Lopez, Justin Johnson, William Alvarez, Tim Clark, Alec Zachreson, Aaron Park, Sterling Worth, Caneron Zachreson and Austin Worth.
CROSS COUNTRY GIRLS
Yearbook. Roster: Mallory Pickett, Samatha Rose, Carly Johnosn, Vanessa Gibson, Meilani Damha’o, Kaja Gibbs, Marissa Rodriguez, Alex Hays, Alisa Elb and Kara Lewis.
Yearbook. So many girls came out for tennis this year, a junior varsity team was formed for the first time in years. There are ten varsity players, some are singles players and some are doubles players.
Roster: Claire LaBerge, Talayeh Ghezel, Jenny Whiting, Stave Braun, Kaylin Slakey, Angela May, Noel Devine, Carly Lohnberg, Daloma Phillips, Eugenia Robles, Larren Vockman, Emily Blythe and Katie Juarez.
JV GIRLS TENNIS
Yearbook. The new team had newly surfaced courts to play on. By allow more girls to participate, it will help the varsity in the future.
Roster: Sophie Brinker, Natalliya Munishkina, Kimberley Vine, Rita Ross, Azyssa McNeal, Hanna Phelps, Melanie Alonzo, Emma Migdall, Madeline Damon and Geneieve Mount.
BOYS WATER POLO
made it to CCS
Yearbook. One great victory the team had was beating Soquel, which had not lost a league game in 9 years. Making CCS playoffs was another payoff for all their efforts in the pool. Senior captain Chris Jacobson said, “It’s my third year as captain (four year on varsity) and we have had a different coach every year. This adds more pressure on the parents and players to keep the team and tradition alive.
Roster: Chris Jacobson, Mircea Forte, Andreas Zappacosta, Blaze Young, Hunter Amor, David Putman-Pike, Alex Wright, Austin Worth, Vincent Sardo, John Boston, Pat Rosso and Weston Wahl.
March 5. SC defeated Harbor 89-86 in the Cards season opener. SC won the 4×100 200, free relay in 1:56.78. Chris Jacobson won the 100 free in 22.5 and the 50 free in 51.3. SC won the 200 free relay 3:56.2. Vincent Sordo won the 200 individual medley 2:13.3. SC won the 100 backstroke 1:40.3. SC won the 400 free in 3:56.7
Chris Jacobson Co-Most Valuable Player. First team: Seniors, Jacobson and Andreas Zappacosta and junior Blaze Young, Second team: Sophomore goalie Hunter Amor and sophomore Vincent Sardo. Honorable mention: Jack Boston, David Putman-Pite, Patrick Russo.
BOYS JV WATER POLO
Yearbook. In water polo there are six people in the water, five field players and one goalie. Most of the game is played under water. Hitting, kicking, pulling of swimsuits and grabbing, basically anything to distract the players without the referee seeing.
Roster: Michael Beckwith, Tistan Hickenbottom, Mike Powers, Joey Thomas, Tizoc Velasco, Alex Wright, Ben Lezin, Theo Radcliff and Sky Zucker-White.
GIRLS VARSITY WATER POLO
Tied for second in league with a 6-4 record for the regular season and with the league tournament included it was 8-5. The season record 15-16.
Yearbook. It has been one of the best seasons ever for the water polo team. Not only did they ended up tied for second in the league, but were victorious against Soquel, who were undefeated in league for several years.
The entire team received the CIF/CCS Best Collective GPA award with a GPA of a stunning 3.74.
Roster: Gigi Goldeen, Reje McGuire, Gerta Carroll, Krista Mattson, Amelia Baristone, Grace Randick, Lianna Kelly, Rosie Sullivan, Carin Thoits, Perri Wells, Aly Gill and Hanna Shull. Head coach Mark Townsend and assistant Eric.
March. 5. Harbor defeated SC 93- 85 in the Cards first match of the year. SC winners: Boston won the 200 free in 2:16.6 and the 500 free 6:05.4. Carroll won the 200 individual medley in 2:31.6 and the 100 fly in 1:08.4. Ross won the 100 backstroke 1:20.2. Pine Campbell won the 50 free in 27.1 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:18.5.
Freshman of the Year, Rosie Sullivan Coach of the Year Mark Townsend. First team: Greta Carroll, senior driver. Second team: Pam Wells, senior goalie; Aly Gill, senior driver. Honorable mention: Hannah Shull and Rene McGuire.
GIRLS JV WATER POLO UNDEFEATED
Yearbook. Water polo takes a persons passion for swimming and utilizes it in a sport where they can come together and play as a team.
Roster: Karina Tolentino, Ciera Cross, Claire Putman-Pite, Danielle Qing, Christine Boston, Talisa Rodriguez, Kristen Calhoun, Rosie Stewart, Jessica Somers, Oliva Waller, Kaitlin Daly, Lily Perry, Lucy Barnes, Julia Esposita and Tianna Loose.
GIRLS VARSITY VOLLEYBALL
Practice games: North Salinas 2-0, 3-0; Half Moon Bay 2-1, North Monterey County 0-2, Alisal 1-2, Salinas 0-3, Palo Alto 1-3, Monterey 3-1, Notre Dame 0-2, Salinas 0-2. Practice record
League: SLV 0-3, 0-3; Watsonville 1-3, 1-3; Harbor 0-3, 0-3; SV 3-1, 3-2; Aptos 0-3, 0-3; Soquel 0-3, 1-3. League record 2-10. League playoff lost to SLV 0-3.
Max Preps gave the season record as 6-18 and league 2-10,
Yearbook. This years team had only one senior and two new coaches, head coach Reed Duffus and assistant Donna Beronia, who previously coached the JV team. This was a rebuilding year to get back to the CCS playoffs next year. As the pictures in the yearbook show, the team did some practice on the beach.
Roster: Cole Conroy, Annie Daly, Stephanie Dickey, Amber Eklof, Fern Lightfoot, Tara Kelly, Katie Merrill, Monica Rees, Katie Robinson, Rachele Wyant, Alexis Tashima and Lindsay Walls. Head Coach Reed Duffus and assistant Donna Beronia.
Assists Leaders: Wyant 87, Conroy 40, Walls 3, Dickey 2, Daly 1
Kill Leaders: Merrill 51, Walls 35, Kelly 33, Lightfoot 15, Tashima 14
Dig Leaders: Merrill 21
Block Leaders: Walls 9, Lightfoot 4, Robinson 4, Tashima 4, Merrill 2
Ace Leaders: Merrill 6, Kelly 4, Wyant 4, Conroy 3, Robinson 3
Honorable mention: Lindsay Walls, junior middle blocker and Katie Merrill, junior outside hitter.
JV GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
Yearbook. This years team was more of a family than a team. They came together over the summer in the gym. With all their hard work practicing bumping, setting and spiking, they felt they were prepared for the games and did their best no matter what the outcome.
Roster: Megan Bradley, Elyse Brokaw, Tori Cadinale, Anna Eklof, Kelly Keutmann, Kaiti Kluzniak, Alyssa Lantry, Bobbi Pena, Renata Soumitte, Olivia Shull and Cassi Tinetti.
FRESHMAN GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
Yearbook. Roster: Cassnadra Estrada, Janna Martin, Ariel Miller, Hannah Whizin, Contis Booth, Maya Frota and Shelsea Adrain.
GIRLS GOLF UNDEFEATED IN LEAGUE
and seventh at the CCS Championship.
Yearbook. The team were all veterans Cathika Peterson, Nichole Caiocca, Maxine Moss, Ashley Greene, Josie Pappas and Emma Hutchison. Coach Dennis Mullen.
Senior Nichole Caiocca said, “The reason we were so good was we were all at the same level and during practice we were more competitive.” Other team leaders were Emma Hutchinson and Ashley Green.
The girls were not only successful on the course, they were successful in the classroom with a team GPA of 3.9.
Sept. 11. SC went 12-0 in league to win its first SCCAL title and dominated the All League team.
Senior of the Year Nikki Caiocca; Junior of the Year, Emma Hutchinson; Freshman of the Year, Josie Pappas; First team: Juniors, Ashley Green and Maxine Moss
Coach of the Year, Dennis Mullen.
BOYS VARSITY BASKETBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS, CCS CHAMPIONS, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAMPIONS AND STATE CHAMPIONS OF DIVISION III
SC defeated the CCS division I champion Serra and division II champion Palo Alto during the regular season. These two teams were also in the Northern Cal finals in their divisions.
Practice games: St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda 67-54. SLO tournament: Garces of Bakersfield 71-50, SLO 57-51, Santa Margarita 52-53 for second place. Dads Club: Harbor 47-17, Paso Robles 80-64, St. Francis of Mt. View 49-36. Champions. Palma tournament: Seaside 72-46; North Salinas 81-68, Palma 59-49. Champions. St. Ignatius 72-40, Serra 63-46. St. Francis of Mt. View tournament: SLO 67-42, University of Irvine 71-49, Palo Alto 70-58. Champions. Special one day Martin Luther King event between the best teams in the area, SC beat Bishop O’Dowd 63-57 at St. Mary’s College. Practice record 15-1.
League: Harbor 56-38, 59-29; Aptos 73-54, 72-56; Watsonville 78-31, 64-21; Soquel 62-38, 75-22; Scotts Valley 91-48, 75-30; SLV 57-40, 77-46. League record 12-0 for championship. League playoffs: Scotts Valley 75-39, Aptos 75-46. CCS playoffs; El Camino of South San Francisco 88-46, St. Ignatius 45-33, Burlingame 56-42. Champions. Northern California tournament: St. Mary’s of Stockton 75-40 at Cabrillo College, Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland at Santa Clara University 52-39. Compolinda of Moraga at Arco Arena in Sacramento for the Northern California Championship. State Championship at Arco Arena against St. Augustine of San Diego 67-56 for the State Championship. Overall record 36-1.
Yearbook. The boy’s basketball team would like to thank all the students, parents and fans who have supported this year’s incredible team and its effort throughout the season. The team was off to a fast start with a great record of 20-1. The season was a memorable one as the Cardinals played the toughest preseason schedule in the history of the school. The team has beaten the highly rated WCAL teams of St. Ignatius, Serra, St Francis, and highly respected teams of St. Joseph’s of Alameda and Palo Alto. On Martin Luther King Day, in January 2005, the team played in the highly touted MLK Basketball Fest at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and came away by beating the #1 rated team in Northern California in Div III, Bishop O’Doud (Oakland) 63-57. This propelled the Cardinals to the #1 ranking in Northern California for the first time in school history.
Our team won three consecutive tournaments in December 2004. Winning the 49th annual Dad’s Club tournament in Santa Cruz, beating a very good St. Francis team for the third year in a row, 49-36 at the Civic Auditorium. The Scattini Tournament at Palma (Salinas) for the second straight year, beating Palma 59-49. The Cardinals, also won the highly rated St. Francis tourney in Mountain View for the first time in the history of the school, by beating the #1 ranked team in the CCS, Palo Alto Vikings by a score of 56-38, which propelled the Cardinals to the #1 ranking in the CCS.
The “Big 3” leads the team. The quick ball handling play by dynamite, Junior Russell, the all around shooting, and ball handling play of Austin Swift at the other guard position. The unstoppable force of Cliff Sammet’s shooting, rebounding and shot blocking ability helps maintain the inside play. The Cardinals look forward to winning their 7th consecutive SCCAL Championship and advancing deep into the CCS Championship. The team has worked very hard in the gym this season and all the players have contributed to the success of the team, especially the seniors, who make up over 2/3rds of the team.
Roster: Seniors: Travis Haussler, Austin Swift, Cliff Sammet, Billy Pedersen, Kevin Grellman, Michelle Norteye, Jack Pino, Junior Russell, Julius Freeman, and Taylor Vaughan. Juniors: Chris Sharp. Jessie LoBue, Kevin Konopleski, and Sean Lynch, Steve Hill, Gary Smith, Jared Carlson. Coach Pete Newell, who retired after this season after 30 years at SC.
Dec. 29. Part of an article in the Sentinel about Russell, who missed his entire sophomore season.. According to coach Newell, Russell is the key to the season. “Junior’s the engine that gets us going. He’s such a special player, such a special person. He does everything in my mind. He makes the players around him better and he’s very passionate about what he does. He has the utmost respect not only for his teammates, but anyone that plays against him” Russell is often the smallest player on the court. But if opponents underestimate him, they learn soon enough. “I don’t really think being small is a bad thing, because I’ve got quickness that a lot of people don’t have. I can amaze a lot of people” said Junior.
Regular season games:
Nov. 27. In their first game of the season at St. Joseph of Alameda, the Cards were down 20-9 at the end of the first quarter and at halftime 34-30, But with renewed defense SC held St. Joseph’s to 20 points in the second half while scoring 37 themselves to win 67-54. Tops in assists: Russell 5, Swift 3. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 9, LoBue 4, Swift and Sharp 3 apiece. Tops from the foul line: Sharp 4 for 5, Russell and Sammet each 4 for 6. The team 12 for 22.
Scoring: Sammet 22, LoBue 17, Russell 12, Swift 8, Sharp 8.
Dec. 3. At the San Luis Obispo tournament, SC beat Garces of Bakersfield 71-50. SC started with a bang taking a 20-2 lead in the first quarter. Tops in assists: 11, Swift 4, Sammet 3. Tops in rebounds: Sammet and Vaughan each 5, Sharp 4, Swift and Haussler each 3. SC went 13 for 24 from the line. Tops from the line: Russell 4 for 5. Freeman 5 for 6. Scoring: Russell 14, Freeman 7, Lynch 3, Wetmore 2, Pino 0, Norteye 0, Swift 6, Sammet 7, Pedersen 4, Vaughan 4, Haussler 11, LoBue 0, Sharp 13.
Dec. 4. In the semifinals, SC 57, San Luis Obispo 51. Point guard Junior Russell was on fire scoring 26 points including a 8-0 stretch in the second quarter to gove SC the lead. Austin Sqift added ten points. SLO went out to a 17-12 lead in the first quarter, but the Cards rallied to go ahead by one at halftime 29-28. SC broke the game in the third quarter outscoring SLO 15-7. Tops in assists: Russell 6, Sharp 4, Swift 3. Tops in rebounds: Russell 5, Swift 3. The Cards went 8 for 10 from the line. Scoring: Russell 25, Swift 10, Konopelski 2, Pino 2, Norteye 4, Pedersen 4, Haussler 4, LoBue 6, Sharp 0.
Dec. 5. In the SLO finals, Santa Margarita gave the Cards there only loss of the season 53-52, when Santa Margarita scored in the last seconds of overtime. The Santa Margarita led at halftime 30-25. The Cards outscored Santa Margarita in both the third an fourth quarters to tie the score at 48-48 in regulation. In overtime, Sammet scored all four of SC’s points, but it wasn’t enough.
Santa Margarita of Orange County was ranked send in the States Division III team by Cal-Hi Sports. There center and top player (who played for UCLA on scholarship and eventually was a starter) dropped in two free throws in the final seconds of overtime to win the title as his team overcame a SC four point SC advantage during overtime.
Russell led all scorers with 18 points and was named to the all-tournament team.
Tops in assists: Russell 4, Sammet 3. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 7, LoBue 5, Sharp 3. Scoring: Russell 18, Swift 13, Sammet 12, LoBue 5, Haussler 4, Sharp 0, Pedersen 0, Norteye 0.
Dec. 10. Dads Club Tournament, SC defeated Harbor 47-17. SC went out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter and 25-7 at halftime. Tops in assists: Russell 5, Swift 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 8, Sharp 7, Haussler 6, LoBue 4. Scoring: Russell 7, Freeman 1, Lynch 3, Carlsen 0, Norteye 1, Swift 13, Pedersen 2, Sammet 8, Wetmore 2, Hausseler 2, LaBue 2, Sharp 6.
Dec. 11. Cruz Control Into Final. Cardinals Roll Over Paso Robles. In the semifinal game of the Dads Club, SC defeated highly rated Paso Robles 80-64. SC’s three key players dazzled as the Cards outran Paso to reach the finals. Austin Swift was the top scorer with 21 points. SC went out to a 21-10 lead in the second quarter and 42-27 at halftime.
Coach Newell said, “I love the fact that our best three players elevated their games. You guys are so much better than you were three weeks a go and you’ll keep getting better and better. From a coaching standpoint, I couldn’t be more pleased with back-to-back games,”
Russell, the 5-6 senior point guard was the catalyst, despite playing with some foul trouble. He had stretches where he took over despite being guarded by Paso’s 6-6 standout point guard, advertised as one of the most highly recruited juniors in the country had 29 points. (He was given a scholarship by the University of Kentucky his senior year) Russell had three rebounds, a pair of assists and steals the first quarter. In the third quarter, he scored the last six points. The last bucket had the crowd on its feet, a steal under the basket and a looping hook shot launched from just above ground level. “Typical,” said Swift, “He does that all the time.”
Tops in assists: Russell 6, Pedersen 3, Swift and Sammet each two. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 8, Sharp 7, Russell and Haussler each 5, Swift 4. Pedersen went 4 for 4 from the line. Scoring: Russell 17, Swift 21, Sammet 17, Sharp 12, Norteye 3, Pedersen 6, Haussler 2, LoBue 2.
Dec. 12. Cards Again. SC Wins Tourney For Fifth Straight Time. SC won the Dads Club title by beating St. Francis of Mt. View 49-36. First they started calling out SC’s shooters, then calling the SC plays. They may have known more about SC’s team then the Cards themselves. Good thing Coach Newell is a quick study. At halftime, Newell gave his players a new game plan that helped overcome a four point deficit to win 49-36 in the tournaments forty-ninth year. Newell put his team in a half-court-trap defense, that put extra pressure on the Lancer’s guards, which created more turnovers they made in the first half, five, in the first five minutes of the second half.
The move was coupled with an offensive set that spread the St. Francis defenders out, giving the taller and more athletic Cards a chance to drive the lanes and beat their opponents one on one. SC also forced their opponents to take their shots further out than they normally do. St. Francis took a quick 6-0 lead at the beginning of the game, by aggressive play taking away the passing lanes and making interceptions. SC lost the ball eight times in the first half.
With a change of game plan in the second half, they held St. Francis to five points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth quarter, while scoring 15 in each quarter themselves. Russell had 8 points, five assists and two steals, most of them in the second half. He also took home the Most Valuable Player award. Center Chris Sharp beefed up his rebounding in the second half to come away with eight boards and 11 points. Austin Swift made the most of the change in game plan as he ended with a game high 23 points as well as 8 rebounds and three steals.
“They played with great intensity for three nights,” Newell said of the Cards.
St. Francis led 10-8 in the first quarter and 23-19 at halftime. SC came out in the third quarter and outscored St. Francis 15-5 and 15-8 in the fourth quarter. Tops in assists: Russell 5, Pedersen and Sharp four each. Tops in rebounding: Swift and Sharp 8 each, Sammet 6, Pedersen 4. Swift went 4 for 4 from the line. Scoring: Swift 23, Sharp 11, Russell 8, Sammet 6, Pedersen 1, Haussler and LoBue 0.
With Russell as MVP, three other Cards where on the All-Tourney ten man team: Swift, Sammet and Sharp.
Dec 17. SC beat Seaside 72-46 in the first round of the Palma Tournament. SC broke out to a 23-10 lead in the first quarter and 36-24 at halftime. Russell had five assist and Swift four. Sammet led the rebounding with six, Swift five, LoBue and Sharp four each. Sharp went 4 for 4 from the line. Scoring: Swift 21, Sammet 18, Russell 10, LoBue 10, Sharp 6, Norteye 2, Pedersen 3, Wetmore 2.
Dec. 18. In the semifinals of the Palma Tournament SC beat North Salinas 81-68. The first quarter saw North Salinas ahead 19-18 and at halftime 41-35. The second half was all SC, 24-13 in the third quarter and 22-14 in the fourth. Russell had nine assists. Sammet led the rebounding with 9, followed by Sharp and Grellman with 4 each. Scoring: Sammet 29, Swift 26, Russell 16, Pedersen 4, LoBue 2, Grellmann 2, Sharp 0, Pino 0, Norteye 2.
Dec. 19. SC won the Palma Tournament by beating Palma 59-49. SC took the first quarter 15-7, but Palma came back in the second quarter to be down only two points 25-23. SC came out hot in the third quarter out scoring Palma 19-9 to go ahead 44-32. Russell had four assists. Top in rebounds: Swift 9, Sammet 6, Russell 5, Sharp 3. Russell was 9 for 13 from the line, while the team was 14 for 26. Scoring: Russell 19, Swift 18, Sammet 17, Norteye 5, LoBue, Sharp, Grellmann and Pedersen all 0.
Dec. 22. SC trounced St. Ignatius of San Francisco 72-40. SC went out to a 20-11 lead in the first quarter, but SI out scored SC in the second quarter 19-17 to be down only 37-30 at halftime. SC as has been their habit of late, came out strong the second half out scoring SI 20-4 to pull away with a 57-36 and then continue out scoring SI 15-6 in the final quarter. Russell had 6 assists, while Norteye, Swift and Pedersen each had two. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 7, Sharp, Russell and Swift each had 4. At the line, Russell and Sharp were 3 for 3, Sammet 5 for 7 and Pedersen 4 for 6. The Cards were a good 17-21. Scoring: Russell 20, Sammet 17, Sharp 9, Swift and Pedersen each 7, Haussler, Norteye and LoBue each 4.
Dec. 24. SC beat another West Catholic Athletic team Serra 63-46. The WCAL is the toughest league in the CCS. As has been their style, SC went out to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter and outscored Serra 16-9 in the second quarter to be ahead 33-13 at halftime. Serra showed what kind of team they are be winning the second half 33-30. Tops in assists: Swift 7, Russell 5, Sammet 3, Sharp 2. Tops in rebounds: Swift 6, Sharp 5. Pedersen 3. At the foul line: Russell 4 for 5, Swift 6 for 8. Team 11 for 15. Scoring: Swift 20, Russell 19, Sammet 7, Norteye 6, Pedersen 5, Sharp 4, Lobue 3, Haussler 0, Wetmore 0.
Dec. 28. At the St. Francis Mt. View tournament, SC defeated San Luis Obispo 67-42 in the first round. Again the Cards blew out the opposition from the start, going out to a 18-9 lead in the first quarter and 21-5 in the second quarter to be ahead 39-14 at halftime. Tops in assists: Sammet 3, Russell, Swift and Lynch each had 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 8, Haussler 5, Swift 3. At the line: Pedersen 3 for 4. Team 6 for 12. Scoring: Russell 16, Freeman 2, Lynch 0, Pino 2, Norteye 4, Swift 6, Pedersen 5, Sammet 11, Wetmore 2, Vaughan 0, Haussler 4, LoBue 13, Grellman 2.
