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    DUBLIN – John Mayer and Taylor Swift’s names belong to well-known pop stars whose brief time as a celebrity couple spawned successful albums by both artists. And on the sideline of San Ramon Valley’s 15-1 girls soccer team, yelling those names was a lighthearted way of poking fun at a player’s musical tastes while also signaling a change in formation during the Wolves’ 3-0 Tuesday victory at Dublin. “I am not a Swiftie,” coach Mark Jones said, who added that standout striker and avid Swift fan Lauren Kealy chose the references. “I am just passing on the word. Just passing on the nomenclature to have us change the shape.” While the players laughed at the music-themed code words, they also immediately snapped into a new formation and maintained their grip on the contest. It was an example of what has made San Ramon Valley the team to beat in the East Bay Athletic League, if not the entire Bay Area. A year after the team made it to the NCS Division I semifinals, SRV is ranked No. 1 in the...
    SAN RAMON — Granada had the perfect game plan to silence California’s home crowd on Friday night. The Matadors swished 3-pointers. They dunked. They sliced through the paint for easy buckets. They made steals. They blocked shots. “We were all thinking about that last game,” NaVaughn Long said. “That last game we lost by one. That was all in the back of our heads.” That last game against California was at the San Ramon Valley tournament more than a month ago. In the rematch Friday, Granada exploded for 29 points in the first quarter, charged to a 24-point lead in the second quarter and held off the hosts after halftime to win the East Bay Athletic League game 74-58. Tyler Harris led the visitors with 25 points. Andrew McKeever, Granada’s 6-foot-11 St. Mary’s-bound center, finished with 19 points and Long had 18 points. Amari Gray scored 29 points to lead California. When the teams met on Dec. 9, McKeever was one of three Granada players who missed the game. California won 54-53. “We wanted to come out and show them...
    CONCORD — Trailing by four with under two minutes to play in an epic East Bay Athletic League game against San Ramon Valley, De La Salle stayed calm and kept believing. “Basketball’s a simple game,” sophomore star Alec Blair would later say. “Just put the ball in the basket and don’t let the other team put the ball in the basket.” Two days after beating a team from Oregon that is ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today, De La Salle returned to its home court on Wednesday night and scored the final eight points to win another thriller, 59-55. The victory improved the Spartans’ record to 16-4 overall and 3-1 in the EBAL. San Ramon Valley fell to 16-4, 0-3. The visitors led 55-51 when Seamus Deely scored on a layup in transition, drew a foul and made the free throw. De La Salle coach Marcus Schroeder called a timeout with 1:55 to go. From there, Arshawn Salkhi hit a shot to make it 55-53, and Blair followed with a putback amid a sea of hands and bodies that...
    Girls basketball Things are starting to heat up once again for San Ramon Valley. After suffering rare back-to-back losses two weeks ago, the Wolves outlasted Carondelet 76-69 in a non-league matchup between Top 10 teams on Tuesday night. Sofia Bowes led the way for San Ramon Valley — ranked eighth by the Bay Area News Group — with 25 points and seven rebounds. Amanda Kerner added 16 points and Sierra Chambers chipped in with 15 points for the Wolves. No. 5 Carondelet, which returned home Monday from a two-game trip to Seattle, fell to 17-4. The result stretched San Ramon Valley’s win streak to six games as the Wolves improved to 16-3, 4-0. “It just validates all the hard work the girls have been putting in through the summer and fall,” San Ramon Valley coach John Christiano said. “We have the belief and trust in each other that we can win these big games against great teams. “They brought connectivity and they brought passion. It started at the first tip and ended at the last free throw in the game.”...