Dec. 29. In the semifinals, SC beat University High of Irvine 71-49. SC again went out fast with a 19-9 first quarter, but only outscore University by one point in the second quarter to be ahead 36-25 at halftime. Tops in assists: Russell 7, Norteye and Swift each 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 11, Swift and LoBue each 8, Sharp 5. At the foul line SC was only 7 for 14. Scoring: Swift 19, LoBue 11, Russell 12, Sammet 9, Freeman 2, Lynch 0, Pino 2, Norteye 4, Pedersen 2, Vaughan 0, Haussler 6, Sharp 4.
Dec. 30. In the finals, SC defeated one of the best teams in CCS, Palo Alto 70-58. SC started with a three quarter court press that gave Palo Alto real problems as SC made steals and converted them to go ahead 22-9 in the first quarter and 37-27 at halftime. SC won the second half only 33-29. (Palo Alto went on to play in the Northern California finals. Palo Alto‘s start guard was a star guard at Harvard and in 2010 is playing for the San Francisco Warriors in the MBA) SC won 70-58. Tops in assists: Russell 10, Sammet 5, Swift 4. Tops in rebounds: Sammet and LoBue each with 7, Swift and Pedersen each 4, Sharp 3, Haussler2. Tops in steals: Russell and Swift each 3, LoBue 2. From the line: Swift 3 for 4, Russell 2 for 3, team 6 for 11.
Scoring: Swift 26, Russell 18, LoBue 14, Sammet 10, Pedersen 0, Haussler 0, Norteye 0.
Jan. 5. Cardinals Handle Harbor. But Pirates Keep It Close Through Three.
In the first league game SC defeated Harbor 56-38 in a low scoring game for SC. SC led 14-10 in the first quarter and 31-21 at halftime. Harbor outscored SC 13-11 in the third quarter and then SC outscored Harbor 14-4 in the fourth. Newell praised the play of Russell, but lamented the lack of energy and defensive breakdowns. He took notes during the third quarter on lapses that needed to be corrected. “Our choice is to play with purpose and be better than the last time we took the court, or to play down. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” Newell said.
Tops in assists: Russell 5, Swift and Sammet 3 each. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 7 and three blocked shots, Swift 7, Russell, Pedersen and Haussler each 3. Steals: Russell and Sammet each 3, Swift 2. Tops at the line: Sharp and Swift 3 for 4, Sammet 7 for 10. Scoring: Swift 14, Sammet 13, Russell 10, LoBue 8, Sharp 5, Pedersen 4, Haussler 2, Pino 0.
Jan. 9. RUSSEL POWERS CARDS. SC beat Aptos 73- 54 in the league opener. SC broke out to a 20-7 lead in the first quarter, but Aptos came back in the second quarter to equal SC in scoring, each with 15 points. SC lead 35-22 at halftime. SC won the third quarter 21-15 and the teams tied 17-17 in the fourth.
Michael Norteye added an offensive spark in the opening quarter with nine points to trigger a 13 SC point lead.
Tops in assists: Russell 7, Pedersen 3 and Norteye 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 7, LoBue 6, Nortey 5, Sharp 4, Swift, Pedersen and Grellman each 2. SC had a bad night at the foul line going 6 for 16. Tops in steals: Russell 5, Norteye 3. Scoring: Russell 24, Sammet 15, Swift 12, Norteye 9, Haussler and Sharp each 4, Pedersen and LoBue each 2, Carlsen 1, Freeman, Wetmore, Vaughan, Pino and Grellman each 0.
Jan. 12. SC took Watsonville 78-31. SC outscored the Cats 29-7 in the first period and 22-10 in the second to lead 51-17 at halftime. Tops in assists: Russell 10, Swift 4, Sammet and LoBue each 2. Tops in rebounding: Sammet 8, Freeman and Pino 4 each, Sharp 2. Tops in steals: Russell 3 and five others with one each. Scoring: Swift 19, Russell 18, Sammet 13, LoBue 8, Freeman and Pino each 6, Sharp 4, Lynch and Nortey each 2, Carlsen, Grellman, Hill, Wetmore, Vaughan, 0.
Jan. 16. SC 62, Soquel 38. SC went up 14-7 in the first quarter and 25-15 at halftime, then piled up 21 points to 8 in the third. The bench was cleared in the fourth. Tops in assists: Russell 9, Sharp 4, Norteye 2, eight others had one. Tops in rebounds: LoBue, and Swift with 5, Russell 3, Norteye, Wetmore, Vaughan, Grellman and Sharp each 2. Russell went 3 for 4 and the team 9 for 17 from the line. Steals: Norteye 5, Russell 3. Scoring: Swift 16, Russell 15, Sammet 6, LoBue and Wetmore each 5, Sharp 4, Lynch, Hill, Norteye and Grellman each 2, Freeman, Carlsen, Pino, Haussler each 0.
Jan. 17. At the Martin Luther King Classic at St. Mary’s College, the top teams in the area each year are picked to play on Martin Luther Kings birthday. Since SC has a top notch team this year it was picked to play Bishop O’Dowd and won 63-57, behind 26 points from point guard Junior Russell. Bishop O’Dowd is the defending NorCal Division III champion and state runner up. It was the fourth state title game loss in the program’s history after winning the first modern state title in 1981.
Jan 18. Russell Scores 26 As Santa Cruz Beats Oakland Power. The smallest kid plays best in the biggest games, with perhaps the biggest heart. In front of a crowd of about 2,500 at St. Mary’s College, Junior Russell led the Cards to a 63-57 win over Bishop O’Dowd in what might have been a preview of a Northern California championship game. Russell dominated the entire area from center court to O’Dowd’s free throw line, coming up with nine steals against some of the Bay Area’s top players on his way to a 26 point effort.
O’Dowd had scouted SC five times and have played a national level competition including the storied St. Anthony’s program from New Jersey. Before heading to the court, coach Newell told his team “This is fun.” Russell, despite playing on a tender ankle, enjoyed himself and made the O’Dowd guards miserable. Russell said, “I’m having a lot of fun. It’s amazing, so many fans, all the hype. I like just competing, playing hard teams.”
SC started slowly, trailing 20-12 early in the second quarter. SC had made sloppy passes, struggled some against defensive pressure and with the exception of a crowd pleasing right handed dunk by Cliff Sammet, the game was a battle. That’s when Russell took over.
A Sammet tip-in started a 10-0 run, which included back-to-back mid-court steals that Russell turned into lay-ups. O’Dowd settled down and retook the lead and stretched it to 26-22. Russell picked off another pass, went the length of the court and made a spectacular double-clutch, left handed reverse flip under and over O’Dowds 6-6 best player. Russell had six points and four steals in the period, but SC still trailed 26-24 at half.
The storyline continued in the third and fourth quarters, with Russell finding the open floor and making O’Dowd pay. He had three more steals and 10 points in the third period as SC built a six point lead, 44-38. The fun level hit its peak with about four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Russell on the floor, scooping up a loose ball, a touch pass to Austin Swift in transition, a cross court pass to Sammet for a two handed dunk that left the crowd gasping, helping the Cards to a seven point lead.
SC finished methodically, making 9 of 10 free throws to close the game. “Since sixth grade we’ve been playing together,” Sammet said. “We know what’s going to happen next, where everyone is going to be. It’s intuition. It’s a lot of fun. This is great. That was like a state finals kind of atmosphere.”
Michael Norteye also played a big role, shutting down O’Dowd’s top guard in-man-to man situations and finding him in the zone, often pressuring the ball, leading to several passes picked off by Russell. O’Dowd’s top player, “that point guard, we let him do to much. We knew he was someone we had to worry about, but maybe we focused on one thing to much, and not enough on him.”
SC has won three tournaments and Russell has been MVP of two of them and Mr. Hustle in the third. Coach Newell told his team to savor the preseason a little. “The tough preseason is over. You’ll have great memories of this forever.” Is Newell about to follow his own advice and have fun in his final season? Yes and no. “It’s enjoyable when the kids stand up to challenges. My history is I’m always anticipating the next thing that can go wrong and trying to head it off.”
Sammet says the team feels all kinds of expectations and obligations and welcomes them. “It’s a blessing playing for him in his thirtieth and last season. We don’t want to let him down, but it’s all connected. This is a family and he’s part of the family.
Scoring: Russell 26, Norteye 2, Swift 12, Pederson 0, Sammet 13, Haussler 0, Lo Bue 2,
Jan. 19. SC 91, Scotts Valley 48. SC scored 30 points in the first quarter for the tops so far in the season. The halftime score was SC 49-20. Tops in assists: Lynch 4, Freeman 3, Russell, Norteye, Vaughan, Haussler each 2. Tops in rebounding: Haussler 12, Sharp 6, Vaughan 5, Grellman and Sammet each 4, Pino, Pedersen each 3, Freeman, Hill, Norteye each 2. Tops in steals: Swift 3, Russell, Freeman and Lynch each two. From the foul line: Haussler was 4 for 4 and Pedersen 6 for 8 and the team 18 for 27. Scoring: Haussler 12, Freeman 11, Sharp and Pedersen each 10, Russell and Swift each 9, Lynch 7, Pino and Sammet each 6, Grellman 5, Hill, Norteye and Vaughan each 2.
Jan. 21. In the closes league game so far, SC bested SLV 57-50. SC won the first quarter 14-9 and was ahead 23-17 at halftime. SLV came out strong in the third quarter and outscored SC 17-14, but SC came back to take the fourth quarter 20-16. Tops in assists: Russell, Norteye, Swift and Sammet each with 2. Tops in rebounding: Swift 13, Sammet 10, Sharp 6, Pedersen 3. Tops in foul shooting Sammet 5 for 6 and team 11 for 18. Steals: Russell and Swift each 3, Freeman, Norteye and Sammet each one. Scoring: Sammet 25, Swift 16, Russell 6, Sharp and Haussler each 4, LoBue 2, Freeman, Pedersen 0.
Jan. 26. Sammet Leads Cardinals Over Pirates. He Scores 20 points and Grabs 15 Rebounds.
SC beat Harbor 59-29 to start the second round of league. In a close first quarter, SC went ahead 12-9 and then outscored Harbor 20-9 in the second quarter to go ahead 32-18 at halftime. SC had another big quarter in the third, outscoring Harbor 17-5. Tops in assists: Russell 5, Swift 4, Sammet 3, Norteye 1. Tops rebounding: Sammet 15. Swift and Sharp each 4. Russell went 3 for 4 from the line and the team 11 for 21. Steals: Russell 5, Swift 2, Norteye 1. Scoring: Sammet 20, Russell 15, Sharp 12, Swift 7, Norteye 3, Lynch 2, Freeman, Hill, Pino, Vaughan, Pedersen, Haussler, LoBue and Grellmann 0.
Jan. 29. SC beat Aptos 72-56. Aptos put SC to the test in the first half holding SC to only a 33-30 lead at halftime. Cliff Sammet continued his recent tear of scoring and rebounding, which to him means some-things not quite right with his team. Sammet recorded game highs of 28 points and 18 rebounds and in the previous two games was 20 points and 15 boards against Harbor and 25 points and 10 rebounds against SLV. “We haven’t been shooting well at all lately, so that’s why this is happening,” said Sammet, who did a lot of his damage on the offensive glass, where he grabbed nine rebounds. “When Swift and Junior are hot, we win big and I get about 13 points. It’s not happening right now, so I have to be there to step up.” Swift went 6 for 19 shooting and Russell 5 for 19, while together they hit only 1of 7 from three point range.
Still that’s ok by coach Newell. “I’m not concerned about the outside shooting. We’ve just going to take our shots and go hard to the offensive boards. Zones open up spots for offensive rebounds and we do really well on the offensive glass.” SC ended the game with 18 offensive rebounds. But he was concerned with his teams lapses on defense. SC went ahead 29-16 midway through the second quarter, when Sammet powered home a two handed dunk after Russell tip-toed the sideline with some nifty dribbling near the Card bench and fired a pass down court to him. But Aptos responded with a 10-0 run to get right back into the game. Russell said he doesn’t shoot well on his home floor and expects this team to iron things out.
SC came out the second half and went ahead 54-42 and outscored Aptos 18-14 in the fourth period. Tops in assists: Russell 9, Swift 3, Sharp and Sammet 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 16, Sharp 5, Russell 4, Swift and LoBue each 3, Norteye 2. At the line: Sammet 6 for 8 and team 11 for 14. Steals: Russell and Norteye 3, Sharp and Swift 2, Sammet 1. Scoring: Sammet 28 Swift 15, Russell 11, Norteye, LoBue and Sharp each 6. Pino 0.
Feb. SC 64, Watsonville 21. SC was ahead 25-2 at the end of the first quarter. Tops in assists: Freeman and Norteye each 3. Tops in rebounding: Swift 8, Sammet 6, Haussler 5, LoBue 4, Norteye, Carlsen each 3, Grellmann, Sharp each 2. Steals: Russell 7, Swift, Sharp, Sammet, Haussler each 3, Freeman 2. Scoring: Russell 21, Sammet 20, LoBue 8, Haussler 5, Lynch 3, Freeman Norteye, Grellmann each 2, Carlsen 1, Smith, Pino, Swift, Vaughan, Sharp all 0.
Feb. 6. SC 75, Soquel 22. SC started off with a 22-2 first quarter. Tops in assists: Russell 4, LoBue and Swift each 2, Sammet 1. Tops in rebounding: Swift 9, LoBue 8, Sammet 4, Russell, Freeman, Norteye, Vaughan and Haussler each 2. Tops in steals: Norteye 5, Russell, Freeman each 4, Pino, Swift, Sammet and Sharp each 2. Scoring: LoBue 14, Russell 13, Swift 12, Freeman and Sammet each 10, Haussler 6, Norteye 4, Sharp 2, Vaughan and Grellmann each 0.
Feb. 9. SC 75, Scotts Valley 30. The closes score of the game was at the end of the first quarter, when SC was ahead 23-13. The score at halftime was 44-19. Tops in assists: Russell, Swift and Sammet each 3, Norteye 2, Hill and Pedersen one each. Tops in rebounding: Swift 12, Sammet 11, Sharp 6, LoBue 5, Hill, Haussler each 3, Freeman, Pino, Norteye, Vaughan, Pedersen, and Grellmann each 2. Steals: Russell and Sammet each 4, Swift 3, Freeman, Lynch and Grellmann each one. Scoring: Sammet 14, Russell and LoBue each 13, Sharp 8, Pedersen 7, Swift 6, Hill 4, Freeman and Lynch each 3, Norteye and Grellmann each one. Smith, Pino, Haussler each 0.
Feb. 11. Cards Roll Into Postseason. Fan Favorite Wetmore Called In From the Stands. Coach Newell had a trick up his sleeve for Senior Night. Seldom used seniors were used in the starting lineup. Newell had a surprise planted in the stands as well. Fan and team favorite Will Wetmore, who informed his teammates last week that he was leaving the team to concentrate on baseball, was summoned from the stands by Newell in the fourth quarter and ripped off his street clothes to reveal his uniform underneath, to the surprises of the crowd and the SC players. The place erupted. Wetmore scored a basket in mop-up-time. Coach Newell said, ‘He joined the team after football season and gave our team a great lift in practice, just in the fact that he plays hard on every play. Wetmore was the football quarterback and a varsity baseball player for three years. “The deal was he could stay with the team until he wanted to go back out for baseball. We just hatched this plan up about three weeks ago.
SC 75, SLV 46. The first quarter was tight with SC leading only 22-18, but in the second quarter SC erupted with a 23-4 quarter. Tops in assists: Russell 4, Norteye 3, Pino, Swift each 2. Rebounding: Swift 13, Sammet 10, Haussler 8, LoBue and Sharp each 4, Hill, Pino each 3, Norteye and Grellmann each 2. Swift had 6 steals. Scoring: Russell 24, Sammet 14, Swift 13, Freeman and Haussler each 6, Lynch 4, Hill, LoBue, Sharp and Wetmore each 2, Pino, Norteye, Pedersen, Vaughan, Grellmann all 0.
Feb 18. SC defeated Scotts Valley in the SCCAL playoff semifinals at Cabrillo 75-39. SC led at halftime 44-21. Russell had 9 assists. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 14, Norteye 5, Sharp 4, Russell, Pedersen, LoBue each 3. Freeman 2. Steals: Russell 6, Norteye 2. Scoring: Russell 31, LoBue 12, Sammet 11, Haussler 7, Sharp 5, Freeman 4, Pedersen, Vaughan each 2, Lynch 1, Hill, Smith, Pino, Grellmann each 0.
Feb. 20. Cards Blow Past Aptos. Santa Cruz Completes Perfect League Season.
SC has completed one of the most dominating two year runs this county has ever seen with a 75-46 in the SCCAL playoff final in front of more than 2,000 fans at the packed Cabrillo College gym for the outright SCCAL title.
SC 29-1 have won at least a share of 14 of the last 18 league titles, have gone a combined 24-0 in league play the past two seasons and are 59-4 overall in that time span.
Cliff Sammet had a monster night of 25 points, 9 rebounds and five blocked shots.
SC led 20-11 in the first quarter and 32-23 at halftime. SC upped its lead in the third quarter to 50-34. Tops in assists: Russell 5, Freeman and Sammet each 2. Tops in rebounding: Sharp 10, Sammet and LoBue 9, Pino 6. Steals: Norteye 6, Haussler 3. Scoring: Sammet 25, Russell 18, LoBue 11, Sharp 12, Freeman 2, Lynch 0, Pino 0, Hill 0, Norteye 0, Pedersen 5, Haussler 2
Feb. 23 San Jose Mercury ran a profile of Junior Russell in its weekly high school section.
With Russell At Wheel, It’s Full Speed Ahead. Point Guard Steers Santa Cruz To 29-1 mark.
It was a symbolic gesture, but one of great trust for veteran SC coach Pete Newell. Newell gathered his team together at one of its first practices this season, held up a set of keys and placed them into the hands of a 5-6 point guard, who had hardly played in two years. “Junior’s driving our team,” Newell said.
With a 29-1 record and a number one ranking, the Cards have found no need to glance in the rear-view mirror. “Junior Russell is the most important person to our successful season,” Newell said.
Russell averages 15.2 points a game, is a player with outstanding quickness, great instincts, an excellent shot and a deep understanding of the game. “Basically, they’re counting on me to be a leader,” Russell said.
Beyond that, he’s also a player who has overcome family hardships, as well as physical ones that have conspired to leave him un-recruited, a baffling thought to coaches who know him best, but understandable because he missed two summers of AAU ball to reconstruct his knee. The question of how tall is he, when answered 5-6 turns off recruiters. But they do not understand that this 5-6 kid is so special.
Teammate and friend Austin Swift said, “He makes us better. He knows when to give us the ball and puts it right there and knows when to take over a game.”
A year ago, with a knee that seemed to buckle every other step, Russell scored 32 points in a double overtime playoff victory over Monterey. Soon after, an examination revealed that Russell had been playing with a completely torn anterior cruciate ligament that dated to a sophomore football injury. Enduring two surgeries and months of rehabilitation was not easy. Basketball always was the one constant in his life even as other parts were in turmoil. Matt Ryan who over saw his rehabilitation, said Russell faced “a life changing decision,” to ensure basketball would be part of his future. I needed a commitment that required him to be absolutely dedicated. I was ready to put him in a program for a college division I player or professional athlete. But it would only work if he really wanted it bad enough and he responded.”
His guardian at present is family friend Gail Lukan, who has known him since little league playing with her sons, said the need for basketball in his life is vital along with the camaraderie and structure a team will provide.” Newell and his AAU coach both feel he is more than capable of playing Division I basketball. Plus he has earned the right. He’s just had a phenomenal run.
Sentinel February 26. Faith In Junior
Seven times out of the last nine years, SC has fallen short of getting to the CCS finals. But maybe this year SC can figure out a perfect ending. When Newell starts thinking about the playoff season, he thinks about Russell and finds some peace. “Every game, he makes plays I’ve never seen before, by him or anyone else. His instincts and creativity, coupled with his skill allow him to play at a different level. There have been games he wasn’t going to let us lose,” said Newell. “When he brings his A game it’s like Einstein sitting down at science lab. He has an ability to make the right decisions while playing the game at full speed. It’s an intellectual ability guys like Bird and the Big O have,” Newell said.
The West Valley Basketball Club director has worked with several SC players during the last three years, said of Russell, “He thinks he’s about 7-1 can dribble, shoot, dunk, whatever he wants to do. People who say, “Well if he was 6-1 …” “What I say is, If a frog has wings, he wouldn’t bump his butt on the ground.”
Russell averages a team leading 15.2 points per game, but it’s not the points, it’s the defense, the energy, the spark, all the little things that help win. And for Russell it’s about teammates. “I’m going to miss them a lot. When I leave and don’t see them any more, it’s going to be like losing a part of me,” Russell said.
Before games, he’s the guy in the locker room with a ball in his hand, bouncing it, juking an imaginary defender, taking imaginary jumpers. The pre-game, the moments he has to wait to play are an insult. He needs to be on the floor.
Juniors home life has not be stable, but the players families, his uncle Charles Burks the SC junior varsity coach, Newell, teachers, coaches along the way have all helped. He’s genuinely grateful to all of them. “Its like he’s all the other parents adopted kid,” said Newell. Junior talks of teammates who have picked him up. He says coach Newell means everything o him. “He’s bounced back from it,” Swift said of all Russell’s challenges. “It made him stronger.”
March 5. Main Sentinel write up of the CCS championship: SC 56, Burlingame 42.
FOR ALL CARDS
Santa Cruz Wins First Ever Section Crown
CARDINALS: A Historic Victory
CCS Section Championship. “That was as good as it gets. They couldn’t get an open look. We contested every dribble and almost every shot,” coach Pete Newell Jr.
SC played the first half of defense as if the Cardinal players of the past, that failed to win a section title, were on the court with them helping out. SC did it with 16 minutes of the best defense they’ve played all season, swarming all over the court, switching constantly and harassing Burlingame into 11 first half turnovers and just seven points. `
SC held star guard Shiller to just two first half points and led 25-7 at halftime. Shiller got off only three shots the first half, hounded by guards Junior Russell and Michael Norteye. “Junior and Michael took it as a personnel challenge,” said wing Austin Swift, who led SC with 16 points. “Two points in 16 minutes, That’s some of the best defense I’ve seen.”