    Boys basketball Among the many goals that California has this season, beating San Ramon Valley was at the top of the list. The Grizzlies – ranked seventh in the Bay Area News Group – hadn’t beaten the Wolves since 2018. Earlier in the season, California lost to the Wolves by six points in the championship game of the SRV tournament. But Friday night, in front of a packed home crowd in San Ramon, California upset the Bay Area News Group’s No. 2 team with a 62-58 win in East Bay Athletic League play. California improved to 14-4 overall and 2-0 in league play. Kellen Torrey (21 points), Amari Gray (19 points) and Adam Zalami (11 points) scored in double figures for California. “We’re going to treat each league game as if it were a championship game,” California coach Steve Ohlmeyer said. “We have to prepare for it that way. Mentally, physically and everything else, because that’s what you have to do in this league.” MORE BASKETBALL Dublin boys pound the glass in a win over Monte Vista Where...
    DANVILLE — Luke Baker accounted for 51 touchdowns this season while leading San Ramon Valley to section and regional championships and overtime of a state title game. Even when the Danville school lost, accolades followed the 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior quarterback. “Luke Baker is a heck of a quarterback,” Granite Hills-El Cajon coach Kellan Cobbs said after his team held off San Ramon Valley in overtime to capture the Division 2-A state championship. McClymonds coach Michael Peters praised Baker similarly after his team edged San Ramon Valley 45-42 in early October. Baker threw for 3,733 and 46 touchdowns, completing 270 of 420 attempts (64.3%). He also ran for 237 yards and five TDs. San Ramon Valley finished 12-3, a resume that included a 35-21 victory over previously undefeated Campolindo in the North Coast Section Division II final and a 19-17 win over Marin Catholic for the NorCal 2-A title. In the 2-A state final, Baker threw two TD passes and ran for a TD as San Ramon Valley charged back to force overtime before losing 31-24. It all added to a clear...
    SAN RAMON — An electric crowd and a special guest greeted the Bay Area’s hottest boys basketball teams Tuesday night. And through three quarters in a packed San Ramon Valley gym, they were dead even, just as they were at halftime. But in a blink of an eye, Dougherty Valley — the Bay Area News News Group’s top-ranked team — scored nine unanswered points, a run to start the final quarter that was too much for second-ranked San Ramon Valley to overcome. When the clock reached zero, the visitors celebrated a 64-58 victory to open what will no doubt be an East Bay Athletic League gauntlet for both teams. Connor Sevilla and Ryan Beasley, both of whom missed last week because of illness, carried much of the offensive load for Dougherty Valley (16-1, 1-0). Sevilla finished with 30 points and Beasley added 20. But defense helped swing the tide in the game’s most crucial point. “That’s a credit to the whole team,” Sevilla said. “We played great defense in that little stretch and that’s really what lifted us on top...
    DANVILLE — San Ramon Valley’s boys basketball players and coaches collectively cheered and hollered from the bench after each of Luke Isaak’s seven three-pointers in Thursday’s 89-79 win over Oakland. But one voice was noticeably absent among the sideline cacophony. Longtime assistant coach Hans de Lannoy, who has battled cancer for several years and recently entered hospice care, wanted to join the team for its first game since winning a premier division at The Classic at Damien in Southern California last week. “We’re playing the season for him,” said Isaak, MVP of the SoCal tournament. While de Lannoy was ultimately unable to attend, the players hoped their winning performance would make him smile once the team called de Lannoy on the phone later that evening. “He means everything to us,” senior guard Parker McClaughry said. “He has done everything for us, so now it’s our turn to give back to him. We’re trying to give him something to be happy about and help him keep going.” DANVILLE –  San Ramon Valley guard Luke Isaak rests on the bench during the...