The Panthers 26-5 turned the ball over on their first possession of the game and committed a 35 second violation on their second, and that set the tone for the rest of the half. It wasn’t just the guards, though. All five Cards on the floor jumped screens, rotated and helped make the Panther offense near non-existent.
Burlingame coach, “They did a great job. They’re so long and they got in the passing lanes and made things tough. It seemed like they wanted it more than we did.” The Cards certainly couldn’t argue with that. SC had lost in the CCS semifinals for the last four years and seven of the last nine. Swift was part of the last three teams after coming up as a freshman. “I wanted this for coach Newell especially and all the players before me, guys like my brother, Ian who was a senior in my freshman year, we wanted to do it for all the guys that never got to feel what it’s like to win a section championship,” said Austin Swift.
Fellow senior Cliff Sammet echoed Swift. “All the weight on our shoulders the last three years I’ve been playing is gone,” Sammet said of the unmet expectations. “We’re the first to win a CCS title, but there were so many players before us who didn’t get to feel what we’re feeling. I hope they’re feeling it now. “They’ve paved the way for SC basketball to be a powerhouse.”
Newell, 61, who is in his thirtieth and last season with SC, got a water bath from his players after the game and a long line of supporters waited for the chance to shake his hand or give him a huge. “It’s like a 30 year movie reel,” Newell said. “Players from the ‘70’s, ‘80’s ‘90’s, parents, people in the community have all been so supportive.”
The Cards have been top dog all season, but they have answered nearly every challenge, including a demanding non-league schedule. Their only loss came in overtime in the early season SLO tournament championship game in overtime to a top Southern Cal team Santa Margarita, in the last seconds by one point (by a center who went on to play at UCLA). Still, Newell said the pressure never affected his team. “They’re such a loose and irreverent group to begin with, I don’t think it got to them. We never thought about losing. We came here to win and we accomplished our objective.”
SC also received contributions from two junior starters, Jesse LoBue and Chris Sharp. LoBue contributed ten points and Sharp added 12 points and 9 rebounds..
Scoring: Russell 8, Norteye 1, Swift 16, Sammet 9, LoBue 10, Sharp 12.
Excerpts from the San Jose Mercury. In his thirtieth and final season, coach Pete Newell finally got to hold the CCS championship trophy. He looked at it, smiling and then turned to the crowed and raised his index finger to the rafters. “From the opening tip, our kids were ready to compete,” Newell said.
The Foothill gym seats 2,700, but at least 1,000 more were turned away. Even those who paid their admission, got their hand stamped and left to go to the restroom, which was outside the gym, were not allowed back in. The three local University facilities were not available. Eventually, all the gym doors were opened, letting rows of fans outside crane their necks to catch glimpses of the action.
Many of them missed Russell diving to the floor to steal a Shiller pass in the opening seconds and then hitting a three over Shiller for the games first bucket.”
The March 9, San Jose Mercury top 15 basketball rankings, for all Divisions, listed SC number one with a 32-1 record.
BOY BASKETBALL DIVISON III STATE CHAMPIONS 2004-05
Information from an eight page Sentinel Commemorative Section March 23, 2005.
Junior Achievement In Santa Cruz. By Tom Moore, new sports editor for the Sentinel.
Junior Russell and Pete Newell Jr. That’s what I’ll remember. Every game I attended, people tried to describe Russell’s 5-6 breath taking style. Newell went so far as to compare him to Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and Albert Einstein all in one sentence, I think.
I’ve seen some basketball, played some, but I have never seen a player control the space between the circles the way Russell did. He made people do things. He saw into the future on the floor, saw what was unfolding and changed it to his advantage before anyone else knew what he’d done. Junior can just play.
People told me Newell was eccentric and I wrote that early in the season. What the #$@* do you mean, writing that I’m eccentric, Newell yelled at me the next day. “People say that about you,” I said, not exactly sure if he was mad, serious or joking, as is usually the case with Newell. “Maybe because I don’t wear socks,” Newell said. Uh-huh.
I saw him berate players with a fury. I puzzled over substitutions. I saw him teach on the court. I never doubted he had a purpose and I think he saw a big picture. I almost believe he orchestrated 30 years to build to a moment in the third quarter of the state championship game, trailing by eight points, in order to have one stretch of near perfect, feel good, Russell powered, team oriented community galvanizing basketball. I’m glad I got here in time to see it. Enjoy the Sentinel’s look back at the season.
DIVISION III STATE CHAMPIONSHIP, SANTA CRUZ 67, ST. AUGUSTINE 56
Cardinals Overcome Foul Trouble, Injury And 8 Point Deficit To Win
It was a game of ups and downs that ended on the ultimate high for SC boys basketball team and it ended, fittingly with the ball in the hands of senior point guard Junior Russell.
Russell scored a game high 27 points despite playing on a tender ankle and injuring his left knee late in the first quarter. The Cardinals beat previously undefeated St. Augustine of San Diego 67-56 in the Division III State championship game Saturday, March 19 at Arco Arena home of the Sacramento NBL team.
Russell dribbled out the final seconds and then triumphantly threw the ball high overhead, setting off a celebration on the arena floor that ended with a Santa Cruz dog pile at center court.
“It’s been a goal of mine since the eighth grade, to win the state championship,” Russell said, who scored 11 points in a decisive 20-2 run by the Cardinals (36-1) that started with them trailing the Saints 49-41 and ended with Santa Cruz up 61-51 with 2:35 to play in the game.
The win capped a remarkable 30th and final season for coach Pete Newell, Jr., who goes out having won his first Central Coast Section title, earning his first wins in the Northern California regional playoffs, and claiming the first-ever boys basketball state championship for a Santa Cruz County team.
As always, Newell gave all the credit to his players. “These kids set as a goal the state championship” Newell said. “I don’t think I in my heart believed that, (but) they had this tremendous belief in themselves and each other. As a great an achievement as it was to win the state, to win it with this group of young men makes it even more special.”
Russell missed his entire sophomore season with a knee injury, then played last year with a torn ACL, but Newell knew having him on the floor this season gave his team a chance to do special things. At the start of the season Newell told his team, “The keys are in Junior’s hands and he’s going to drive it as far as he wants to go.” I have a lot of confidence in his abilities. I know he has a burning desire to compete at the highest level.”
The Cardinals jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead, but momentum appeared to shift when Russell hobbled off the court after missing a shot and landing awkwardly with 2:36 left in the first period. He didn’t stay out for long, though, returning just 15 seconds later.
:For Junior to score 27 points in the championship game on a knee that was very painful for him is tremendous,” Newell said. “There was no way other than amputation that Junior was going to go out of the game.”
The Saints didn’t go away either, and after trailing throughout the first half, they took their first lead at 35-34 early in the third quarter on an Andre Hardy jumper.
At that point the fouls started stockpiling against the Cardinals, and the foul total reached 10-1in favor of St. Augustine when Cliff Sammet picked up his third with 2:29 remaining in the third. Along the way, junior center Chris Sharp fouled out and senior guard Swift pick up his fourth, sending him to the bench for the final 4:37 of the period.
“I felt we were getting cheated a little bit,” Swift said. “I was a little bit heated. Coach talked to me and told me to calm down, come back in the game and try to do what I can the help win a state championship.”
Swift scored six of his seven points in the fourth quarter when the Cardinals changed their offense to feature him at the high post. But the biggest play of the game came at the end of the third quarter.
Battling back from the 49-41 deficit, the Cardinals went in to the final period down just three, 49-46, when Russell buried a 3-pointer as the quarter buzzer sounded after Sammet came up with a steal and passed ahead to him.
“That came off a great play by Cliff,” Newell said. “It was a huge momentum lift for us to go into the fourth quarter, Junior making that shot”. From there, it was all Santa Cruz.
Michael Norteye gave the Cardinals the lead back at 50-49 when he snuck in a basket down low between a pair of taller defenders. Swift followed with a pair of baskets sandwiched between a Jesse LoBue jumper on the right wing. Russell capped the 20-2 outburst with a layup on a 2-on-1 break after another steal by Sammet.
LoBue finished with 15 points and five rebounds, and Sammet added nine points and game highs of 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. Sophomore guard Robert Hayes led the Saints with 20 points in a thrilling match-up with Russell, and senior forward Hardy added 19 points and 10 boards.
“Him and our guy really went at it,” Saints coach Mike Haupt said of Russell and Hayes. “That kid (Russell) looks like a man.”
He sure played like one Saturday.
Tops in assists: Russell 7, Sammet 5, Norteye 4, LoBue and Sharp each 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 13, Russell 7, Norteye 6, Swift, LoBue and Sharp each 5. Steals: Russell 5, Norteye and Sammet each 3, Swift 2, LoBue and Sharp one. Scoring: Russell 27, LoBue 15, Sammet 9, Swift 7, Norteye 5, Haussler 0, Sharp 4.
At the State Championship game from the CIF State Box Score of the time players played in the first half: Russell 16, Swift 10, Sammet 14, LoBue 9, Sharp 12, Norteye 11, Pederson 4, Haussler 5.
POSTSEASON AT A GLANCE
The Cardinals cruised through the SCCAL unbeaten 12-0 for the second straight season, then prepped for their CCS Division II playoff run with two easy wins in the SCCAL post-season tournament.
SC ran past Aptos 75-46 in the SCCAL championship game, getting a game high 23 points from senior forward Cliff Sammet and 18 from senior point guard Junior Russell at Cabrillo College
The Cardinals played both SCCAL tournament games without versatile senior guard Austin Swift, out for precautionary reasons after suffering a concussion when his parked car was struck by another vehicle, but Swift said he’d be ready for the CCS playoffs.
As for the Cardinals’ state of mind heading into CCS play, where they’d lost in the semifinals the past four seasons and seven of the last nine, Sammet foreshadowed what was to come.
“I don’t really care about our history,” he said. “We just need to come out with confidence and play hard for four quarters. If we do that, we’ll be on our way.”
CCS FIRST ROUND
SC 86, El Camino-South San Francisco 46.
Top seeded SC jumped out to a 28-8 first-quarter lead and was never threatened by El Camino at Piedmont Hills High in San Jose.
Russell led 12 different Santa Cruz scorers with 21 points, Sammet added 13 and Swift returned to the lineup to score 11.
“We know we weren’t going to beat them on athleticism,” said El Camino forward Jeff Ramirez. “That’s the best team I’ve seen all season.”
He wasn’t the first, nor would he be the last, opponent to say so.
The attention immediately turned to getting past the CCS semifinal “jinx”, something Newell said had “taken on a life of its own.”
Tops in assists: Russell 7, Swift 3, Sammet 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 7, Swift and Sharp 5 each. Other scorers: Freeman 7, Hill 4, Pino 2, Norteye 4, Pedersen 3, Vaughan 3, Haussler 4, LoBue 6, Sharp 8.
Added story in Sentinel. Santa Cruz Boys Take First Step. Cardinals In High Gear, Headed To Semifinals. Star guard, Junior Russell found a positive after the top seeded Cards demolished eighth seeded El Camino 86-46. “Well they made us run and get into better shape. I mean it wasn’t that hard because they were kind of short,” Russell said.
Twelve different Cards scored. “We get better competition in practice, Our competition was ourselves,” said Cliff Sammet. Sammet, Swift, Jesse LoBue and Chris Sharp gave SC the rebounding edge. Each time one of them pulled down a rebound, the ball was dished to Russell at the top of the key and the offense was in motion with a fast break.
SC led 28-8 after the first quarter and 5023 at the half. The 86 points was the Cards second highest out put this season.
SC 45, St. Ignatius of San Francisco 33
The Cards did indeed get over their CCS semifinal hurdle, but not without some anxious moments, at least in the first half. The Cards stumbled through the first ten minutes with poor decision making, uncharacteristic turnovers and missed shots. SC had been eliminated in the CCS semifinals the last four seasons and seven of the last nine, refused to repeat history. SC shook off the SI stall tactics with a spirited third quarter en route to a 45-33 victory.
St. Ignatius, Newell’s alma mater, took the shot clock down under 10 seconds whenever possible before taking a shot in order to slow the pace of the game, and the tactic worked well in the first two quarters. Santa Cruz trailed 12-8 after one quarter and went into halftime up just one at 15-14.
But Russell came out and buried two big baskets to start the third, a jumper from the left wing and a 3-pointer, and the Cardinals were on their way to the CCS championship game for the first time since 1988. Santa Cruz outscored St. Ignatius 16-5 in the quarter. Russell finished with a game-high 18 points at Piedmont Hills.
“Junior’s two baskets there were HUGE with four capital letters,” Newell said. “The biggest thing was to let go of the frustration and take care of the ball better.” Swift took over after Russell’s fast start, scoring all nine of his points in the third quarter, helping SC to a comfortable 31-19 lead entering the fourth. SC outscored SI 16-5 in the third.
SC opened the fourth period with a 7-0 run on a Travis Haussler offensive put back, a Russell layup on a Swift steal and pass, a free throw from Sammet and another jumper from Russell for a 39-19 lead, the Cards could finally relax.
Newell was as vocal and animated during the game as he had been at any point in the season. “If this was going to be our last game, I didn’t want to go quietly into the night.” “We’re representing more than our team and our school, we’re representing the community of Santa Cruz,” Newell said.
Tops in assists: Russell 4. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 4, Russell, Swift, LoBue and Sharp each 2. Scoring: Russell 18, Swift 9, Sammet 8, Haussler 2, LoBue 4, Sharp 4.
Sentinel write up.
SC 56, Burlingame 42
In a much anticipated rematch with Burlingame and star senior guard Drew Shiller, who upset the Cardinals in the 2004 CCS semifinals, the Cardinals took the drama out of the game from the outset with a dominating display defensively en route to their first-ever CCS title. They did so in front of an overflow crowd of 2,100 at Foothill College. Thousands of fans were turned away at the door, but many stayed and watched the game through the open doorways, even breaking into “S.C.” chants on occasion.
Santa Cruz limited Shiller to just two first-half points and led 25-7 at intermission after forcing the Panthers into 11 turnovers and a bevy of difficult shots.
“That was as good as it gets,” said Newell of the defense in the first half. “They couldn’t get an open look. We contested every dribble and almost every shot.”
Afterward, several Cardinals expressed gratitude in giving Newell and Santa Cru High the school’s first CCS boys basketball title.
“I wanted to win this for Coach Newell especially and all the players before me, guys like my brother (Ian),” said Swift, who scored a team-high 16 points. “We wanted to do it for all the guys that never got to feel what it’s like to win a section championship.”
Tops in assists: Russell. Tops in rebounds: Sharp 13, Sammet 7, Swift 4, Russell 3, LoBue 2. Tops at the foul line: Sammet 6 for 6, Sharp 4 for 4, LoBue 4 for 6.
Scoring: Swift 16, Sharp 12, LoBue 10, Sammet 9, Russell 8, Norteye 1, Haussler 0.
NORCAL FIRST ROUND
SC 75, St. Mary’ of Stockton 40
Playing before another standing room only crowd, this time at Cabrillo College, the top-seeded Cardinals played the part by overwhelming St. Mary’s in their Northern California Regional opening-round game.
The Cardinals trailed through most of the first quarter but buried the Rams with a 41-14 advantage over the next two periods.
The Russell-Swift backcourt was brilliant, combining for 39 points, 17 assists and 12 steals.
St. Mary’s coach Ken Green walked away an another big fan of the Big Red Machine.
“They’re the best team in the state in Division III,” Green said. “There’s no way we could simulate what they do in practice. They bring height, athleticism and they have great coaching.”
Gaining more and more confidence in the starting lineup after beginning the season as reserve, junior forward Jesse LoBue continued his late-season scoring trend with 10 points.
Tops in assists: Russell 9. Swift 8, Sammet 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 7, LoBue 6, Swift 5, Sharp 3, Haussler 2. From the line: Russell 7 for 9. Tops in steals: Swift 7, Russell 5. Scoring: Russell 21, Swift 18, Sammet 14, LoBue 10, Swift 6, Norteye 2, Pedersen 4, Haussler 0.
More from the Sentinel of March 9. NorCal Quarterfinals: Santa Cruz 75, St. Mary’s 40.
A CARDINAL AVALANCHE
No Mercy For St. Mary’s; Semis next.
Anther Saint school didn’t have a prayer against SC. The Cards have beaten St. Joseph’s of Alameda, St. Francis of Mt. View, and St. Ignatius of San Francisco twice and just added St. Mary’s of Stockton to the list.
St. Mary’s with a 23-9 record jumped out to a quick 7-1 advantage and held the lead or was tied the rest of the period until Michael Norteye’s basket with 35 second left to give SC its first lead 15-13. SC got out of their man defense and switched to a combination of zones and traps early in the first quarter and stayed with that approach throughout and the Rams never adjusted. SC outscored St. Mary’s 41-14 in the second and third quarters to put the game away.
“I wasn’t really concerned about it. I knew we’d get into zone and get into our running lanes. St. Mary’s really didn’t have any answers to our defenses,” Newell said. St. Mary’s committed 13 first half turnovers and SC had just three. For the game St. Mary’s had 21 and SC seven.
The St. Mary’s coach, “They are the best team in the state in Division III. There’s no way we could simulate what they do in practice. They bring height, athleticism and they have great coaching.”
The Cards have the luxury of two outstanding point guards. Austin Swift, who filled in for Russell when he was injured last season, took over some of the chores for this game and delivered 18 points, including three 3-pointers, eight assists and seven steals. Russell did his thing as well, scoring a game high 21 points to go with nine assists and five steals. Russell made three free throws to end the half and put SC ahead 32-21.
Fellow senior Cliff Sammet added 14 points, including two more rim-rattling dunks and eight rebounds. Junior Jesse LoBue continued his recent scoring trend with ten points. LoBue came off the bench to start the season, but settled into the starting spot as SC embarked on their post-season run. “I wasn’t starting, but I think my confidence has raised a lot since then,” LoBue said. “I love playing with this group of kids. Everybody loves each other and we’re just out there having fun and trying to win state.”
Swift spearheaded a 9-0 run in the first 1:30 of the third period, assisting on a basket by LoBue, tipping a ball ahead to Russell for a layup, draining a three on the right baseline and stealing a pass that Russell again converted for a layup at the other end. That quick spurt put SC up 41-21.
“We just thought of it as another game. We knew if we played our game, we can beat anyone,” said Russell.
Campolinda beat Burlingame 54-53.
SC 52, Bishop-O’Dowd of Oakland 39
This game was a rematch of January 17 meeting at Saint Mary’s College that the Cards won 63-57, one of only five games SC played all season decided by fewer than 10 points.
Playing before a heavily pro-Santa Cruz crowd at Santa Clara University, the Cardinals again took control of the game in the third quarter after leading by one, 26-25, at halftime.
Russell deflated the Dragons with three steals on three straight O’Dowd possessions, earning a standing ovation from the Cardinal faithful. He led four Cardinals in double figures with 19 points as Santa Cruz earned a much-anticipated trip to Sacramento’s Arco Arena for the NorCal championship game.
As has been their custom this season, the Cards elevated their play to start the second half. They held the Dragons to just 14 second half points and shut out O’Dowds leading scorer after he had scored seven in the first half. “You have to give center Chris Sharp props for denying the post and we also gave him help,” Sammet said of the Cards defense. “Everyone knows we have each other’s back on defense, which allows us to take risks.”
SC did a better job of taking care of the ball in the second half, cutting down their turnovers to four after committing 13 in the first half, prompting a tongue-lashing from coach Newell.
Newell praised Norteye’s “mindset of a warrior” working the baseline of the Cards 1-3-1 zone and also the play were Norteye tipped a Dragon pass to Russell for a layup.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Austin Swift about playing on the Sacramento Kings home court with a berth for the state championship game on the line. “I’ve wanted to play there for a long time.”
“We’ve talked about it (playing at Arco) since freshman year,” Sammet said. “It’s going to be an amazing atmosphere, an experience we’ll never forget.”
Tops in assists: Russell 5, Sammet 3. Tops in rebounds: Sammet 10, Swift 7, Norteye and LoBue 3 each, Russell and Sharp 2 each. Tops in steals: Russell 7, Sammet 3.
Scoring: Russell 19, Sammet 12, Swift 11, LoBue 10, Sharp 0, Haussler 0, Norteye 0.
From the San Jose Mercury. Two individuals received prolonged ovations from the SC fans. One was for Pete Newell in his final season as coach before 2,809 fans at Santa Clara University. The other was point guard Junior Russell, who made it happen. The only thing more impressive than Russell’s seven steals was their timeliness. With SC slugging it out for 2 ½ quarters of a tight game, Russell made three steals within a minute to spark a run of nine unanswered points that gave SC a 37-29 lead. Even after Russell’s layup was blocked at the end of the flurry, fans stood and cheered for the senior who has made the most of his first full varsity season after knee injuries limited him the previous two seasons. “When I got those steals, I could tell it lifted the team. We know we’ve got to come to every game ready to play. Every possession means something. We can’t waste our chances.
SC 46, Campolindo of Moraga 44
SC found itself in an unfamiliar position, trailing at halftime 25-23 against number three seeded Campolino, which upset number two seeded Sacramento in its semifinal game. The Cardinals appeared to deliver another third-quarter knockout blow with a 17-6 scoring edge.
But the upstart Cougars had other ideas. Led by senior point guard Chris Blackwood (game high 17 points), Campolindo whittled away at the lead until it stood at just two, then got the ball back with 22 seconds left and a chance to tie or take the lead with a 3-pointer.
The Cougars’ Pete Gierlach appeared to be open in the left corner baseline, but 6-foot-6
junior center Chris Sharp sprinted out to get a hand in Gierlach’s face, and his 3 landed well short and into the hands of Sammet.
Sharp scored the biggest basket of the game on a set play for him inside with 1:17 remaining, giving the Cardinals a four-point cushion at that point, 46-42.
“I was pretty surprised,” said Sharp, who scored six points, of getting his number called at such a critical point in the game. “That was the first time we had a set play for me in awhile.” From coach Newell, “We were having trouble getting clean shots off and I didn’t think that their center was a strong defensive player. I knew that if Chris got the ball, he was going to get a great shot. Plus, I have confidence in Chris’ foul shots.
The Cards other underclassman starter, junior Jesse LoBue had his moments as well. LoBue collected nine rebounds by halftime and finished the game with 12, one shy of Sammet’s game high total. LoBue led all players with nine defensive boards.
Russell led the Cardinals with 14 points but went just 5-for-18 from the floor in his first experience playing at Arco. He said afterward he was looking forward to another game there for the state championship the following Saturday.
“Next time, I’ll know how it feels to play here,” he said. “I wasn’t nervous. I think maybe I was just too pumped up.”
Who could blame him? There was a lot to be excited about.
Tops in assists: Russell 54 Sammet 3, Swift 2. Tops in rebounds: Sammet and LoBue each 11, Sharp 7, Russell 3, Norteye 1. Top steals: Russell 4, Sammet, Nortey and Swift each 2. Scoring: Russell 14, Sammet 10, Swift 9, LoBue 7, Sharp 6, Norteye 0 Haussler 0..
More from the main story in the Sentinel on March 13. NORCAL NO. 1 State Title Game next For Cardinals. After Cliff Sammet broke free in the open court and dribbled away the final three seconds, coach Pete Newell Jr. turned to the crowd and clenched both fists in celebration, the bench stormed the Arco Arena floor as the buzzer sounded and an objective set back in November was accomplished.
SC played all season as if it belonged on the biggest stage in California high school basketball and the Cards proved it with a hard fought 46-44 win over a determined Campolindo team that refused to go away in the Northern California Division III championship game.
SC had played on four games all season decided by fewer then 10 points heading into this game.
As they did in their semifinal win over Bishop O’Dowd, the Cards were careless at times with the basketball in the first half, helping the Cougars stay close. SC committed an offensive foul and Campolindo hit a jumper that beat the halftime horn to take its first lead 25-23. Newell stared at the basket for a moment in disbelief before heading to the locker room. “As poorly as we played, we were still in the game,” Newell said. “It was just get rid of the negative energy and be as positive as possible.”
SC came out in the third period in typical SC style, blitzing the Cougars with a 15-2 spurt powered by their running game. Two Russell layups, a dunk from Sammet off an assists by Russell and another transition layup from Jesse LoBue on a 3 on 1 break set up by a beautiful touch pass from Austin Swift. By the time the Cougars caught their breath they were down 38-27. But they didn’t go away. Campolindo scored the first six points in the fourth quarter and held the Cards to just six points total in the period, a season low for them.
Coach Newell, “Both teams had to be tired playing three games in five days. There was a timeout and I’m looking out and I’ve got two guys like this, bent over with hands on their knees in Sammet and Sharp. They were sucking air. We knew the fourth quarter was going to be that way. If you want to get to where you want to go, that’s part of paying the price.”
With 1:33 remaining in the game, SC ahead 44-42, Sharp hit his big basket in the lane, but the Cougars hit a jumper from the free throw area with 50 seconds left. Campolindo had won a lot of games this season with the last shot, but it didn’t happen this day.
Excerpts from the March 13 San Jose Mercury.
Santa Cruz Boys Claim NorCal Title. Coach Pete Newell’s final season got off to an inauspicious start in November when he kicked his team out of its first practice for showing up late. The second time the Cards met they set a team goal of reaching the state finals. SC has reached the state finals by beating Campolindo 46-44. “They are going to be partying in Santa Cruz tonight,” Newell said.
Junior center Chris Sharp came up with big plays down the stretch. He made a turnaround jumper inside the key to give SC a 46-42 lead with a minute left and got a hand in the face of Campolindo’s top shooter to prevent a tying shot with three seconds left. “There was nobody else there, so I knew I had to get out there on him,” said Sharp, who had six points, five rebounds and two steals.
In a jovial mood, Coach Newell said with a smile, “Chris drove down with me, so he knew he’d be walking home if he didn’t make that play.”
Newell said with a laugh, it was a “rare coaching action” that was key to the win. I took away all of their cell phones last night. It’s a good thing too, because one of them went off at 2:30 in the morning. I wanted to make sure they got some rest.”
Newell said his teams success stems from the fact that most of the players have been together since junior high. “This is the best to do it with this group of players. It’s a testament to the togetherness and fortitude of this team. And to have the support we have from the community makes this season even more special,” Newell said.
AROUND SANTA CRUZ
At press time, plans were being made for an awards banquet with public participation and discussions were under way regarding a city proclamation and a parade. Comcast cable KRUZ Channel 4 will televise replays of SC games through Sunday. Starting Friday with the Stat championship game; Saturday: Road to State: NorCal semifinals at 2pm; NorCal Championship at 5pm and State championship at 8 pm.
FINISHING IN STYLE
Newell Goes Out With A State Title
By Sentinel Sports Editor Tom Moore
Happy Ending. Pete Newell Jr. goes out in style, guiding the team to the county’s first state title in his final game.
Pete Newell Jr. has always thought of himself as and underclassman. Until now.
“As a coach, I‘m always like a sophomore or a junior. I’ve always got next year. The seniors never do,” Newell said.
This year, Newell’s final of 30 seasons coaching the Santa Cruz boys basketball team, he has graduated.
When the Arco Arena crowd chanted, “We want Pete!” the Pistol reluctantly shared the spotlight with his state championship team, having coached his final game.
Newell has not kept track of his career record. He hasn’t celebrated round number wins. For the record, he finishes with a mark of 554 wins, 326 losses at Santa Cruz. Including a year at Salesian and a year at Serra in the early 1970’s, Newell’s career high school record is 590-342.
Since 1974, when he was hired here, he has become part of the Santa Cruz community.
Newell turned 61 years old this season. He’s not a conventional coach and the unconventional city of Santa Cruz seems to have suited him. He entered high school basketball coaching, leaving an assistant’s job at the University of the Pacific after losing two recruits and feeling he was more interested in teaching, getting away from the pressures of win-at-all-costs.
He had advice from his father, Pete Newell St., the Hall of Fame coach at Cal. And for reasons consistent with the original decision, he’s going to go a different direction next year.
“It’s been increasingly more difficult to teach the morning after games,” Newell said. “You have to have energy and have to have the proper rest. I made the decision before last season. I had a feeling this would be a special year. I didn’t know it would be this special.
“When I was in my late 40s, I said that when I was in my 50s, I’d be coaching girls.”
And he has. He coaches the seventh and eighth grade girls at Holy Cross. He says if his players at Santa Cruz High feel like he was more patient with them this year (they do), they have the Holy Cross girls to thank.
He says there’s no ego involved in coaching the girls, that there’s more teaching, more learning. He remembers his father telling him that John Wooden got better every year he coached.
“I heard him say that when I was in my 40s and that stuck with me,” Newell said. “Part of reaching that plateau is being a better teacher.”
Newell rarely wears socks. The gray Yoda-like beard is something of a signature. He does not like airplanes. He has had a sandwich named after him. He can bewilder his players, scare them, manipulate them, teach them.
“I think he uses psychology,” said senior Cliff Sammet. “Around here, the guy is kind of a legend,” said senior Eric Van Vliet. “He’s a good guy.”
Then Van Vliet remembers the times the entire team was kicked out of practice. “Sometimes he’ll be really lenient, then one day you’ll be talking at the wrong times and he’ll be–boom–practice is over.” He kicked them out of the gym at the first practice of the season this year when several players were late.
Newell always has the team’s attention when he speaks. “It’s a fine line for a coach to properly pace a team through a season,” Newell Jr. said. “Regardless of level, gender or ability, the one opponent every coach has to guard against is staleness.”
He can remember the games like they were yesterday. Ask about a certain Central Coast Section playoff game, and he’ll still remember a referee’s whistle, the time on the clock, the substitutions, the plays he called, and then he’ll break into play-by-play. He’ll point to the court, start drawing it out, like basketball coaches do.
Throughout the state championship season, former players and students have sought out Newell. From far and wide, they were drawn to the team, looking for a chance to watch them play, wish them luck, thank the coach. Johnny Johnson, who went on to play basketball and football at San Jose State and then spent several years in the NFL, drove from Phoenix to see the league tournament and talked to the team in the locker room.
Kam Watson, a four-year starter, former student body president and SCCAL player of the year, visited from Guatemala for the league championship win over Aptos. Newell can rattle off a long list of players, standouts. It’s no accident that the two other Santa Cruz County teams the two best girls team in the league this year, the Soquel and Santa Cruz girls, are coached by Newell’s former players, John Wilson and Pat Jones.
He says he tries to keep up with former players. “Not every kid, but I know what’s up with a lot of them,” Newell said.
He married once, in the 1970s, and didn’t have children, but his family is a big part of his life. He talks to his dad three times a week, sends him game tapes, talks basketball, and life.
Newell Sr., now 88, was getting help from his son during his coaching career at Cal. Pete Jr. attended every Friday and Saturday home game. “After games, we’d come home. I’d ask him, ‘What did you think?’ He would have a wonderful analysis of the game,” Newell Sr. said.
Junior would write notes, summaries of the games for his dad in extensive detail. He dad is also proud of Pete Jr.’s generosity to the community, and to his family. He has given away cars to his brothers.
“He’s been a big help to me since we lost my wife,” Newell St. said. “I don’t think anyone I know is happier with what they do than Pete.
“He has so many good friends in Santa Cruz. The school has been great. It’s been a wonderful career he’s had. Santa Cruz has been good for Pete. I think he’s been very grateful for the support he’s had. It’s been a real good marriage for the two of them. I know I’m real proud of him. I always have been..”
Newell overcame a jinx with his final team. The Cardinals had never advanced out of the CCS tournament, losing in heartbreaking semifinal games seven of the past nine seasons. Newell Sr. said his son was due as the team approached the playoffs this year.
“We talked about it. His point is that it would be so good for these kids. He’s come close. I don’t think he’s that bothered by it, but down deep, for all the work you’ve done, you like to be rewarded for all the work,” he said.
“I know talking with him so much over the year, this team, to win a championship would give a lot of former players, and players today, a real thrill. He’s very conscious of that. If they lost, it wouldn’t be something that he’d take personally. That isn’t the main reason that he wants to win, it’s to reward the players and the players before them. Me or I? He doesn’t come from that direction.”
Newell Jr. didn’t exactly know what to expect when he arrived in Santa Cruz in 1974. It took him until 1985 to win his first league title, then the program began to roll. This year’s team, ranked nationally by some publications, is the first ever from the county to win a state title. USA Today called the championship showdown against previously unbeaten St. Augustine its Game of the Week in the nation.
Three players earned Division I basketball scholarships (Sammet to Santa Clara, Van Vliet to Fresno State, Austin Swift to Montana), and another, MVP point guard Junior Russell, is likely to play at that level.
Swift said that all the players on the team (Newell always carries a huge roster) were called “goofy” growing up. They fit together in Santa Cruz, for Newell.
“Our community in Santa Cruz engenders healthy relationships,” Newell Jr. said. “You can’t beat the beauty of nature Santa Cruz has to offer, then or now. What I didn’t realize was what a great school Santa Cruz was. You can come to Santa Cruz High and be whoever you want to be.”
Newell has cried with players after heartbreaking losses in years past. And he has appreciated the power in the locker room–how much players have cared.
“It’s such a unique and tender moment for any high school athlete who competes in the last game and ends with a loss,” Newell said, seeming to relive the scene. He pauses. “And the next morning at 8 a.m., there are 40 kids wanting to be taught.”
Few teams end the season with a victory. Few coaches wrap up a career with a state championship. And at the end, Newell preferred to let the players enjoy the moment.
“It’s about them,” Newell said. “I’m 61 years old and I’m not sure how long I have on this earth. They have 60 years ahead of them to remember and enjoy it.”
Santa Cruz High’s Delightful Journey To The Sate Title Game Has Bought
MOMENTS FOR ALL TO CHERISH
By Sentinel assistant sport editor Steve Nelson
No matter what happens in Saturday’s state title game, SC is a success story and not just because the Cards finally won that elusive CCS title for Coach Newell, and topped it with the NorCal title Saturday.
These kids are a success because they had to play all season with the pressure of knowing it’s their Hall of Fame coach’s final season, knowing no Santa Cruz team had ever won a section title, knowing the last four Santa Cruz teams and had lost in the CCS semifinals, knowing that with two future Division I college players and perhaps the best 5-foot-6 player in the state on their team, anything but a section title would be seen as a failure. They’ve done it the right way, by playing team basketball and putting egos aside despite a collection of stars.
Junior Russell is an outstanding point guard, a highlight waiting to happen. But when Newell takes the ball out of his hands in favor of a 6-4 guard Austin Swift when the matchup might favor it, Russell nods his head in agreement after the game and simply says Swift will make a great college point guard.
Swift has a Division I scholarship to Montana. He looks capable of embarrassing defenders one-on-one whenever he chooses, but he rarely chooses to do so. He’s content instead to run Newell’s various offensive sets, take open shots when they present themselves, create them on his own from time to time, or drift into the background for stretches.
Senior forward Cliff Sammet is, like Swift, headed to a Division I college next season (over the hill at Santa Clara). But the Cardinals don’t run a lot of set plays for Sammet, and when he’s scoring a lot of points, as he did during one stretch of the league season, he’s almost apologetic, saying something’s not going quite right with the team. He’d rather share the scoring load and get his 12 points and 12 rebounds, because he knows when that happens, the Cardinals are performing at a very high level.
Senior guard Michael Norteye was a starter on last season’s 30-3 team. When you’re a senior, it’s supposed to be your time. It’s easy to give away minutes as a junior because there’s always next year. But with the emergence of skilled junior Jesse LoBue, Norteye has been coming off the bench during the Cardinals’ post-season run as the team’s defensive specialist. Sometimes Norteye plays a lot, sometimes he doesn’t, but I’ve never seen him hang his head.
Newell loves the fact the Norteye, as the coach said, “never backs down.” Norteye and senior forward Billy Pedersen are players any coach would like to play because of their effort and heart, but with this roster, it’s a tough lineup to crack. Newell looks for the best chance to win. And the players, from what I’ve seen, wouldn’t have it any other way.
NEWELLS RECORD AT SANTA CRUZ
1975 1-14 LAST 1-23
1976 4-11 THIRD 6-18 (3-7 in North Division)
1977 5-5 THIRD 10-14
1978 7-8 THIRD 8-15
1979 4-6 FOURTH 11-13 WON DADS CLUB
1980 5-5 ? 10-14 League playoffs 2-1. CCS 0-1
1981 2-8 Tied for Last 9-14
1982 9-3 Tied second 16-11
1983 8-4 Third 16-11
1984 6-8 ? 10-16
1985 11-3 CO-CH/A 15-03 CCS 0-1
1986 10-4 Second 22-7 CCS Div II South 1-1
1987 11-4 Third 16-12
1988 13-1 Champs 27-8 CCS 3-1, second in CCS Div III, Nor Cal 0-1
1989 10-2 Champs 17-15 CCS Division 2-1, semifinals
1990 12-0 Champs 21-9 League playoffs 2-0. CCS Division III 1-1
1991 7-5 Third 13-17 CCS Division III 0-1
1992 10-2 Second 24-7 League playoffs 2-0. CCS Division III 0-1
1993 10-4 tied Second 19-13 CCS Division III 1-1
1994 10-2 Champs 21-10 League playoffs 2-0. CCS Division III 1-1
1995 8-4 Second 19-12 Beat round robin Harbor twice in the league playoffs to be co-champions. CCS Div. III 1-1.
1996 11-1 Champs 24-7 CCS Div. III 2-1 to semifinals. Won Dad Tournament
1997 11-1 CO-CH/SLV 23-10 SLV beat SC in the league playoffs for a
Co-Championship. CCS Div. 2-1, finals
1998 5-7 tie Fourth 13-17 CCS Div. III 0-1
1999 12-0 Champs 32-1 CCS Division III 2-1 in semifinals. Were 30-0
going into the final game.
2000 9-3 C0-CH/A 26-6 Second in round robin, but won playoffs to be Co-champs with Aptos. CCS III 1-1 semifinals
2001 12-0 Champs 30-4 CCS Division III 2-1 semifinals, seeded fourth
2002 10-2 Tri-Ch MVC, SOQ 23-9 CCS Division IV 2-1 semifinals
2003 7-5 C0/CH/SOQ 21-14 CCS Division III 2-1 semifinals
2004 12-0 Champs 30-3 CCS Div. III 2-1 semi’s. Tourneys won: Dads Club, Palma
2005 12-0 Champs 36-1 CCS Div. III 3-0 Champs. NorCal 3-0 champs. State Championship. Three preseason tourneys won: Dads, Palma and St. Francis for first time
BY THE NUMBERS
Santa Cruz Highs State basketball season by the numbers
ONE: Santa Cruz’s state ranking among California Division III teams by Cal-Hi Sports. Also, Junior Russell’s jersey number.
TWO: Day of the season when the Cardinals had their first practice. Coach Pete Newell Jr canceled the first practice when several players were late.
THREE: The number of Cardinals seniors with Division I basketball scholarships: Cliff Sammet (Santa Clara), Eric Van Vliet (Fresno State) and Austin Swift (Montana).
FIVE: The number of times a Santa Cruz game was decided by less than 10 points. One of those games was the Cardinals’ only loss, 53-52 in overtime against Santa Margarita. The only playoff game Santa Cruz didn’t win by double digits was its 46-44 nail-biter in the Northern California regional final against Campolindo.
SIX: The number of blocked shots by Sammet in the state title game against St. Augustine, including an exclamation-point swat out of bounds in the closing minute.
EIGHT; The biggest deficit Santa Cruz faced in the second half of a game all season (in the state title game). The Cardinals trailed 20-9 after the first quarter against St. Joseph’s of Alameda in their season opener but came back to win 67-54.
FOURTEEN: The number of outright or shared league titles for Santa Cruz over the past 18 seasons.
SEVENTEEN: The fewest points allowed in a game this season, in a league victory over Harbor.
NINETEEN: The number of players on this season’s team, including 11 seniors.
TWENTY-TWO: The decisive run that started with the Cardinals down 49-41 in the state championship game against St. Augustine and ended with Santa Cruz up 61-51. The Cardinals won 67-56
TWENTY-THREE. ZERO: The Cardinals’ average margin of victory this season. They won one game by 53, another by 47, one by 45 and two others by 43.
THIRTY: Seasons on the bench for outgoing coach Pete Newell Jr. In his first season, 1974, the top song in the country on the Billboard chart was “The Loco-Motion” by Grand Funk.
THIRTY-SIX: Season victories, the most by any team, boys or girls, in the state this season, most ever for a Central Coast Section team, according to Cal-Hi Sports.
NINETY-ONE: The most points in a game this season, in a league win against Watsonville. Thirteen different Cardinals scored in the game.
ONE-HUNDRED FOUR: Age of Harold Van Gorder, oldest living Cardinal, who played on the 1921 Santa Cruz team, talked to the team last season, and proclaimed the Thursday before the game that a state championship would be :the greatest thing that’s happened in Santa Cruz,” Wanna argue?
ONE HUNDRED FOURTY-NINE: Miles from Santa Cruz High to Arco Arena–the road to the state title.
TWO THOUSAND EIGTH HUNDRED AND NINE: Fans at Santa Clara for NorCal semifinal game at Santa Clara University against Bishop O’Dowd. Fans packed the gym at Cabrillo College for the SCCAL championship against Aptos and the Nor-Cal opener against St. Mary’s.
For the CCS championship, against Burlingame, a crowd of 2,100 packed Foothill College, and many more fans were turned away. They stood outside chanting for the Cardinals.
March 23. San Jose Mercury articles. Junior Russell was selected as the Top Boy Athlete of the Week. “Junior showed an amazing competitive will that would not allow us to lose,” said coach Newell, whose state title was his first in 32 seasons. “He’s the most dynamic player I’ve seen in 30 years and this season he had only enhanced that perspective.”
SANTA CRUZ BEST OF BEST?
Also A Look At State Champ VS ’93 Palo Alto Team. Once SC’s season ended the debate could begin: Are the 2004-05 Cardinals the greatest boys basketball team in CCS history? Only four teams in state history tallied as many victories as SC did in compiling a 36-1 record on its way to the state Division III championship. But any discussion about the greatest of all time has to go through Palo Alto, which had a perfect record 31-0 in 1992-93, the only perfect season by a CCS boys team since the state championships began in 1981.
Retired SC coach Newell, who coached against those Vikings, refused to commit one way or the other. “The Palo Alto team was the best high school team that I’ve seen in the section,” said Newell. “For SC to be compared to them is a tribute in its own right.” Palo Alto found ways to win through exceptional team work. They did not scare anybody as bigger, stronger or faster certainly never applied.
SC liked to run, too, mostly through defensive pressure that led to steals, bad passes and transition baskets. The Cardinals always seemed to have the ability to break a game open with a flurry of points, mostly created by the defense.
Newell gave the edge in passing to Palo Alto, but to SC, he gave the advantage in size, athleticism and point guard Junior Russell.
THE INSIDERS: PLAYERS PERSPECTIVES
On the eve of the state championship game, the Sentinel asked each player to write down what the season meant to him, favorite memories and lasting impressions. Here’s what they said.
5-8 senior guard.
This season has been a very special journey for us and all of Santa Cruz. My teammates and I have developed friendships that will last for the rest of our lives. I got their backs and they got mine. Hugs, hand slaps and high fives to everyone. Be safe. You know what I’m sayin’.
6-2 senior forward.
Wow, the whole season –Well to start off, it’s been a dream come true for a senior. We have taken every challenge and overcome it. Practicing and spending time with all the guys is like working as a family and learning one another’s movements to become a smooth system. We have made Santa Cruz history and I will always remember this because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope the other guys will live wonderful lives after this and get to tell their grandchildren, who will tell their children and so on about the Santa Cruz High boys varsity basketball team becoming the first to win CCS and No-Cal and soon to be state, all in one year.
6-7 senior center.
As a primarily academically inclined person, basketball has always served as merely an outlet for energy. This season changed that. The amazing group of people we have on this team and the way we have worked together this season has made basketball an unbelievable
experience for me. It has opened my eye up to the keys to being a well-rounded, successful person now and later in life. I will never forget the feeling I experienced when the buzzer went off and we won the Northern California title. I will remember and cherish this season and all of the amazing things we have accomplished for the rest of my life.
6-5 senior forward/center
This season has been the end of a team that has developed since the seventh grade, and let’s just say we’ve come out with a BANG! It’s an amazing end to an amazing run.
This season has been really hard for me. I’ve been hurt, shoulder surgery, for all but three games, the first three. So I’ve had to watch these guys have the time of their lives playing, but I have to sit on the bench. But this is something I’ll never forget. It is so hard because even though I would be Junior’s backup, I would still get some time on the court. I’m happy that I still have next year and we are going to hold it down.
6-6 junior forward.