    Boys basketball It was quite a league opener for Berkeley on Tuesday night. The Yellowjackets beat Bishop O’Dowd for the time since December 2008, snapping a 21-game losing streak against the perennial Oakland powerhouse with a 57-55 victory at home to open West Alameda County Conference Foothill Division play. Ollie Miller (19 points), Samir O’Brien (11) and Will Polishuk (10) led Berkeley in scoring as the Yellowjackets improved to 9-3 overall. O’Dowd, which played a challenging non-league schedule, fell to 4-8. “Obviously it was a great win for us,” Berkeley coach Mike Hudson said in an email Wednesday. “O’Dowd is always tough and well coached and coming in we know we would need contributions from everyone, which we did. “Ollie stepped up in the clutch and made some big-time shots for us down the stretch. Collectively our defense was incredible! Played physical, great communication all night and the crowd last night was amazing. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling!” Berkeley plays host to Castro Valley on Thursday. O’Dowd visits Alameda on Friday. No. 1 Dougherty Valley 75, Kennedy-Fremont 38...
    One day after knocking Memphis commit Mikey Williams and his star-studded San Ysidro squad from the winner’s bracket in the top division at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic, Dougherty Valley hoped to leave its game against St. Augustine-San Diego on Thursday night with a berth in the final. But instead of another fast-breaking points-fest, St. Augustine slipped past the plodding Wildcats 62-58 and ended their great run in the National Division semifinals. The same layups and jump shots that seemed automatic a day ago were suddenly rimming out for Dougherty Valley, who squandered a 29-27 halftime lead and lost its first game of the year (12-1). Connor Sevilla scored a game-high 24 points for the Wildcats, and backcourt partner Ryan Beasley scored 14. Wing Blake Hudson notched 13 points. Coach Mike Hansen said the frustrating loss, which featured St. Augustine burning the Wildcats on several out-of-bounds plays, may end up benefitting his team in the long run. “We have to clean up our execution because when you play good teams like we did tonight, stuff gets exposed,” Hansen said. “As...
    When Frank Knight saw the mass flight cancellations happening around the nation on Monday night, the Moreau Catholic boys basketball coach knew he needed a Plan B in case his team wasn’t able to fly out of Oakland to Southern California to play in the Desert Holiday Classic. That’s when he went to Moreau Catholic athletic director Erica Escalante for help. She picked up the phone and started calling charter bus companies to see if they had any vehicles to spare. Luckily for the Mariners, a 28-seat bus was available, but the paperwork wasn’t finalized until around midnight on Tuesday. The Mariners left Hayward at 5 a.m. and didn’t get to their game until 15 minutes before the 6:30 p.m. tip-off. Moreau Catholic beat Fairmont Prep 79-57. “I learned that the team is resilient,” Knight said. “I told them this is how life goes. You have to expect the unexpected. You can’t really predict it, but you can control how you respond.” The San Ramon Valley girls basketball team was in a similar situation on Tuesday. Coach John Cristiano was...
    San Ramon Valley basketball player Sofia Bowes is the Bay Area News Group girls athlete of the week of Dec. 5-10 after she received 12,636 votes (41.58%) by the 5 p.m. deadline on Wednesday. Monte Vista soccer player Rylan Park grabbed 7,334 votes (24.14%) to finish second. Carondelet basketball player Keisha Vitalicio finished third. Related Articles High School Sports | Pittsburg promotes Charlie Ramirez to head football coach High School Sports | High school girls soccer rankings: Bay Area News Group Top 15 High School Sports | High school boys soccer rankings: Bay Area News Group Top 15 High School Sports | High school boys basketball rankings: Bay Area News Group Top 20 High School Sports | High school girls basketball rankings: Bay Area News Group Top 20 Bowes, a San Ramon Valley junior, had 18 points, six assists and eight rebounds in a 64-50 win over No. 4 Pinewood. Bowes helped the Wolves get off to a 4-1 record, which includes wins over St. Ignatius and San Marin....