This season has been the most special out of every season in basketball I have ever played in. I think it is so special because it is Pete Newell’s last year of coaching high school basketball and the great job of coaching he has done. I also think it is special because of all the players on the team, everyone cares for each other and there are no enemies (we all love each other). We also have a couple of special players who have carried the team and are very good. I feel lucky to be a part of this team and this great season we have had. I know one special memory that probably everyone will have the rest of their lives, when we got to the hotel Friday we were told we were going to the Kings game and not only that, but we got to ride in a bus limo. It was fun we put on the music then started (thizzen). Anyway I will always remember all the fun I had on this team and thank you Pete Newell, Jr. and all of my teammates.
5-8 junior guard
This season has been a lot of fun and it has created lifelong memories. Everybody on our team is very close and this is a major reason for our success. Even though I did not play very much, I learned a lot from Junior, Coach Newell and just watching from the sideline. This season was great and I look forward to having a great season next year. I love you coach Manabe!
5-10 senior guard
This season has been more that I could have asked for. We came into this season with a goal of getting to where we are now and now that we are here, I’m blessed to be part of this group. I may not have as much talent, if any, as Austin, Junior, Cliff, Eric and even Jesse, but they don’t make me feel any less of a player because of it. This team has been my life, my family, and we will always have each others’ back no matter what happens on Saturday. For most of us, this is as far as it goes, because not all of us have D-1 scholarships to play at the next level, but anyway, whatever happens, I couldn’t be prouder to live in Santa Cruz and be a Cardinal. As for a lasting memory, the one thing that stands out in my mind the most out of all the great ones is winning the section title and meeting Junior at half court for a hug, knowing we had finally done it.
6-1 senior forward
I had fun playing with all my friends. All my teammates are like family. We came together and did what it took to win. We hung out on and off the court, which allowed trust to build. This is the best team that I have ever been a part of. It’s been a great time in my life. I couldn’t have dreamt it any better. I will never forget this past year.
This season has been very special. Not only did I get to play with great players every day, but I got to be with some great people as well. However, next year is the year we get to lead the team. Next year, we get to utilize all we learned and I expect a winning season next year. Anything less is going to be a failure.
JUNIOR RUSSELL 5-6 senior guard
It’s been fun playing for Coach Newell and going to state with my boyz. God bless America and good night. Am out.
6-8 senior forward
This season has meant a lot to me, as I get the opportunity to play with a great group of players, as well as a coach, on a successful team that has had an amazing run. My favorite memories had to be all the fun practices after school, as well as the CCS championship game. And hopefully a state title. I felt so happy for our team that has wanted it for so long. And the practices were always something to look forward to. I will never forget all these great guys who I have spent hours upon hours playing with, or even just hanging out with. I hope that we will all stay in touch after high school as I don’t want to lose contact with them. I also will never forget Coach Newell, as he has taught me many great lessons in life that will help me later. It has been an amazing eight years that I’ll never forget.
6-6 junior center
It’s been a lot of fun. It’s just been really great to be able to give Coach Newell this good of a season. It’s kind of like a thank you/farewell gift to him. I know he’ll never forget any of us and none of us will forget him.
6-3 junior forward
This season is one that is hard to put into words, and I’m simply lucky to be a part of it. It has been filled with memories that are unforgettable, and will last a lifetime. I was hurt for the majority of the season, but I worked hard to recover and my motivation was being able to play for such a great team. Being on the court in a packed gym full of screaming fans is like no other. We have some amazing players that created this opportunity of winning the state championship. Junior, Austin, Cliff and Sharp. We couldn’t have done it without them. I would also like to thank Coach Newell for teaching me so many things when I was actually able to play. I’ll never forget my junior year of Santa Cruz High basketball.
6-4 senior guard
This has been a very special season, not just in the sense of winning games, but the life-long relationships that have developed throughout the entire season. This is a very special group of talented teens who came together, became friends (and strengthened friendships) and made history.
ERIC VAN VLIET
6-10 senior center, who was injured before the season and did not play
No Comment. God bless and good night
6-1 junior forward
This season has been very exuberant. I will have indelible memories of all the players, which will last a lifetime. It is impossible for me to put this season into a few words because it means so much. My favorite memory would have to be when my hero, Christopher Rolland Sharp, hit the shot which gave us a lead in the NorCal finals with around a minute left. I was ecstatic. I would like to personally thank Coach for everything. This season would not have meant as much without him.
These kids were so driven this year toward achieving their state title, that for me, it was a pleasure to be part of. I am so grateful to Coach Newell to allow me to be part of the Santa Cruz High basketball program. To come to our meetings, practices and games with the enthusiasm exhibited by the players made the entire year fun. Each and every player contributed to our success and this team would not have achieved their title if directed by anybody other than Coach Newell. His guidance allowed the team to play up to their capabilities and each player played to his potential.
My association with Coach Newell as an assistant coach as ended, however, we will still remain in contact in various forms – at camps, casual meetings and especially competing against one another with our junior high girls teams.
As the years go by, I will remember various plays and events of the year that will be a source of discussions. The crew at Jerry’s Donuts in Watsonville will certainly have some fun breaking down things we did and enjoy going over our year. I look forward to the years to come to reunite with this wonderful group of kids and wish them the best of luck in whatever they do.
Information by player, games played, points per game, steal per game, rebounds per game and assist per game.
PLAYER G PPG SPG RPG APG
Junior Russell 37 16.6 4.2 2.1 5.6
Julius Freeman 22 2.9 0.9 1.0 0.6
Sean Lynch 17 1.8 0.6 0.4 0.6
Steve Hill 9 1.8 0.0 1.2 0.1
Jake Pino 23 0.9 0.3 1.2 0.2
Michael Norteye 33 2.4 1.6 1.7 1.1
Austin Swift 35 12.3 2.0 5.2 2.3
Billy Pederson 34 2.4 0.4 1.4 0.7
Cliff Sammet 36 13.8 1.2 8.0 1.4 2.1 blocked shots per game
Taylor Vaughn 14 1.0 0.6 1.7 0.6
Travis Haussler 28 3.3 0.5 2.3 0.3
Jesse LoBue 36 6.8 0.6 3.4 0.5
Kevin Grellmann 22 0.6 0.2 1.1 0.1
Chris Sharp 36 5.6 0.6 4.4 1.0
THE INSIDERS: PARENTS PERSPECTIVES
Magical Season by Gary Grellmann, class of ‘66. It’s hard to imagine that this magical season is coming to closure. I am riding such a wave of high energy that I thought we would play again next week against another formidable opponent from another state. But all great things do come to an end sometime. I will always remember a sense of enthusiasm, excitement, endless amount of electricity and one of elation every time they played. I always looked forward to the next game and the obstacles these boys were up against. Each game always seemed to bring the best out of them; the greater the challenge, the better they played as a team.
This group of players had a sense at the beginning of the season that this might be a very special year. The talent, skill, size, speed, commitment and dedication were present. But as the season progressed, a strong camaraderie showed. Meeting after games and eating together at pizza places, restaurants, In and Out burgers, and a player/parent night in early January, really gave a strong sense of unity and identity to this team. They gained trust and respect for each other, which showed in their confidence level, with each game they played.
I sensed that they knew, that somewhere in a game, they were going to find the flaws in the armor of the other team. Whether it was a blitzing style of presses, defensive intensity, and offensive output or fast breaking pace of the game, they were confident in their team’s ability to come out on top.
They cheered for one another, listened to Coach Newell, responded and stayed focused for the entire season (five months and 37 games later). There was a ‘no quit’ in their attitude, regardless of the adversity. Just hanging in and finding a way to overcome the other team gave a sense of pride for every team member.
I can still remember their special cheer in the huddle before games: Junior yelling: “SC: and the rest of the team responding, “What!!!” (repeated several times). We as parents, loved it so much that we responded that cheer back to them at senior night.
This season seemed to go by very fast. I still remember watching the Dad’s Club Tourney in December and driving the team up to San Francisco for two very important games against St. Ignatius and Serra, followed by the tough St. Francis Tournament, where they beat Palo Alto. These five games set the tone for the rest of the season, and I knew at that point this team could go all the way. So here we are in March and our boys from SCHS are the California state champions for Division III, in a state with over 33 million people: quite an awesome feat to achieve!!!
I am personally grateful to Coach Newell for having my son, Kevin, on the Cardinal team for the last two years. He has learned so much from Coach Newell that it goes beyond words. Coach Newell is truly a wonderful teacher of the game, not just in the sense of basketball, but also in the game of life. Words and praise don’t do justice to what it has meant to my son and our family having Kevin on this special team, and with these special players. These guys have learned terms like accountability, punctuality, cohesion, responsibility, commitment, dedication, desire, work ethic, loyalty, confidence, trust and a respect for each other, the game, and their opponents. Pete has taught these boys more than the words I have mentioned. These intangibles are what these young men will take with them far into adulthood. Belonging to a group that promotes self-worth to everyone is truly a special gift.
I will always remember these good times with the players, their parents, and the tremendous fan support of Santa Cruz County as the team moved further and further into the playoffs. The fan support was just fantastic at the CCS final and I didn’t think it could get any better. I was amazed and moved at how many people really did follow the Cardinals to the state championship last week in Sacramento. It was just very inspirational to see Red and White throughout the whole arena. There must have been 4,000 or so supporters from Santa Cruz. Great Job SC!!!
Finally, I would like to really commend the Sentinel Sports department for doing such a great job of covering this great team. Thanks go to Bill Lovejoy, Steve Nelson and Tom Moore.
Community Comes Together For Team by Lis Bensley.
I’m writing to you before the game, after putting my son on the bus to Sacramento, while we’re still in the midst of this incredible story. Win or lose it will always be an amazing ride, probably one of the wildest any of us has or will ever be on.
My son, Jake Pino, has only been playing with these boys this year, so I do not have the history with the team that many other parents have going back to junior high. But we have experienced the amazing camaraderie of this group as a whole. They have been a united front since the beginning of the season, starter or not, senior or not, long-time friend or not. While there are stars, there are no star egos.
They play for each other just as much as they play for themselves. We, as parents, have witnessed a real team at work, all the way. That in itself has been quite the experience.
Making the dream happen, of course, has been the other big story. These boys have tremendous heart and will, above and beyond their talents. I think many of the parents felt they would have it in them to win CCS this year. They certainly had all the ingredients, not to mention the will to send Pete off with his first championship. But we know how games can be won or lost on psychological pressure alone. Burlingame was a real test of our boys’ resilience and determination. As I write this, I believe we will see it again at tomorrow’s big game. This is a magical group of boys.
In this divisive political time, it’s also a thrill to watch a town come together. Not only one town but the whole community as we saw at Foothill when so many from the Central Valley came to root for Santa Cruz and at all the ensuing games. Sure, sports can bring people together, and we could use this now, this success story, this harmony and pride in our community. It’s telling that Ryan Vaughan is making a documentary of this season because it is history in the making.
Heading into this game and mulling over our odds, it’s arguable going to be the most exciting game of the year. We are so evenly matched with St. Augustine and both teams want this win badly. But we do have something that they don’t have–we have Pete to win for. That and team moms with SC in bright letters painted on our toenails.
To Cherish Forever by Joyce Grellmann.
So many words come to mind to describe this basketball season for the team. Awesome, Amazing, Dream come true, Exciting, Rewarding, Intense, Thrilling, I could go on and on. However, as I reflect on the overall time, I can’t help but realize how they played so much like a TEAM. As a former coach in junior high, I’ve always said to my teams, that there are no I’s in team, and this team truly exemplified this the entire season.
From the beginning of the season, their goal was to win games by playing tenacious defense as individuals, by working as a unit, and by having a never-give-up offense. I could describe their offense as very unselfish, as the ball was given to whoever was in the best position to score.
They’ve also demonstrated qualities that coaches dream about: confidence, poise under pressure, desire and drive and a very important quality: humbleness. They never bragged about how good they were, but instead were very confident that if they played “their game” they could win.
Another thing that could have eaten away at this team was bitterness or jealousy from the players on the bench. This never happened. Each boy knew his role on the team and the practices were where they all benefited from Coach Newell’s knowledge and each other’s gifts and talents. Kudos to Coach Newell for keeping so many boys on the team and teaching them so much about preserving on the court and in life.
I have nothing but praise and thankfulness to Coach Newell and my son’s teammates for such a great run.
Other things I loved about this team were the awesome parents support, assistant coach Eric Manabe’s dedication, scorekeeper Lynnell Hill’s consistent support, and custodian Jose Brito’s devotion, and how everyone supported each other.
I want to thank all the fans (students, parents, staff, and community), and the Sentinel for their great support of this awesome team! I thank God and everyone who has supported this boys team, for such an awesome year that I’ll personally never forget, but cherish forever!
Proud Grads, Parents by Tami and Eric Vaughan.
As graduates of Santa Cruz High class of 1977, Eric and I (Tami McNeil Vaughan) would like to say what an amazing season this has been. To be a part of the 2005 state championship basketball team has been an incredible experience for our son and our family. Over 100 years of alumni have been supporting this team from our first tournament in SLO, to our last game at Arco Arena. We have felt the support! Seeing all the alumni at Arco on Saturday felt like a massive high school reunion! We know that this year’s team played this season for every one of those players that played for SCHS in the past. Eric and I have always felt that family is one of the most important things in our life; our family has now become even bigger. We want to thank the family of the 2005 state championship basket ball team!
Friendships Matter by Frances Freeman.
To sum up the season: Very exciting, it’s Santa Cruz history in the making. They are a very deserving group of young men. I’m going to miss watching them play. Win or lose, it’s been a great season and they should hold their heads high. I’m glad my son decided to stay at Santa Cruz High and play basketball. I told him that the friendship he has with the guys on the team is more important than the game of basketball. Yeah, if he went to another school he probably would have started, but he wouldn’t be part of what’s happening at Santa Cruz High now and being able to share that with your best friends is important. I’m sure he will remember this moment forever.
I know I will.
Our Heroes by Missy Pederson
We are all pretty excited about our boys this year, as you can imagine.
It is somewhat sad that this (state championship) will be the last game we wee these boys play in together ever again.
I think it will be a very emotional event, and no matter which way it goes, they will always be our heroes, our champions, who have given us a memory so cherished that it will never be forgotten.
My son is Billy–he’s also a football player (his real passion). His best friend, Michael Norteye, also on the team, is like a son to me, as is Junior Russell, who both spend much time at our house. Most of these guys have been playing together since seventh grade.
How fun to watch them grow up together, and now to see them heading off to college soon.
From an observer who has watched this years seniors play at SC for four years and seen them continue to grow into the excellent group they are today.
THE LONG AWAITED SEASON
For almost 50 years, we along with other old timers wondered whether a CCS championship would ever happen. “The curse against SCHS would never end”. But it has in an even bigger way.
This team could have had the same results for three years instead of one if Junior Russell had been injury free. His presence gives the team more confidence. Junior for his ball handling through double teams, pin point passes setting up others perfectly for shots, clutch play, steals and all around control of the game.
Cliff Sammett for his dunks, blocked shots, rebounding, tips, tough drives to the basket, good passes inside, quarterback passes for break a ways, support of the younger players to make them feel confident and communicator for the team.
Austin Swift for his three point shots especially in clutch situations, good defense and especially on the press picking off passes, being the point guard last year and taking on more responsibility now to get Junior some rest, making quick drives to the basket, a very versatile player who can fill in at any position. (Star player for Cal Poly Pomona, which was the NCAA Division II national champions in 2010 and All Tournament)
Everyone knows the big three, so have limited the comments on them. So much more could be said about what they have meant to the team.
Then come the new comers, who at this point in the season have built up their confidence. to be impact players, not just fill ins. Chris Sharp has risen to the point where coach Newell had the confidence to put the last game on the line giving Chris the responsibility of making the game winning shot. Chris rebounds tough and once the ball is in his hands no one is going to take it from him, gets himself in position to receive the ball around the basket from his good passing mates, handles the ball out on the court, plays good defense on the post and all the way to the perimeter if needed. He was a solid player from the beginning, but with each increasingly successful outing has made him a person coach does not want to take out.
Jesse Lobue took a while to work his way into the starting line up. He had formidable competition for his position and did not play much last year, so had the least experience of any of the usual playing eight. He has the size, quickness and shooting ability to be a major player on next years team. As he gained experience, his confidence rose along with his playing time. He gained the confidence of his team mates, who have been supportive of him and helped him with situations when he was just learning. Jesse was a key player in the win over Palo Alto and his stock has continued to rise ever since. With his new confidence in himself, he has been getting double figures in rebounds and points during the playoffs..
Two players who have lost playing time are still very important cogs to the success of this quick striking team. Michael Norteye started and played more minutes last year and has started this year, but he has been more valuable to this team. After having a very successful football season along with teammate Billy Pederson, they both got to the basketball team late, but stepped right up and into the line up in basketball. In the third game of the season in San Luis Obispo with the game on the line at the end, they both stepped to the foul line and made two clutch free throws a piece to win the game. A big moment for them right off the bat and they had been out only a short time.
Michael is known for his defense and rightly so. He covers a lot of territory in a flash, but I am not sure everyone sees him helping double down to help on good post players and notice how he tips balls to keep it in play so Junior can snatch and go. You would not expect him to rebound like he does, but he adds a fourth rebounder to what should be only a three rebounder team when he is in there. He was a major factor in the important first O’Dowd game playing tough defense, rebounding under the basket and when he could not control the ball tipping it out to Junior. Michael has felt more comfortable handling the ball this year and can be an offensive threat when needed.
Billy started and was an important contributor during the tough preseason schedule that coach Newell set up for the team. This was the make or break period that set the tone for what is happening now. The team found success in foreign and unfriendly territory against area power house teams. It let them know they were really as good as they thought they were. One never knows until he accomplishes the task. It counts a lot more than just telling yourself, you are good and deep down not really knowing. Now they are enjoying the icing on the cake. Back in the preseason the table was set for the success they are having now.
Billy with his knowledge of the game and his athletic ability was always in the right spots at the right time, which is very important against good teams. He made it very hard for others to play much. But with a team like this with extra size and fire power available, coach slowly made a move to reduce Billy’s time on the court. The worst situation for any player and especially a competitive player like Billy, when they are playing well and contributing to the team is spend time on the bench. Billy should be highly commended with the way he has reacted to what has happened to him. It takes a big person, which he is, to react as he has. Even though his role has diminished he continues to prepare himself for the games as he had before. His overall value to the success of the season has not been lost.
Two seniors, who have played for four years, Julius Freeman and Travis Haussler have at important times in the season, put in quality time on the floor. In another season, they would be first stringers along with others on the bench. Julius played behind Junior. A bad place to be. He has handled the ball well, played pressure defense and scored well for the amount of his playing time.
Travis will go into the game and hardly be noticed as a substitute. He is as tall as the other inside players, can score and rebound and is a very capable player. As the team jelled his playing time went down, not because of his play, but because of the coming together of the unit on the floor.
To Eric Van Vliet it is a shame you missed this opportunity, after playing so well at the end of last season and as I understand, having an even more successful summer. But with the opportunity at Fresno you still have more years to keep improving. Good luck.
To the rest of the team, who fight the regulars every day in practice and many times give them more competition than they face in some games, you have been part of something special. Something you will carry with you the rest of your lives. For those who will be back next year, you will be able to carry the cardinal uniform well, as have the other teams before you.
On the many faceted coach Newell, he is much more than a basketball coach. If you just went to basketball games, you might think he is a terror and this year he was calm. He is not just the basketball coach, but he is a regular teacher giving instruction and keeping his students involved every day, before games and the next day. He is one of the most respected teachers at the SCHS. Students want to be in his class. He is available to them any time.
He gives basketball clinics not only in the county, but around the country. I have been around him at football games and kids from other schools, who have been to one of his clinics will come and visit. If you want to talk to him, do not try when kids are around, because you will not have a chance.
Coach will never stop coaching or working with kids and it is a good thing. Because so much good would be lost. Sometimes a coach is a coach, but Pete is so much more than a coach, which to me is the highest honor I personally could give someone.
Everyone knows his record, so will not enter that realm. All season long the whole area has shown their appreciation for your contributions to basketball and the kids. This has been a dream season for everyone.
Junior Varsity coach, Charles Burks has worked with coach Newell for many years and not just during basketball season. He applies the same principals and goals. His players are always prepared and work hard. Have commended him many times with how his team has played. Most teams do not take any or many sophomores on varsity, but SCHS does. Charles is successful against teams who usually have more sophomores.. When the players get to the varsity, they know what to expect and are ready.
Frosh coach Kristy Netto and her assistant and dad Phil Netto, center of the 1957 CCAL champion and end of season TOC tournament team, had some of these players on their freshman team. As Charles does they get the players ready for varsity. There are times when they jump all the way to varsity skipping junior varsity. Kristy is one of the few women coaching boys that I know of and she enjoys it. The players respect her and follow her instructions. Watching the game one would not know by the way they that they didn’t have a man coach, but a woman coach. At practice and games she is a coach, but after she reverts back to her normal self. One we would all like to know.
All three assistants are Santa Cruz high grads. Both teams the frosh and JV team were mostly made up freshmen that jumped to the varsity and are now playing on this 2005 team, as freshman lost few games.. Think it was two for each team.
Eric Manabe, varsity assistant, has had a couple of different shifts with Coach Newell and keeps things running smoothly for the Cards. He has head varsity coaching experience
We have watched this group play since they were freshman. You could see they would be a special group.
I believe that all prior Cardinals, the entire community of Santa Cruz and the county would like to give this team and coach Newell a sincere thank you for all the good times this season..
It has been the dream season for anyone who has been in a competitive situation has strived for..
Sentinel Dec. 17, in the following year. By Tom Moore, Sports Editor. When Hoop Dreams Meets Surf City. Film Captures Season, and Keeps It Real. During the SC state championship basketball season all kinds of pieces had to fall into the right place, in the right way, at the right time. Coach Pete Newell Jr. seemed to understand something special was happening and that it should be shared. He invited me inside the locker room at any time. He asked each player to keep a journal. He allowed a recent SC grad Ryan Vaughan to film all the road trips, the action, the locker room, the practices.
Vaughan took off the winter quarter a UCSC to follow the team and work on a documentary he has called “Poised, A Santa Cruz Basketball Documentary” which will be shown at the Rio Theatre on the above date the next season. Vaughan’s movie follows the season chronology. It’s worth seeing for another look at Junior Russell’s highlights alone. “There’s one scene in the St. Ignatius game where he steals the ball from one guy, falls down, gets up, dribbles through his legs, takes it up the court and finds Sammet for a dunk,” Vaughan said. “Sometimes you watch and say, “My gosh this kid is amazing.”
But the drama and power in the movie comes from Newell in his thirtieth season at SC . Vaughan doesn’t shy away from Newell; most volatile moments. Newell is shown cursing at players and also shown telling the team before its state championship game against St. Augustine, “It should be the funnest game you ever played. Go out and play.”
As he lashes out at players in the locker room, the film’s scenes are powerful and uncomfortable and certainly real. Newell is shown both as old school and new age. He rips into the team, then asks them to let go of any negative energy. Locker room scenes, and other than basketball highlights are shown. Vaughan did all the filming, the interview and all the editing himself. The film has some rough around the edges moments, but it captures a season that will be a landmark in the Santa Cruz sports scene.
Vaughan said when he first asked Newell about his project, Newell said “I’ll give you full access to everything. I’d be wrong if I censored you,: Vaughan said. “I thought that was really cool. A couple of times, Newell said, “That’ll need to have some editing.” I tried to be faithful to the story and myself in what I showed.” Vaughan captures some tender moments, Russell playing through pain, hugs and celebrations, the tension, a coach’s passion and a rare quality of basketball and how it came together. “It was so perfect. It was a blessing to have that kind of season<“ Vaughan said.
Jan. 1, 2006.
2005 Sports Newsmaker Of The Year
FOR PETE’S SAKE
Santa Cruz Boys Won State Title In Coach’s Triumphant ‘farewell.
The whole playoff run, each game could have been the last an we met ever challenge. Pete Newell Jr.
When the Cards won the state Division III basketball championship, team MVP Junior Russell dribbled out the clock, threw the ball up into the air at Arco Arena and the celebration began. And for a while long time coach Pete Newell Jr. was nowhere in sight. Newell said, “I went behind a curtain and sat down, just to kind of ride it out and meet the kids in the press room. Then someone said I had to come out for the photo. The whole thing was about them. I understand that since it was my last season and I’ve been around Santa Cruz for so long and my father and all that I was going to get some attention.
In Newell’s 30 years coaching at Santa Cruz, the team reached the CCS playoffs 20 times, including 19 of the last 20. He compiled a record of 554-326 at SC. Newell’s style was to challenge, to push, to teach fundamentals, to demand and command attention and also to show the team the joy of the game. During the state championship run, the Cardinals posted a record of 36-1, the most wins ever for any basketball team in the Central Coast Section.
Their state championship game, against previously unbeaten St. Augustine of San Diego, was the USA Today game of the week.
The Cardinals trailed 49-41 in the third quarter with key players in foul trouble
–and then went on a 20-2 run to the delight of a strong Santa Cruz crowd at Arco Arena in Sacramento and finished with a 67-56 victory.
Russell, playing with a sore ankle and an injured knee, scored 27 points in the title game, including a long 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to cut the lead to 49-46.
Newell says that when he looks back now, he remembers the team played much better in games than they ever did in practice–except the last practice before the title game, which had him worried.
Newell says he’ll remember Russell’s virtuosity at 5-foot-six, dictating tempo and flow throughout the season. Russell averaged 16.6 points, 4.2 steals and 5.6 assists per game. Newell said he also thinks of the unselfishness of Cliff Sammet and Austin Swift, the other two senior stars. Sammet, at 6-foot-8, averaged 13.8 points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game. Swift a 6-foot-4 guard averaged 12.3 points per game.
Newell said he will remember Michael Norteye’s “warrior competitiveness,” Billy Pederson’s senior leadership, the emergence of juniors Jesse LoBue and Chris Sharp as contributors, the practice play of Will Wetmore in between football and baseball seasons and the valuable assistance of coach Eric Manabe. And, he’ll remember looking up in the stands and seeing former players and world-class surfers from Santa Cruz High at Arco Arena.
“The community support was extraordinary,” Newell said. “The whole playoff run, each game could have been the last, and we met every challenge.”
The season was celebrated with a parade through Santa Cruz and a team banquet, and it will be long remembered. The Sentinel published a special section, Newell required that players keep journals, KRUZ TV played and replayed playoff games throughout the year and Santa Cruz High graduate Ryan Vaughan filmed the entire season. Vaughan’s documentary packed the Rio Theatre when it premiered in December.
March 25. San Jose Mercury Boys Basketball Player of the Year was between Burlingame’s guard and Junior Russell of SC. The choice wasn’t easy, but Drew Shiller of Burlingame was the choice (even though in the CCS finals this year, Russell held his opponent below his average) Russell was often spectacular in leading the Cards to the State Division III title. Shiller was a better shooter, but Russell was better defender, but both were strong all around players who could inspire and carry their teams. In the past year, his junior season, Shiller had helped Burlingame defeat SC in CCS playoffs in football, basketball and baseball.
Russell and Cliff Sammet were named to the first team and Austin Swift to the second team. Pete Newell was Coach of the Year. (Newell was also CIF basketball Coach of the Year.
The Student Sports magazine rated the Cards number 38 in its national rankings.
Russell besides his leadership and keen court sense, changed games with his defense. He averaged 4.2 steals, 16.6 points and 5.6 assists. Coach Newell said Russell was the best player he coached in his 30 years at Santa Cruz.
Sammet, tall and athletic never met a dunk he didn’t like. But more than his knack for the spectacular, Sammet did a little of everything for the Cards: averaging 13.8 scoring, 8.0 rebounding 2.1 in blocked shots and finish the break. His versatility was reflected on his defense as well, His ability to defend the low post and then jump out to the perimeter caused havoc. His steal and pass to Russell for a three pointer at the end of the third quarter was perhaps the most vital sequence in the Cards state championship win. He followed by blocking shots down the stretch and controlling the middle. He’ll play at Santa Clara next year.
Austin Swift, 6-4 senior guard/forward was named to the second five.
Coach of the Year Newell built his program not with wins and losses in mind, but by teaching his players to play correctly. He won 15 SCCAL titles. His true legacy will be his honor and respect for the game and how it should be played. Newell laments what basketball has become, a highlight reel of dunks and three point shots. Newell said that in today’s game “ the art of teaching in coaching is being compromised,” But , safe to say, never by Newell.
Player of the Year, Junior Russell. Coach of the Year, Pete Newell.
First team: Cliff Sammet, Austin Swift. Honorable mention: Chris Sharp, Jesse LoBue and Michael Norteye.
JV BOYS BASKETBALL
Yearbook They played tough teams such as St. Joseph, Mitty, St. Francis, St.Ignatius and Serra as the varsity did. The few freshmen on the team were starters.
Roster: Evans Milburn, Bryce Burk, Kevin Cosio, Bobby Sanders, Gabriel Shields-Estrada, Adam Hyman, Alex Geise, Cody Boaz, Derek Daniels, Aaron Ramirez, Victor Hernandez, Quinn Garner, Jacob Norquist, Jens Norgaard and Thomas Mohamed, Head Coach Charles Burks and assistant Duane Garner.
Season record 14-12.
Yearbook. After playing tough teams such as St. Joseph, Mitty, St. Francis, San Ramon Valley, St.Ignatius and Serra the Cards had a 5-7 preseason record. At the American High Tournament they reached the finals, but lost to San Ramon Valley. Their largest win was over Soquel by 24 points.
Thinking back: from Bryce Jacobsen, “With five second left in the finals of the American High Tournament, I got the ball and took it the length of the court and hit a buzzer beating three point shot to put the game in overtime. From Markeem Kennon, “What I remember was the three dunks I got in games, especially the one when I stole the ball at half court and took it down for a hard one handed dunk against Scotts Valley.
Roster: Travis Whitley-Johnson, Markeem Kennon, Bryce Jacobson, Greg Yurich, Stephan Palmer, Ryan Bogaard, John Matthews. Justin Hightower, Sky Zucker-White, Matt England, James McCaughan, Erik Rodriguez, Nick Carollo, Jonathan Smith, Glenn Baldemor, Kevin Mendez and Mark Miller. Head Coach Kristy Netto and assistant Phil Netto.
GIRLS VARSITY BASKETBALL
From mbay.prep: Practice games: Atherton tournament: Menlo Atherton 44-42, Sacred Heart Prep 26-55, Urban of San Francisco 25-37. Alisal 45-34. Salinas tournament: Atascadero 37-24, Notre Dame of Salinas 33-40, Paso Robles 45-26. Redwood Christian of San Lorenzo 56-40, Oakland 35-31, St. Francis of Mt. View 57-58, Valley Christian 35-42. Mitty tournament: Leigh 29-48, Pinewood 42-67, Silver Creek 59-40. Practice record 7-7. League: Harbor 33-34, 49-46; Aptos 35-39, 49-36; Watsonville 48-30, 42-24; Soquel 36-43, 55-62; Scotts Valley 69-40, 62-46; SLV 61-23, 62-35. League record 8-4 tied for second? League playoffs: Scotts Valley 51-48, Harbor 44-58. CCS playoffs: Burlingame 57-45, St. Ignatius 44-56. Overall record 17-13.
Yearbook. The team does not have the experienced players they have had in the past, that racked up impressive records.
Roster: By name, year and height: Cori Ankele, 11, 5-8; Cole Conroy, 10, 5-6; Tiffany DeBellitte, 11, 5-4; Stephanie Dickey, 10, 5-9; Ani Fouse-Cabrera, 12, 5-7; Alyssa Gintert, 12, 5-10; Tara Kelly, 11, 5-9; Shelly Meze, 12, 6-2; Eriana Neibium-Lamkin, 10,5-4; Hannah Shull, 11, 5-9; Sarah Takahashi, 9, 5-0; Alixis Tashima, 10, 5-9; Lindsay Walls, 11; 6-2; Jenny Whiting, 12, 5-8. Head Coach Patrick Jones and assistant Paz.
Dec 5. In the third place game of the Sacred Heart Prep Gator Classic SC lost to Urban of San Francisco 25-37. Urban is ranked third in the state in Division III. Their top player is committed to Cal. SC is now 1-2. Shelly Meze had eight rebounds. Scoring: Walls 7, Takashi 0, Tashima 2, Ankele 4, Neiblum-Lamkin 9, Meze 3.
Dec. 10. SC advances to the semifinals with a win over Atascadero 37-24 at the Salinas tournament. Corey Ankele led the team with 10 points and four steals. Tara Kelly scored five points and pulled down six rebounds. Other scorers: Walls 4, Takahashi 3, Tashima 4, Shull 4, Neiblum-Lamkin 5, Fouse-Cabrera 2.
Dec. 11. Notre Dame of Salinas beat SC 40-33. Eriana Neiblum-Lamkin led SC with ten points. SC now 3-3 play for third place tomorrow.
Dec. 12. SC 42, Paso Robles 26 for third place. SC is now 4-3. Scorers: Takahashi 2, Kelly 14, Tashima 6, Ankele 6, Neiblum-Lamkin 6, Shull 2, Walls 6.
Dec. 29. At the Mitty Tournament, SC lost to Leigh 45-27. Scoring: Kelley 3, Tashima 3, Ankele 2, Whiting 2, Dickey 3, Maze 4, Walls 10 and five rebounds.
Dec. 30 SC won the seventh place game at the Mitty tournament beating Silver Creek 59-40. Eriana Neiblum-Lamkin scored nine points and Lindsay Walls added eight points and eight rebounds. Other scorers: Debellotte 2, Whiting 4, Tashima 6, Shull 7, Ankele 5, Kelly 8, Meze 8.
Jan. 5. In the first league game of the season, Harbor hit a put back shot as time expired to defeat SC 34-33. SC struggled from the field, hitting on 23 percent of its shots, but was still ahead by one point after Jenny Whiting’s 3-pointer with a minute to go in the game.
SC went out to a 10-9 lead in the first quarter, but Harbor took a 18-16 lead at halftime. SC came back and outscored Harbor 10-6 in the third to go ahead 26-24. Scoring: Takahashi 4, Kelly 2, Tashima 6, Ankele 5, Whiting 7, Nielbum-Lamkin 5, Meze 2, Walls 4. (according to the Sentinel, but is off two points)
Jan. 8. Aptos edge Santa Cruz 39-35. SC 7-9 overall and 0-2 in league had several chances to tie the game in the closing minute, but missed four free throws including the front end of bonus opportunities. Corey Ankele led the Cards in scoring with nine points. Lindsay Walls added eight points and nine rebounds. Other scoring: Takahashi 4, Tashima 7, Dickey 3, Kelly 4.
Jan. 19. SC sophomore Stephanie Dickey came off the bench to score a career high 26 points as the Cards defeated Scotts Valley 53 to 42. Lindsey Walls added six points and seven rebounds. SC is 6-12 overall and 2-3 in league. Other scoring: Ankele 8, Neiblum-Lamkin 7, Tashima 2, Whiting 2, Gentert 2.
Jan. 22. SC 10-10 overall and 3-3 in league held SLV to single digits in all four quarters in a 62-25 victory. Cole Conroy led the Cards with nine points with two 3-pointers. Eriana Neibllum-Lamkin and Stephanie Dickey each added eight points. Other scoring: Whiting 5, Walls 2 Takahashi 2, Shull 5, Ankele 6, Kelly 7, Gintert 2, Meze 7..
Jan. 26. Cardinals Prevail In Overtime. Improved Shooting Key In 49-46 Win Over Harbor Girls. Things are going to be different this time around. SC sent that message out to the league by getting revenge in overtime against Harbor after losing to them in the first round by one point. SC lost half of it six games in the first round of league, but SC showed they’re ready for the second half.
“This game, we really wanted it. That was the difference,” said junior Corey Ankele, “Over the first half of league, we’ve really improved. I think that was it.” Most notably, more Cards made more shots. Last time the teams met, SC made only 8 of 40 shots. This time the shooting percentage was much higher and more players made baskets. This game, ten of the fourteen players scored. Center Lindsay Walls and forward Tara Kelly led the Cards with 11 points apiece and Ankele scored eight.
Harbors coach said, “SC always plays hard and they’re always ready. We’ve got to match that intensity. I think we did. It was tough not getting to the free throw line. Harbor went 4 for 6 from the line, while SC made 12 of 20. Ankele with 11 seconds left in overtime went 2 for 2 to put SC up by three points to seal the win. Ankele also came through in the clutch in the fourth quarter. With the score tied 42-42 and 1:15 remaining, she shot a fade away jumper in traffic from nearly behind the basket in hopes of drawing the foul. Instead, the ball slid smoothly into the net.
SC dominated the first quarter 17-9, mostly behind the play of Wall and Ankele. SC carried a 26-21lead into halftime. Harbor came back and took their first lead of the game 36-35at the end of the third quarter. A see-saw battled ensued, with neither team getting more than three points ahead in the fourth quarter. SC felt like it was their best game of the year.
Scoring: Kelly and Walls 11 apiece, Ankele 8, Whiting 6, Conroy 3, Dickey, Shull, Neiblum-Lamkin, Meze and Tashima 2 apiece.
Jan. 29. Santa Cruz Girls Win Fourth Straight. Toppled Aptos 40-36 in overtime. Aptos had won their first game 39-35. SC 12-10, 5-3 in league scored the first six points of OT, sparked by a lay-up and an assist from sophomore Alexis Tashima. Coach Pat Johns said, “that was huge. We couldn’t score for about the last three minutes of regulation.”
SC outscored Aptos 12-2 in the second quarter to go up 20-8 at halftime, but was held to six points in both the third and fourth quarters. “Aptos really pressured us in the second half and got the tempo in their favor” Jones said. Tara Kelly led the Cards with nine points and ten rebounds. Scoring: Whiting 2; Walls, Tashima and Ankele each 6; Shull 4; Dickey 5; Neiblum-Lamkin 2; Kelly 9.
Feb. 2 Twelve different players scored for SC in a 42-24 win over Watsonville 42-24. Scoring: Whiting 3, Walls 5, Takahashi 2, Tashima 3, Shull 2, Ankele 5. Kelly 1, Dickey 6, Neiblum-Lamkin 6, Meze 2, Gintert 4, DeVellote 3.
Feb. 6. Soquel defeated SC 62-55. Soquel had its biggest lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter going up 52-34. SC clawed its way back with 11 points and then Soquel made 10-12 free throws. “W broke in the first half and had to play catch up the rest of the game,” said coach Jones. “I thought we did a great job in the fourth, trying to come back.” SC is 13-10 and 6-4 in league. Scoring: Whiting 0, Walls 7, Takahashi 2, Tashima 11, Shull 0, Ankele 8, Kelley 15, Dickey 9, Neiblum-Lamkin 3, Conroy 0.
Feb. 11. Senior Jenny Whiting scored 15 points, shooting 5 for 9 from beyond the arc, to lead SC to a 62-35 win over SLV. SC is 15-11 and 8-4 in league. Whiting was joined on Senior Night by Ani Fouse-Cabrera, who scored ten point, Alyssa Gintert with six and Shelly Meze with two. Other scorers: Walls 0,Takahashi 2, Tashima 4, Shull 2, Ankele 7, Kelly 2, Dickey 8, Neiblum-Lamkin 2, Conroy 0, DeBellotte 2.
SC is in a three way tie with Harbor and Aptos. “We’re playing our best basketball of the year in the last two weeks,” said coach Jones.
Feb. 15. Cards Take Collective Approach. Team I Hot Despite Lack Of Big Scorer. From ice to fire, practically overnight. That’s been the story of the girls story. Exactly a month ago, the Cards were foundering, at the red line between what could still be a good season and disaster. SC’s 43-36 loss to four time SCCAL champion Soquel on Jan. 15, dropped SC to 7-9 overall an most alarmingly, 1-3 in league. Losses to rivals Aptos and Harbor and it looked like SC would be a fourth place finisher. Nothing more.
Since the Soquel loss, SC 15-11 overall and 8-4 in league has dropped just one game, the rematch with Soquel on Feb. 5. SC has won seven of their last eight games, including a five game winning streak, heading into the SCCAL playoffs. In that span SC pulled itself together with overtime wins over Aptos and Harbor, both in overtime in the same week. The surge bought the Cards into a three way tie with Aptos and Harbor for second place with 8-4 records.
Feb. 18. Harbor Tops SC in the SCCAL playoff semifinals 58-44. Harbor, SC and Aptos were in a three way tie in league play. Harbor won the second seeded spot in the playoffs on the luck of the draw. This left SC and Aptos to play on another to go the semifinals. In first round action SC defeated Aptos.
Harbor took a 19-1 lead at the end of the first quarter, but SC came back to out score Harbor 21-8 in the second period. This left Harbor still ahead 27-22 at halftime. SC pulled within two points twice at 33-31 and 40-38 in the third quarter.
Center Lindsay Walls scored 12 points, Alexis Tashima, Corey Ankele, Stephanie Dickey and Cole Conroy each contributed at least one three-pointer in the come back attempt.
“We came out tentative, just like we did Tuesday,” said coach Jones referring to the Cards narrow 51-48 win over Scotts Valley in the quarterfinals. “We’re in the playoffs now and we need to play like we’ve got some experience under out belts. The Cards won’t play again until the CCS playoffs start. Other scorers: Whiting 0, Takahashi 0, Shull 0, Ankele 8, Kelly 5, Dickey 6, Neiblum-Lamkin 2, Conroy 3.
Feb. 21. SC with a 16-12 record is seeded fifth in Division III to play fourth seeded Burlingame.
Feb. 27. Santa Cruz Turns The Tables. Down 17-4 Early, Cardinal Girls Rally To Win Quarterfinal. Just when you’re ready to shovel dirt on them, like when they are trailing17-4 after the first quarter, the ultra-resilient five seeded Card girls storm all the way back and win by 12, 57-45 over four seeded Burlingame in a CCS Division III quarterfinal.
Credit an overwhelming defense, which limited Burlingame to just two points in the second quarter. SC hit seven beyond the arc, including four by Eriana Neiblum-Lamkin to grab the lead by halftime. SC went on a 17-0 tear in the second quarter, completely reversing what happened over the first eight minutes.
“I was like, not again,” said coach Patrick Jones. “We did the same thing against Scotts Valley and Harbor in the league tournament. We’ve been doing that all year. We’re just slow starters.” But Jones’ decision to insert Neiblum-Lamkin into the starting lineup proved to be a wise move. The slight but deadly shooting guard began to launch in the second quarter, keying SC’s hasty move on the scoreboard. “The key was we were able to maintain what we were doing in the second half,” Jones said. SC out scored Burlingame 21-12 in the third quarter.
Giving up never occurred to junior guard Corey Ankele. “We were just nervous in the beginning. But I knew we were still in it. Point guard Jenny Whiting said, “The Cards did their homework, watching tape of the Panthers during the week. We were really prepared for this game and it paid off.
Top scorers for SC were Neiblum-Lamkin with 14 points, followed by Alexis Tashima 13, and Corey Ankele 10. Other scorers: Kelly 5, Whiting 6, Dickey 3, Walls 6.
March 3. Santa Cruz Girls Battle St. Ignatius, But Fall Short. Until the end, the young Cards hung tough with St. Ignatius. The number one seeded Wildcats had too much height for the number 4 seeded Cards. SC had too many turnovers and for the first time in the playoffs, their inexperience showed. SC had 19 turnovers and couldn’t slow down SI’s two 6-4 centers in a 56-44 loss in the CCS quarterfinals.
“We were playing hard, but not smart. We got frazzled and rushed things. The poise we showed previously escaped us today,” said coach Patrick Jones. There was only one senior in the starting rotation and two sophomores. SC with a 17-13 record, jumped out to a 5-0 lead, playing aggressively on both ends of the court. Center Lindsay Walls picked up two quick fouls and was ushered to the bench. Without Walls it was up to two 5-9 players, Tara Kelly and Hannah Shull to go against the two 6-4 SI girls. SI led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter.
SI used a full court press to open the second quarter, a tactic they used to begin each quarter for the rest of the game. The flustered Cards went down by as many as eight points during the quarter.
The game changed when Walls made her return. A real presence in the lane, Walls scored seven points, had eight rebounds and kept the SI centers off the blocks while making a difference on offensive end as well. With guards Corey Ankele and Alexis Tashima feeding her the ball, Walls made SI pay somewhat for their aggressiveness. Walls drew two fouls on SI and made her free throws. Ankele made a lay up to get SC within three points with a minute left in the half.
Thirty seconds into the second half SI’s top scorer committed her third foul and went to the bench for the rest of the quarter. SI picked up their press and SC looked over anxious and turned the ball over 11 times in the second half.
“We weren’t as patient as we could have been. But we had open looks, they were good shots, we just got rushed,” said coach Jones.