    MISSION VIEJO — Luke Baker stood on the Saddleback College field Saturday afternoon, his green helmet on, tears dripping down his cheeks and a football under his arm. The San Ramon Valley quarterback did it all in an attempt to capture a state championship for the Danville school. He scrambled for big yards when there were seemingly no big yards to be gained. He made big passes. He led his team back one series after another in the second half. But there would be no celebration for San Ramon Valley when the game ended in overtime. Baker’s final pass of the day and his junior season fell incomplete near the sideline. When it did, Granite Hills finally exhaled as the El Cajon school won the Division 2-A state title 31-24 in a game the participants on both sides won’t forget. “We deserved this,” Baker said through tears. “The seniors on our team, they deserved this, man.” Baker mentioned one of his best friends, senior receiver Gavin Jones, who suffered a season-ending knee injury weeks ago. He noted senior receiver Caleb...
    San Ramon Valley kicker Austin Shelton is the Bay Area News Group’s boys high school athlete of the week for Nov. 28-Dec. 3 after he had 41.88% of the vote at the 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday. Pinole Valley football player Maddox Wu (30.85%) finished second and Archbishop Mitty basketball player Derek Sangster (18.14%) took third. Congratulations to all the candidates for this week’s recognition. With 18 seconds left, Shelton split the uprights from 37 yards out in a cold rainstorm to lift host San Ramon Valley to a 19-17 victory over Marin Catholic for the NorCal Division 2-A championship on Saturday night. Shelton also kicked a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter. SRV will play Granite Hills-El Cajon for the 2-A state title on Saturday in Mission Viejo. To nominate an athlete for next week’s poll, email highschools@bayareanewsgroup.com by Monday, Dec. 12, at 11 a.m. Please include stats and team results. We also review stats submitted to MaxPreps.com by coaches/team statisticians for consideration. Winners are announced each Friday on the Mercury News & East Bay Times websites and, starting Sept. 30, in...
    In one of the biggest moments in the school’s football history, San Ramon Valley asked its junior kicker to send the team to a state championship. Pelted by rain and with only 18 seconds on the clock, Austin Shelton split the uprights from 37 yards away to win a Northern California title. Without that kick, the Wolves would not be making the trip to Mission Viejo for the Division 2-A state title game Saturday against Granite Hills-El Cajon. As Shelton ran down the field in celebration last weekend, the entire San Ramon Valley team joyously chased after him. “To make a game-winning kick was a dream ever since I was a kid,” Shelton said after the Wolves beat Marin Catholic 19-17. “I was like, ‘Let’s go win this and go to state.’” If the state championship comes down to a pressure kick, coach Aaron Becker and the entire team knows they have a guy capable of coming through. “I have 100 percent faith in Austin,” receiver Zack Dodson said. Shelton is just one of the strengths of a junior class...
    DANVILLE – Down by one point with a 18 seconds left and needing two yards to pick up a first down, San Ramon Valley coach Aaron Becker sent the offense to the sideline and asked Austin Shelton to make the kick of his life on fourth down.  The junior kicker was up to the occasion.  He banged in a 37-yard field goal in the pouring rain and gusting wind to beat previously-undefeated Marin Catholic 19-17 in the 2-A NorCal playoff. Those three points sent the Wolves to their first state championship game in school history, where they will play Granite Hills.   “This is like what we do in practice, where on Wednesdays we run pressure kick situation drills with the whole team surrounding me,” Shelton said. “This is just routine.”  San Ramon Valley’s Marco Jones (23) and Sawyer French (71) celebrate a 19-17 victory over Marin Catholic in the championship game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, in Danville, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)  In a game played during a rainstorm, passing the ball was never going to be a reliable...
    DUBLIN — Make no mistake about it: San Ramon Valley kept last year’s loss to Campolindo front and center for the last week entering Friday night’s NCS Division II championship game. “As soon as our game ended last week, we checked the score of the Campo-Cotate game and we saw Campo won and we just lit up with joy,” junior quarterback Luke Baker. “We were so ready to come here and get revenge on them.” When discussing last year’s 17-14 loss in the DII semifinals, Senior Caleb Padrid said, “That’s just something that sticks with you. I was on the field when they took the final kneel to beat us and I still had that taste in my mouth.” That taste is no longer there for the Wolves, who avenged the loss with a 35-21 win over the Cougars at Dublin High School to win the Division II championship. It was Padrid who helped flip the script, grabbing the first of three second-half interceptions the Wolves had against Dashiell Weaver, Campolindo’s standout senior quarterback. San Ramon Valley senior Caleb Padrid...