Returning next year are Ankele, Walls, Tashima, Shull, Kelly and 3-point shooters Eriana Neiblum-Lamkin and Stephanie Dickey. Nerves and inexperience shouldn’t be and issue. “I look forward to good things happening next year. It will be fun when they have some experience. We’ll see what happens,” Jones said.
Scoring: Kelly 2, Tashima 13, Ankele 7, Whiting 2, Dickey 5, Neiblum-Lamkin 8, Walls 7
From mbay.prep. Scoring by name, games played, points scored and average per game
NAME G PT AV
Walls 27 208 7.70
Kelly 29 180 6.21
Ankele 29 172 5.93
Neiblum-Lamkin 29 154 5.31
Tashima 27 116 4.30
Second team: junior center Lindsay Walls. Third team: junior guard Tara Kelly. Honorable mention: junior Corey Ankele and senior Jenny Whiting.
GIRLS JV BASKETBALL
Yearbook. The starters were four sophomores, Sally Schuchard, Brittany Williams, Carly Johnson and Lianna Kelly and junior Cassie Garner. Carly Johnson and Lianna Kelly are the leading scorers. Point guard Brittany Williams predicts a second place finish, because Aptos is such a hard team to beat,” Rest of squad: Lindsay Bearden, Kaiti Kluzniak, Ariel Miller, Kayla Perkins, Sally Suchard, Olivia Shull and Cassi Tinetti. Coach Hughes.
Yearbook. In wrestling the whole of ones body is used to twist, bend, break down and eventually pin the opponent. Practice is an every day commitment which includes running, squats, triangles a difficult push up exercise and one and one and one matches against persons of similar weight. The team is divided into weight divisions around five pound increments.
Roster: Tim Clark, Neil Crews, Elmer Flores, T.J. Patel, Peter Fuller, Sal Morales, Colin Jenkins, Jeff Rossini, Drew Frampton, Josiah Frampton, Colin Meyer, Aaron Park, John Richter and Sterling Worth. Coach John Corona.
March 4. Sentinel State Wrestling Preview. Frampton Not Flying Solo. Teammates Help Senior Prepare For State’s Best.
Drew Framtpon is the only SC wrestler headed to the state championships, but that doesn’t mean his teammates get a pass this week. Coach John Corona has the entire team working out until the season is completely over, until the last state champ is crowned in Bakersfield. “I told them the only way to train for state is to wrestle until no one is left,” said Corona, who hopes the extra work will inspire them to aspire for more from themselves in seasons ahead.” In the meantime, they take turns working with Frampton, who is literally the center of attention for SC wrestling and has an endless supply of sparring partners. It’s like an old fashion boxer’s training camp, with the focus of many trained on just one athlete.
A Aptos wrestler is the only other league athlete to qualify for state. He qualified last year also. This is Framptons first year, but coach Corona is not worried about Frampton being intimidated. The soft spoken senior has shown great composure and tenacity in building a 33-5 record.
“A lot of guys lose their head and forget why they’re there, said Corona, which can be both intimidating and frightening for first timers. “Drew’s not like that. He’s smart and understands what needs to be done at a tournament of this magnitude. Corona truly believes the senior could be an interesting wild-card at state. Framtpon was seeded fifth and finished third at CCS. He has a great memory for wrestling moves. And most importantly, he is mentally tough. Drew went 5-1 at CCS, and his only loss was to the top seed.
Corona is filling Frampton’s head with stories about past SC wrestlers, who have come from nowhere to make a name for themselves at the state meet. Thomas Ronzano was a unheralded, finished fourth at CCS going to the state meet in 1989, but he scored a first period pin over the number one seed on his way to a second place, silver medal. “A lot of unranked wrestlers end up winning the thing or placing. It’s really wide open. That why they don’t seed the tournament any more.” Peaking, or wrestling your best of the season, is what these athletes strive for at this precise time of the season. Frampton is intent on proving he belongs in that class.
March 5. Drew Frampton, a senior at 152 pounds qualified for the state finals at Bakersfield’s Rabobank Arena. He won his opening round match pinning the champion of the LA section, a seventh ranked wrestler in the state in two minutes and 30 seconds. Frampton then faced the eighth ranked in the state from San Jacinto and was pinned in 1:14. He then lost in the consolation bracket to a wrestler from Antioch in a technical fall. Frampton finished his season with a 34-7 record.
“He wrestled great. Drew capped of a fine career at SC and will go down as one of the best wrestlers in school history,” said coach John Corona.
Feb. 21. Trio of SCCAL Wrestlers Seeded. Three wrestlers from the SCCAL were seeded in the top six in their respective weight class at the CCS Championships, which means they will not have to meet a seeded opponent in the first round. Drew Frampton at 28-4 is seeded fifth at 152 pounds. The top four in each weight class advances to the state tournament in Bakersfield on March 4-5.
Feb. 26. At the CCS wrestling quarterfinals, Drew Frampton at 152 in the first day of CCS competition won his first two matches to advance to the quarterfinals. Aaron Park remains alive in the consolation bracket at 160 pounds.
Feb. 27. Drew Frampton Reaches State Field For Santa Cruz. Four SCCAL wrestlers qualify for the state meet. Number five seeded, Drew Frampton at 152 pounds finished third at the CCS tournament to qualify. Frampton advanced to the semifinals with three straight victories, including a tight 7-6 decision over a North Monterey wrestler. Frampton then lost to the CCS number one seeded wrestler, who is state ranked. From there, Frampton battled through two consolation bracket victories with a 9-3 decision over a St. Francis of Mt. View wrestler.
“He’s been in situations like this before, losing in the semifinals and he let it get to him, but this time he didn’t.” said coach John Corona.
Frampton is the first SC wrestler to advance to the state meet since Boris Quintanilla went in 1994 and the first wrestler to place at least third at CCS for the school since 1990, said Corona.
“Hopefully I’m just laying down a path for the rest of the guys,” said Frampton.
Dec. 10. Sentinel Wrestling Preview.
Coach John Corona, third year. Last season in league, 3-3 for fifth place. Top returners: Aaron Park, 160 pound junior: Drew Frampton, 152 pound senior. Top newcomer: Josiah Frampton 130 freshman.
Notable: We’re just trying to get some respectability this year,” Corona said of his young team. “We’re hoping to rebuild the program with these guys. The Framptons are second cousins to rocker Peter Framtpon.
Dec. 11. Twenty-sixth Annual Coast Classic. Senior 152 pound Drew Frampton is one of only two SCCAL wrestlers to reach the championship semis. He had a bye in the first round and then pined his next two opponents in dominate fashion. “That was my goal to win by pin in all my matches and I did it.” A four year wrestler, Frampton said this is the furthest he’s ever advanced in the Coast Classic. “The past doesn’t matter. All that matters is what you do on the mat that day. You have to learn how to turn it on.”
Dec. 12. At the Coast Classic Drew Frampton reached the championship semi-finals, but dropped his final three matches and settled for sixth place. SC and SLV tied for twenty-fifth place with 25 points. Scotts Valley was the top SCCAL team at eighteenth place and 79 points.
Jan. 5. Early season rankings by the California Wrestler, released Dec.31, show Drew Frampton is ranked fifth among 152 pounders.
State: Drew Frampton season record 34-7
BOYS VARSITY SOCCER
Piedmont Hills 6-1. Homestead Christmas Cup: Los Gatos 5-2, Gunn 2-3, Gilroy 0-3, Valley Christian 3-3. North Monterey County 5-2. Practice games 3-2-1.
League: Harbor 6-2, 6-4; Scotts Valley 4-2, 4-1; Aptos 1-1, 1-1; SLV 4-0, 5-0; Watsonville 1-1, 0-1; Soquel 7-0, 5-1. League record 8-1-3. CCS playoffs: Leigh 0-1.
Overall record 11-4-4
Yearbook. The team had a tremendous season with the top game being a tie with the nationally ranked Watsonville 1-1. The team practiced incredibly hard this season. They did lots of running on the track, many sets of stairs, sprints, hills and weekend practices, sometimes at 7 in the morning. All with the constant voice of Coach Sabankaya saying, “Faster or come on son try harder, I know you can do it.”
Offensive leaders were Julian Alvarez and Alan Diaz. Winning the mid-field battles were Jason Kaye, Jermain Esparza, Victor Moreno and Jose Sesente. Staying strong on defense were Raf Rangell, Reed Johnson, Max Ludwig, Jose “Chepe” Santiago. The important goalie Marcel Cathrein. When all these strong talents get together on the field and get going, they can’t be stopped. Most of the team are seniors, who have been together with coach Sabankaya for all four years. The boys soccer team has built a dynasty that hopefully will continue for many years to come.
Rest of squad: Michael Jed, Shazad Bruce, Anthony Ponce, Austin Worth, Jerry Leon, Adolfo Gonzales, Raul Guerrero, Joey Zambrano and Memo Perez. Head Coach Semih Sabankaya and assistant Dennis Diego.
Dec. 4. Against Piedmont Hills, the Cards went out to a 2-0 lead in the first half on an unassisted goals by Alvarez and Gurrero. In the second half Alvarez scored on an assist from Dias. Dias scored on an assist from Sensente. Alvarez assisted on goals by Ludwig and Dias for a 6-1 win.
Dec. 5. Shezod Bruce scored twice and Julian Alvarez and Alan Diaz each had a goal and an assist as the Cards with a 3-0-1 record beat Los Gatos 5-2 in the Homestead Christmas Cup pool play game.
Jan. 6. SC opened the second half of the season with a 4-2 win over Scotts Valley. SC 5-2-1 overall took an early lead with goals by Julien Alvarez and Jose Sensente in the second and fourth minutes. Juan Diaz assisted on the first three goals for SC.. SC scored three goals in the first half and one in the second half. Anthony Ponce scored in the second quarter
Coach Sabankaya said,” We started out very quickly this season and then at the break we missed a lot of opportunities. We’re always a second half team, so we should be okay. We haven’t lost any games in the second half in the past few years.” He compared the team to “a snowball coming down the hill, we keep getting bigger.
March 25. San Jose Mercury Boys Soccer team honors from Santa Cruz: Honorable Mention Midfielders: senior, Julian Alvarez.
Midfielder of the Year, senior Julian Alvarez. First team: senior forward, Jose Santiago; senior midfielder Julian Alvaraz; senior defender, Jose Sensente. Unspecified by position second team: seniors Allen Diaz, Germine Esperza and Jason Key. Honorable mention: senior Derek Talbott and junior Mike Long.
JV BOYS SOCCER LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
Season record 20-2
Yearbook. The team worked hard preparing themselves to become better soccer players and teammates to one another.
Roster: Andrew Odon, Chris Profit, Joshua Strong, Fabian Cabrera, Oliver Valdes, Luke Hart, Michael Diaz, James Knox, Ben Rangell, Julio Serrano and Mike Love. Coach Emiliano Aragon.
GIRLS VARSITY SOCCER
From Mbay.prep. Practice games: Burlingame 2-1, MVC 2-0, Salinas 1-0. Tri Valley Classic: Miramonte 0-1, Livermore 1-0, Las Lomas of Walnut Creek 0-3, Liberty Union of Brentwood 3-1. Practice record 5-2. League: Harbor 0-2, 0-0; Scotts Valley 1-1, 0-1; Aptos 0-0, 1-0; SLV 2-0, 4-1; Watsonville 3-1, 3-1; Soquel 4-2, 4-1. League record 7-2-3 for second place
CCS Division III defeated Stevenson 4-1, lost to Scotts Valley 1-2. Overall record 13-5-3
Yearbook. From the beginning head coach Jay Gomez and assistant Mark Hogenhout pushed the girls. They wanted to transfer their negative energy into a positive mental attitude. Comments from Jay, “Total effort combined with a little confidence is a recipe for success.” From Jay, “Your best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” The coaches set up a tough preseason schedule against teams Los Gatos, Monta Vista, Burlingame and Mitty to get the team ready for the tough league schedule.
Captains Nicole Caiocca and Laura Schwartz helped push the girls to work hard and play their hearts out. They showed true leadership by starting practices before the coaches got there and made sure every girl felt welcome.
Eight girls are seniors and wanted to go out with the CCS championship.
Roster: Zealand Reynolds, Jasmine Norouzi, Suzie Oliver, Beth Cato, Laura Schwartz, Katie Merrill, Leah Noble, Coco Virostko, Christine Garcia, Marie Knox, Jane Shook, Lyndsie Slakey, Nichole Ciaocca, Hanna Martin, Mariam Tolentino and Claire Johnson. Coach Reed Duffus.
Dec. 4. SC opened its season with a 2-1 win over Burlingame. Leah Noble scored both goals for the Cards, the first unassisted and the second on an assist from Jasmine Norouzi.
Jan. 5. Scotts Valley scored in injury time to salvage a 1-1 tie with SC, who has a 3-5-1 overall record and 0-1-1 in league. SC took the lead in the twentieth minute when Miranda Emanuel made good on a Jasmine Norouzi crossing pass.
SC went 2-2 in the Tri-Valley Classic Tournament last week. SC defeated Livermore 1-0 and Liberty 3-1. Lost to Miramonte 1-0 and Las Lomas 2-0. Norouzi scored the winning goal against Livermore.
Jan. 19. Chelsea Muir and Christine Garcia had a goal and an assist each and SC used three second half goals to top Soquel 4-2. Jasmine Norouzi and Leah Noble scored for SC. SC is 6-2 overall and 3-1-2 in league.
Jan. 26 No Winners And No Losers. Harbor-Santa Cruz Rivalry Ends In Scoreless Draw. The match was the debut of the new City soccer field called Depot Park field. For the past week butterflies were acting like a blender in freshman Jane Shook’s stomach. She was assigned to mark one of the leagues top offensive player. Shook shined throughout. Shook never gave her foe an open shot.
In December, Harbor won 2-0. It was the first time SC had been shut out. This game SC changed from a 4-4-2 alignment to a 4-5-1 to give them a better chance to compete at midfield. “I felt that was the difference last time we played them,” said second year coach Jay Gomez, who inherited a team with only two returning starters last season, but helped the team qualify for the postseason. With 10 players now on his roster playing Class-1 club soccer, SC proved up to the task against a pressing Harbor squad.
Harbor kept its attack dominant for much of the contest. SC counter-attacked with its outside backs and made several quality runs down both touchlines. Midfielder Miranda Emanuel and defender Lyndsie Slakey led several of the runs.
SC is now 8-3-1 overall and 3-1-3 in league. SC won the CCS Division III crowns in 2000, 2002, 2003 and Harbor won in 1998 and 2001 making the SCCAL one of the sections most formidable leagues from top to bottom. Most of the players on the two teams play against one another or with one another on club teams. There were no letdowns in terms of hustled for the duration of the contest.
Depot Field’s synthetic turf surface held up nicely under a light drizzle, as the teams exchanged blows for the majority of the game. SC has five more league games left.
Feb. 2 In a hard fought game between two of the best teams in the league, SC came away with a 1-0 win over Aptos. The win bumped up SC to 9-4-3 overall and 4-2-3 in league. Senior goal keeper Marie Knox had a shutout and junior midfielder Laura Schwartz scored the winning and only goal.
Feb. 11. SC posted a 4-1 win over Soquel to finish second in league. Jasmine Norouzi had a pair of unassisted goals and Leah Noble had a goal and an assist. Leah Caiocca had an assist to Noble to open the scoring for SC who finished a 7-2-3 league record.
Feb. 20. Hat Trick For SC’s Norouzi. SC beat Stevenson 4-1 in the quarterfinals of CCS. SC will face Scotts Valley in the semifinals. “Our only loss of the season was to Scotts Valley. We want a rematch,” said coach Jay Gomez. SC 11-7-3 attacked immediately with striker Jazmine Norouzi scoring in the first five minutes off a pass by Leah Noble. She would score again in the second half and in the final minute of the game to complete her playoff hat trick. “We stepped up and did what we wanted to do. Our passes connected and we just worked. We’ve been training a lot for this,” said Norouzi, is a transfer from Monterey. “She really stepped up her game in the second half of the season and just scored a ton of goals,” Gomez said of Norouzi.
Chelsea Muir delivered the third goal. This was Stevenson’s lone loss of the year.
SC is seeking its fourth CCS title since 2000. The Cards earned banners in 2000, 2002 and 2003. “We’re gong to do it. We’ve trained so hard for this. We deserve it,” Norouzi said.
Feb. 23. CCS Girls Soccer Semifinals. Falcons Nip Cards In OT . Scotts Valley rallied to beat playoff power SC in the CCS Division III semifinals 2-1 in double overtime. The top seeded Falcons, the fourth place SCCAL finisher came back from a SC 2-1 lead at the seventy-fourth minute mark. Scotts Valley tied the score in the seventy-sixth minute. SC took a 1-0 lead on Lyndsie Slakey’s goal at the seventy-fourth minute. SC looking to make its fourth CCS finals appearance this decade, celebrated the late goal with hugs on the field and sideline only to be deflated in the end. “We’re going to comfort each other and do what we need to forget about this game. We’ll get the next season for sure,” said forward Jasmine Norouzi.
SC ended the season 11-8-3. The teams entered the semifinals 2-2-2 in the schools lifetime series, Scotts Valley earning a win and a tie in the final minutes of each regular season game this year.
The teams engaged in an epic midfield battle for the duration of the first half, as all indicators pointed to a close, physical match. There was plenty of grasping and bumping from both teams to gain control of the ball. Early in the second half, the teams exchanged quality scoring chances. Scotts Valley scored an apparent goal in traffic. A SC defender kicked the ball out of the goal after it appeared to cross the goal line and play resumed as SV began a premature celebration.
SC counter attacked and got two quality chances, both of which were blocked by SV’s freshman goalie. “We were pushing so hard during the game, our bodies couldn’t keep up. It was so mental. It was the most exciting game I’ve ever played in,” said a SV player.
In the teams previous six meeting, only one game, two years ago, was decided by more then one goal. SC was looking for its fourth section crown this decade with Division III titles in 2000. 2002, and 2003.
Feb. 23 San Jose Mercury top 15 rankings has SC in eleventh place with a 11-7-3 record.
From Mbay.prep. Stats
Scoring: Norouzi 12, Noble 5, Caiocca 5, Garcia 2, Emanuel 2
Assists; Knox 11,Caiocca 5, Norouzi and Garcia 3 each, Noble 2
Goalie saves: Mari Knox
March 25. San Jose Mercury Girls Soccer team honors from Santa Cruz: Honorable Mention:
Midfielder: Senior, Nikki Caiocca. Defender: Sophomore, Chelsea Muir.
Defender of the Year, sophomore Chelsea Muir. First team: senior Nicki Ciaocca and junior Laura Schwartz midfielders; Chelsea Muir and freshman Jane Shook, defender: junior Jasmine Norouzi, forward.
GIRLS JV SOCCER
Season record 8-2-4.
Yearbook. First year coaches Danielle Sasano and Antoinett Ajayi were glad to see everyone improve and form a bond off and on the field. The team motto is, “We’re not outcome driven.”
Danielle said, “This experience has changed my life, I’m planning on being a teacher, so being able to teach something I’ve played all my life and love is a great experience. I looked forward to every practice and game.
Two EXCELLENT goalies Danielle Erickson and Olivia Morgan kept the oppositions scoring to a minimum.
Roster: Olivia Morgan, Molly Heft-Neal, Sierra Meltvedt, Antoinette Ajaji, Danielle Sassano, Becca Coleman, Rachel Slade, Danielle Eriksen, Sam Sharp, Emily Putt, Elysa Jauregui, Mellani Kamaha’o, Whitney Ramos, Emma Hutchison, Emily Stover, Caroline Simmons, Hila Mehr, Eve Reinhold and Karina Tolentino.
BASEBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
Practice games: Tournament: Pioneer 10-1, Santa Clara 8-2, Westnont 7-5, Valley Christian 6-10, Menlo 8-2, Hillsdale 10-4, Carlmont 17-3, Soquel 5-6, Burlingame 4-2. San Diego tournament: University 5-9, Cathedral 5-9, Westview 2-3, Mt. Carmel 6-5. West Valley College tournament: Oak Grove 8-0, Santa Clara 2-5, 8-7; Bellarmine 0-5. Branham 7-0, St Ignatius 8-7, Saratoga 8-2, Scotts Valley 6-3. Practice record 14-6.
League: Harbor 19-6, 7-3; Watsonville 11-0, 11-0; Aptos 7-4, 10-6; SLV 13-3, 10-1; Scotts Valley 12-1, 6-2; Soquel 10-2, 4-8. League record 11-1. League champions.
League standings: SC 11-1, Soquel 10-2, Harbor and Scotts Valley 6-6, Aptos 5-7, SLV and Watsonville 2-10.
CCS playoffs: Mills of Millbrae 11-1, Half Moon Bay 5-3, Monterey in finals 1-3. CCS record 2-1 to the semifinals. Season record. 27-8.
From Mbayprep.com: rankings from the San Jose Mercury by date: 5/11, SC 4, Soquel 10. 5/4, SC rose to fifth place with a 12 game winning streak. 4/27, SC rises to eighth.
Stats: Alex Myers was third in pitching saves with three and a winning record of 7-3. Wes Mathews was fourth with two saves and a 1-0 record. Dyane Quist tied for fourth with two saves and had a 5-2 overall record.
From Cal High Sports for the state division III. rating on March 24, SC was ranked ninth. On March 9, SC was ranked sixth.
Yearbook. Most of last years team are back as seniors and are expected to vie for the CCS championship again after being one game away last year. Their preseason takes them as far as San Diego for a tournament.
Roster: Pete Feurtado, Eric Navoroli, Alex Myers, Alex Stewart, Drew Gagnier, Chris Ose, Justin Scott, Trevor Burns, Dayne Quist, Paul Dinkins, Joel Williams, Michael Garcia, Chris Marchisio, Justin Allegri, Will Wetmore, Cliff Sammet, Paul Dinkins, Wes Matthews, Ben Nordstrom, Lucas Pruger and Zac Fleming. Head Coach Bob Kittle and assistants Mike DeTano, Darryl Ratliff, Brian Walton and George Arnott.
Sentinel pre-season write up. Cards Stacked In Their Favor. SC Loaded With Experience.
Coach Bob Kittle ninth season. 2004 record 21-14 overall; 10-2 SCCAL champions. CCS Division II final. Top returners; Seniors: Trevor Burns LF; Wes Mathews CF; Will Wetmore RF; Justin Allegri 3B; Eric Navaroli 3B; Alex Stewart SS; Zac Fleming 2B; Paul Dinkins 1B; Pete Feurtado C; Alex Myers RHP; Drew Gagnier junior, RHP; Dane Quist soph, P. Key newcomers. None. Notables: The Cardinals have a returning starter at every position, but the talk of the town has focused on a player still off the field, 6-8 left-hander Cliff Sammet, a member of the basketball team. The star forward didn’t play last year, but has worked out with the team multiply times. “He’s a project,” Kittle said. “I’m not going to get my hopes up because we probably won’t get him until mid March.
With returnees Myers, Gagnier and Quist among eight quality pitchers, Kittle isn’t worried about his pitching staff.
Feb. 23. Wilcox Tournament pool play
SC defeated Pioneer 10-1 on 11 hits and no errors. Winning pitcher Myers now 1-0. Fleming with 3 hits, a double and 3 RBI’s.
SC 8, Santa Clara 2. SC had 8 hits and 3 errors. Winning pitcher Gagnier now 1-0. Save Quist. Burns 2 hits, double and 2 RBI’s. SC record 2-0.
March 4. Pete Feurtado went three for four with a double and two RBI’s in SC’s 10-4 win over Hillsdale. Paul Dinkins went 2 for 4, scored twice and drove in two runs. Starting pitcher Will Wetmore struck out seven in five innings and stole a base. SC now 5-1.
March 10. Knights Draw First Blood VS Cardinals. Soquel Wins League Opener In Eight Innings. A bases loaded walk won the game for Soquel in the eight inning 6-5 in a see-saw and oft messy league opener. In the last inning SC left the tying run at second base. SC stranded nine runners and Soquel left 11 on base. “We had lots of opportunities to score and our guys were not clutch,” said Coach Kittle. SC is now 6-2 overall and 0-1 in league.
SC scored its first run in the fourth inning, when Wes Mathews scored on a sacrifice fly from Zac Fleming. Soquel was still ahead 2-1 and picked up another run in the fifth to go ahead 3-1. SC tied the score in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a two run throwing error on a groundball with the bases loaded and two out. Each team made three errors. Soquel scored two runs in the sixth on a pair of errors. Reliever Dayne Quist came on with the bases loaded and escaped with minimal damage, even though he was charged with the loss. With out getting a hit in the inning, SC countered with two runs in the bottom of the six on two Soquel errors to tie the score. Stewart led the Cards in hitting going 2 for 4.
Coach Kittle, “We both played sloppy, but we’re two pretty evenly matched teams.”
March 11. SC won the Peninsula Classic/Menlo tournament, by defeating Burlingame 4-2. Burlingame scored both of its runs in the first inning, SC came back and scored one run in the third inning and three in the fifth. SC had seven hits and one error, while allowing only six hits. Will Wetmore was the winning pitcher scattering three hits over five innings for his third win of the season. Wes Mathews got the save. Paul Dinkins hit a two out double and drove in two RBI’s for the winning runs scored by Will Wetmore and Trevor Burns.
March 12. SC scored 14 runs over the first two innings in a 17-6 rout of Harbor. Drew Gagnier got the win. Will Wetmore, Alex Stewart and Wes Mathews each had three hits and Stewart had a home run among his hits. Myers, Pruger and Scott each had two hits.
March 22. Cards Drop Opener In San Diego Lions Club Tourney to University High in San Diego 9-5. Will Wetmore went 3 for 3 and Lucas Pruger 2 for 4 to lead SC which is now 9-3
Stewart, Burns and Fleming doubled. Burns had two RBI’s. Wetmore went 3×3 and Pruger2x4.
March 23. The San Jose Mercury Top 15 Rankings had SC as number 8 with a 9-3 record. Harbor and Soquel were 12 and 13.
March 25. In their first game of the day at the San Diego Lions Tournament, SC lost to Westview 3-2. SC had ten hits and two errors. Quist took the loss and is now 0-2. Fleming had three hits. Burns doubled and Fleming went 3×3 and Dinkins 2×3.
In the second game SC beat Mt. Carmel 6-5 on 7 hits and no errors. Winning pitcher Ose, who is now 1-0. Dinkins had a big day with a home run, three RBI’s and two hits. Feurtado, Wetmore and Fleming each doubled. Dinkins went 2×3, Wetmore and Feurtado each went 2×4. Pruger and Nordstrom each stole a base. SC is now 10-4
April 15. Alex Meyers with a 4-2 record threw six strong innings, striking out five and walking three in a 12-1 win over Scotts Valley. Meyers went 3 for 5 with a triple and three RBI’s. Pete Feurtado and Wes Matthews each knocked in three runs and stole a base. SC’s record is 16-6 overall and 5-1 in league.
The Cards lost to Soquel in the SCCAL championship tournament was the first loss in 17 games.
In the CCS quarterfinals SC defeated Half Moon Bay the runner up to Burlingame of the PAL Bay Division 5-3. Alex Stewart scored the game winning run on Will Wetmores sacrifice fly in the third inning. Alex Myers two run double turned out to be insurance. Pitcher Alex Myers gave up solo runs in each of the first two innings. He finished with a five hitter, striking out eight batters and walked only two. “I felt really good,” Myers said. “Once I settled down, I knew they weren’t gong to score on me. Our defense came up huge.
SC didn’t commit an error. The offense was clutch too. The bottom third of the Card order, Zac Fleming, Stewart and Ben Nordstrom, pinch running for Wes Mathews all scored runs.
CCS ‘WE BATTLED’ Santa Cruz Scraps, But Comes Up Short In D II Semifinals. The second seeded Cardinals, trying to reach a section final for the third straight year, allowed three runs in the first inning and were held in check by the University of Texas bound pitcher in a 3-1 loss.
SC 27-8 overall, the SCCAL champion for the fourth time in the past five years, put the ball in play against the overpowering lefty, but often to the sure handed left side of Monterey’s infield. The Monterey pitcher held the Cards to three hits, walked two and struck out five and allowed an unearned run in the fifth inning.
“We battled. He just threw a good game. We put the ball in play, which we planned to do, but we hit it right at people. There’s nothing you can do but tip your cap to them,” first baseman Paul Dinkins.
Coach of the Year, Bob Kittle. All the players are seniors accept for sophomore Dayne Quist. First team: catcher, Pete Feurtado; infielders, Will Wetmore and Alex Stewart; outfielder, Trevor Burns; Pitcher, Alex Meyers; Second team: Zac Fleming and Paul Dinkins; Sophomore pitcher Dayne Quist.
Yearbook. Top players are Kurt Garret, Brandon Bagnell and Steve Young. Rest of squad: Winston Amaro, Pat Andres, Hunter Amor, Tim Blanc, Cody Boaz, Bryce Burke, Matt England, Ray Finkle, Dylan Gavin, Alex Geise, Dustin Harrison, John Matthews, Thomas Mohmed, Alex Taku and Kylie Tanner. Head coach Jesse Trumbull
Yearbook: Top players: Matt England, Dylan Gavin, John Matthews, Nick Gemme, Chris Murray and Alex Taku (All of whom were starters on the CCS finals team in 2008 as seniors)
Rest of squad:: Nick Carollo, Quinn Garner, J.P McNicholes, Mark Miller, Max Meyers, Miguel Pacheco, Parker Watkins, Greg Yurich, Eric Ruiz, Collin Meyer. Head coach Joseph Allegri.
Practice games: Monte Vista Christian 5-3, Salinas 3-11, Notre Dame 18-0, Santa Catalina of Monterey 1-0, Alvarez 0-1, North Salinas 0-8, Salinas 1-2, Leland of San Jose 1-5, Salinas 3-2. Practice record 4-5. League: SLV 2-16, 2-7; Watsonville 0-6, 0-5; Aptos loss, 2-5; Soquel 0-1, 0-6; Scotts Valley 0-1, 0-1; Harbor 0-4, loss. League record 0-10. Overall record 4-15 according to Max preps.
Yearbook. Tami King-Jones, a former SC player, has brought a new style of play, coaching techniques and hopefully a new positive attitude to the team. The team is made up of almost all seniors: Jenna Escobar, Logan Vanderpool, Kendra Carmichael, Kari Jordan, Pitcher Noel Devine and Shanae Mairs. Rest of squad: Skye Haney, Tara Kelly, Stephan Anderson, Katie O’Brien, Shantee Kingsland. Head Coach Tami King-Jones and assistants Brenna Mendez and Joe Escobar.
March 9. Shantee Kingsland had three hits, including one in the seventh inning, when she stole second and third base and scored on Logan Vanderpool’s single in a 1-0 win over Santa Catalina. Noel Devine now 2-1 got the win as SC moved to 3-1 overall. Devine recorded eight strikeouts and walked four.
March 11. Alvarez scored in the last inning and topped SC 1-0 in a pitchers duel in which starter Noel Devine gave up four hits and struck out seven over seven innings.
March 12. Sentinel Softball Review
Santa Cruz. Coach: Tammy King/Jones, first season. Last season record: 6-17 overall and 1-11 in league for seventh place. Top returnees: Noel Devine, senior pitcher; Logan Vanderpool senior catcher; Skye Haney junior third base; Shantee Kingsland, junior utility; Stephan Anderson, junior shortstop. Key newcomers: Kendra Carmichael, senior right fielder; Tara Kelly, junior utility. Notable: Cardinal players are already familiar with first year coach Tammy Jones. Jones coached the junior varsity the previous two years and Mission Hill Junior high before that, where many of the Cards played. The team has only a 12 player roster, six seniors and six juniors, but Jones is optimistic about the season. SC looks to improved on the one league win last year and two the season before. “I think that SC will have a whole new look this year,” said Jones.
March 4. SC won its preseason opener under first year coach Tami Jones, beating Monte Vista 5-3. Noel Devint went the distance with 10 strikeouts in seven innings and Jenna Escobar hit a double.
April 15. Scotts Valley prevailed in a classic pitchers duel, 1-0, despite SC’s pitcher Noel Devine’s solid effort. Devine gave up four hits, walked one and struck out nine. Kari Jordan went 2 for 2 for the 4-10 overall, 0-4 league Cards.
Second team: senior pitcher Noel Devine. Honorable mention: Shantee Kingsland, Logan Vanderpool and Stephan Anderson.
JV GIRLS SOFTBALL
Won first place at the Watsonville Tournament.
Yearbook. There are five girls retuning and six new players. At the end of preseason the team was 7-0. One of their favorite bonding experiences was attending the UCLA at Stanford game.
Roster: Kylie Muhly, Alyssa Lantry, Anna Eklof, Sophia Espinosa-Lopez, Allison Harger, Elise Brokaw, Lauren Vargas, Kelly Keutmann, Paige Kovays-Wildenradt, Julia Marchoina, Bobbi Pena. Head Coach Chuck Jones and Heidi.
March 9. Devine pitched a two hitter for a 1-0 win over Santa Catalina. The Cards had four hits and no errors. Devine is now 2-1. Kingsland went 3×3 and stole two bases. SC is now 3-1.
March 25. Sentinel Track and Field Preview 2005 for both boys and girls.
Coaches: Anthony Brown, sixth year and Victor Dubin, sixth year.
Key returners: Boys: Austin Worth, senior hurdles, 4×400 relay. Girls: Romonica Stephens, senior sprints and 4×100 relay; Olivia Morgan, sophomore sprints and 4×100; Fern Lightfoot, sophomore high jump; Alexia Tashima, sophomore triple jump and hurdles.
Key newcomers: Boys: Michael Landry, freshman distance. Girls: Natalia Menishkina, freshman 4×100 and 400.
Notable: Unlike most teams in the league, the Cards did not see a rise in participation this season. SC has 65 kids on the team this year, roughly the same as last year. The girls team should be improved with 40 athletes on the team. The strongest event is the 4×100 relay, with returners Stephens and Morgan getting a boost from the addition of freshman Menishkina, who according to Dubin has run the fastest 400 time in the league so far, 1:01.34 at Soquel.
Yearbook. The teams goal for this year is to make it to CCS.
Not all track members are listed in the yearbook and there was no picture. Names in yearbook: Ben Kietzer, Cameron Zachreson, Alec Zachreson, Tim Clark, Chris Proffitt, Austin Worth, Michael Landry, Mallory Pickett, Aaron Park, Mike Marque, Justin Johnson, plus others who are not listed.
March 11. Soquel hosted four other teams, Watsonville, Scotts Valley, St. Francis and SC, who participated in dual meets. Scotts Valley beat SC 100-27.
March 18. Aptos cruised past SC 99-37, .
SC winners: 110 hurdles, Worth in 17.7; 100, Marquez in 11.4;
Long jump, Reinhold at 18-5;
SC won the 4x100and the 4×400
April 15. SLV, Harbor, SC and Soquel competed together, but had dual scores against one another. SLV defeated SC 87-37. SC winners were 110 hurdles, Worth in 17.5 and 300 hurdles in 44.5;
3200, Landry in 10:15.3;
Yearbook. Roster. Samantha Sharp, Samantha Rose, Melanie Alonzo, Kaja Gibbs, Kara Lewis, Natallya Munishkina, Fern Lilghtfoot, Cathinka Petersen, Alisa Elb, Vanessa Gibson, Carly Johnson,
March 11. Soquel hosted four other teams, Watsonville, Scotts Valley, St. Francis and SC, who participated in dual meets. SC beat Scotts Valley 62-52.
March 18. Aptos outscored SC 91.5-43.5. Olivia Morgan won both the 100 meters in 12.7 and the 200 in 26.7
SC won the 4×100 in 51.0 and the 4×400 in 4:35.6;
400 meters, Munishkina in 62.4;
Long jump, Williams at 14-11;
April 15. SLV, Harbor, SC and Soquel competed together, but had dual scores against one another. SLV defeated SC 84-51. SC winners were the 4×100 relay in 52.4 ; 400, Munishking in 61.0; 200, Morgan 26.0; high jump, Lightfoot 4-10; triple jump, Noble at 31-4.
BOYS AND GIRLS SWIMMING AND DIVING VARSITY AND JV COMBINED
Yearbook. Roster: Reje McGuire, Danielle Warren, Lena Pine-Campbell, Yafah Almog, Lindsay McDermott, Chanelle Curtis, Talisa Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Daly, Inga Thomas, Danielle Qing, Sierra Brune, Michal Ross, David Putnam-Pite, Tizoc Forte, Greta Carroll, Katie Malcolm, Krista Mattson, Shanna Deitz, Ashley Torres, Laura Bakken, Jessica Somers, Jenna Davenport, Claire Putnam-Pite, Olivia Waller, Natalia Munishkeen, Chris Jacobsen, Jack Boston, Alex Wright, Perri Wells, Grace Randick, Mila Bock, Katie Robinson, Amelia Barisone, Kallie Bebbe, Lucy Barnes, Christine Boston, Rosie Stewart, Lily Perry, Julia Esposito, Amos Zappacosta, Vince Sordo, Ben Lezin, Shannon Smyth, Carin Thoits, Miranda Emanuel, Ivy Cheung, Cierra Cross, Nina Bortlin, Kristen Calhoun, Terra Weeks, Olivia Shull, Megan Bradley, Kaitln Ankele, Pat Rosso, Mircea Forte, James Rooney, Neil Cruz, Suzi Rubio and Cassandra Tinetti.
March 5. Girls Swimming in the league opener. Harbor beat SC 93-85, largely on the strength of its relay teams. SC winners by event, swimmer and time.
200 free, Boston, 2:16.6 and the 500 free in 6:05.4;
Carroll 200 individual medley, 2:31 and the and the 100 fly in 1:08.
50 free, Pine-Campbell, 27.1 and the breast in 1:18.5
100 back, Ross, in 1:20.2.
March 5. Boys Swimming in the league opener. SC beat Harbor 89-86. SC winners by event, swimmer and time.
4×100, SC, 1:56.78;
200 individual medley, Sordo, 2:13.3;
100 free, Jacobson, 51.3 and 50 free in 22.5;
200 free, SC relay, 1:40.3;
400 free, SC relay, 3:56.7.
March 18. David Putnam-Pite and Vince Sordo each won two events as SC beat Scotts Valley 107-42. SC won both relays the 200 MR, in 2:01.39 and 400 FR in 4:09.81;
Pitnam-Pite won the 200 free in 2:03.73 and 200 IM in 2:24.78.
Sordo won the 100 fly in 1:02.47 and the 100 breast in 1:06.93.
50 free, Jacobson 24.29; 100 free,
Wright in 57.48; 500 free, Honnes in 6:02.89; Boston in 1:06.93
March 5. Harbor defeated SC 93-85 largely on the strength of its relay teams.
March 18. Greta Carroll and Danielle Warren each won two events and SC beat Scotts Valley 123-44.
Carroll won the 200 IM in 2:34.77 and the 100 fly in 1:08.66.
Warren won the 50 free in 25.94.
Pine-Campbell 100 free in 59.28.
Putnam-Pite 500 free in 6:23.62.
McGuire 200 free in 2:17.77 and the 100 back in 1:03.99.
The SC relay teams won the 200 MR won in 2:06.03, 200 free in 1:52.58 and the 400 FR in 4:31.44. SC is now 2-1.
Yearbook. Last years aggravation of not having a home court while construction was going on was well worth it as the team now has beautiful new courts.
Roster: Raf Rangell, Brett Pearson, Jesse Renteria, Ryan Webber, Trevor Kraus, Jerry Chiang, Alok Pandey, John Kim, Justin Tanimoto, Tyler Nodine, Teo Lopez, Andy Balzer, Ben Rangell, Daniel Brown, Max Bryer-Bass, Sean Lynch, William Alvarez and Cody Wall.
March 8. SLV beat SC 5-2. The lone SC singles win was at the second spot by Alok Pandey winning 7-6, 4-6, 7-6.
March 9. Harbor cruised by SC 6-0. Raf Rangell lost in the number one singles 6-3, 6-4. Alok Pandey lost in number two singles 7-6, 6-4.
March 11. Number one singles, Raf Rangell was perfect in his match, leading SC to its first victory with a 6-1 win over Soquel. Raf’s brother Ben also won his match at number four singles. SC is now 1-3.
March 18. Aptos stayed perfect in league with a 6-1 victory over SC, who is now 1-4 in league. The lone SC winners were the number three doubles team of Alvarez-Balzer. At number one doubles, SC’s Brett Pearson and Jesse Renteria lost 0-6, 1-6 and at number two, Crumrine-Brown lost 5-7, 4-6. All four singles players lost. In order of seed: Rangell, Pandey, Tanimoto and Rangell, who took his match to three sets before losing 7-5, 7-6(7-5)
Yearbook. The Cards are hoping to repeat last year by sending their top player Greg Auer to CCS.
Roster. Kevin DiTano, Will Price, Jack Kim, Derek Talbott, Bennett Bilgere, Evan Milburn, Sean Liechti, Mike Long, Sean Mullis, Greg Wuer, Monenic Lombardi and George Bilgere.
Feb. 28. Sentinel SCCAL Golf review.
Coach: Pete Pappas twentieth season. Home Course: DeLaveaga and Pasatiempo. Top six: sophomore Greg Auer; seniors: Bennett Bilgere and Derek Talbott; junior Mike Long. Numbers 5 and 6 not yet decided. Notable: Returning sophomore George Bilgere; SLV transfer senior Will Price; freshman left-hander Kevin DiTano and Sean Liechti are battling for the number 5 and 6 spots. There are 14 golfers out this season.
March 4. Auer leads Cardinal Golfers Over Harbor. Sophomore Greg Auer shot a 1-Over 34 to led SC over Harbor 188-194. The match started at the tenth tee under sunny skies, but finished with golfers playing the final four holes fending off a heavy, cold rain. The difficult conditions had several players hitting a club or two longer than usual and rethinking course management.
“I told myself to forget about using a driver,” said Ouer, who edged Harbors top player by one stroke for medalist honors. “I wasn’t going to take out any of my woods because I wasn’t hitting them well at that range. That worked out well in those conditions. The ground was so wet, I wasn’t going to drive any greens.”
Only two of the 12 players competing earned a birdie: Sean Liechti on the 325 yard tenth after draining a 18 foot put was one of them. SC is 2-0, had four players score under 40: Auer, 34, Bennett Bilgere 35, Derek Talbott 37 and Liechti 39.
March 9. SC behind the strong play of brothers Bennett and George Bilgere, bested SLV 170-230. George Bilgere shot a 1 under 30 on the front nine at Boulder Creek. “He started birdie-birdie and just never let it go. He just kept hitting it right down the middle,” said coach Pete Pappas. Other than a three-put that led to a bogey on the fifth hole, Bilgere, a sophomore was near perfect for SC which now has a 3-0 record. Greg Auer, the number one player shot a 32.
March 11. Greg Auer shot a 2 over 38 on the front nine at Pajaro Valley Golf Club to lead SC to a 218-219 win over Watsonville. SC is now 4-0.
March 18. Scotts Valley pulled an upset of SC, which is now 4-2 in league 180-183. George Bilgere tied for medalist honors with 2 over 33. Other Cards: Auer 34, Long 36, Liechti 40, Bennett Bilgere 40 and Talbot a none scoring 41 (only the top five players apply to the final score)
Sophomore Most Valuable Player, Greg Auer. First team: junior Bennett Bilgere. Second team: Sophomore George Bilgere. Honorable mention: senior Derek Talbott and junior Mike Long.
Yearbook. Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the US. It has been a school sport at SC for four years. Chad Jessen, Alex Curtin and Neil Foster will be the first to graduate playing all of the first four seasons. There are 22 players on the team this year. The number of players have steadily increased. Lacrosse is really fun, because you get to run around and hit people with sticks. My job it to poke people with my shaft and try to make their ball fall out of their netting, so we can take control of the ball.”
Roster: Brian George, Dario Bortolin, Mitch Suits, Danny Frentz, Forrest Ohtake, Derek Castro, Yogi Patel, Alex Dunton, Adam George, Matt Edmonds, Andrew Woodhead, Ben Rose, Zach Schalvardian, Will Bass, Mike Jed, Eric Brune, Chad Jessen, Matt Greenberg, Neil Foster, Alex Curtin, Andy Kolosa and Andrew Ordon.
ISSF HIGH SCHOOL SURFING
Santa Cruz 85, Harbor 44. Girls long board: Sierra Partridge, second. Gigi Goldeen, fourth.
Boys long board: Paul Steinberg, third.
Girls short board: Sierra Partridge, fourth
Bodyboard: J.P. McNichols, third. Gige Goldeen, fifth.
League records so far: SC and Soquel 4-0. Scotts Valley and Aptos 2-2, Harb