    ALAMO — This affluent, typically quiet community became the subject of a criminal investigation of Breaking Bad proportions after police discovered a suspected meth lab operating right next door to a fire station, according to authorities. It all started around 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 4, when a rental property on the 1000 block of Stone Valley Road burst into flames. The responding firefighters did not have to travel far; the property was right next door to San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District Station 32. After dealing with the fire, emergency responders called in hazmat and police investigators, who seized three barrels full of suspected methamphetamine or precursor chemicals. They also seized various equipment believed to be involved in the manufacturing of the drug. The news site News 24-680 reported that neighboring homes were “rocked” by the blast and that traffic on Stone Valley Road was shut down while the hazmat team was there. Police say three people were seen frantically fleeing the area immediately after the blast, including two men who drove off in a Dodge Ram pickup truck, and...
    Ten girls volleyball teams from the Bay Area News Group’s coverage area remain in the hunt for a trip next weekend to Orange for the state championships. They are: Open Division: St. Francis, Archbishop Mitty, San Ramon Valley Division I: Valley Christian Division II: Aragon Division III: Mercy-Burlingame, Menlo-Atherton Division IV: Head-Royce Division V: Skyline, Berean Christian The Northern California regional semifinals will be played at home sites on Saturday, followed by regional finals Tuesday night. The Bay Area’s top two teams – St. Francis and Mitty – are on a collision course to meet once again. St. Francis is 5-0 this season against its West Catholic Athletic League rival but the past two matches between the teams were stretched to a decisive fifth set, including in the Central Coast Section Open Division final last weekend. Mitty beat St. Francis in the NorCal Open final last year. Both will be at home for semifinal matches Saturday evening, with top-seeded St. Francis (32-0) playing No. 4 seed San Ramon Valley (28-7) and second-seeded Mitty (29-8) facing No. 3 seed Oak Ridge...
    DANVILLE – At halftime of Friday night’s game against host San Ramon Valley, Clayton Valley Charter’s offense was as balanced as you can get: 156 yards rushing and 156 yards passing. Meanwhile, the Ugly Eagles’ defense limited the Wolves to 115 total yards in the first half as Clayton Valley took a 21-point lead. It eventually won 42-28, holding San Ramon Valley to its fewest point total of the season in a battle between two teams in the Top 15 of the Bay Area News Group rankings. “We played a little more cover-2 than we normally do to take away the short stuff, and then we played a three-high safety, which we haven’t done a lot of this year … The d-line did a good job, too,” said Clayton Valley defensive coordinator John Canesa, who gave kudos to San Ramon Valley star quarterback Luke Baker. “You can’t stop him. What we wanted to do was just try and minimize the yards after the catch. He’s going to get his completions, he’s that good. And he ran very well tonight.” Baker...
    OAKLAND – Jaivian Thomas ran for four touchdowns, each one seemingly more improbable than the last. But it was his non-scoring scamper deep in the fourth that was possibly the most consequential of his carries. McClymonds was reeling, having blown a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter and now tied 42 apiece with the visiting San Ramon Valley. The Warriors needed a play to go their way. And as he had done all night, Thomas’ legs gave McClymonds what it needed. He took the handoff around the 30-yard line, and evaded one tackler. Then another whiffed as Thomas accelerated downfield. By the time the Wolves got him on the ground, Thomas had run for 41 yards and given the Oakland Athletic League powerhouse some momentum. A few more carries got McClymonds into field goal range, and the Warriors kicked the field goal to go up 45-42. “I try to get into the endzone every time I touch the ball, but I wouldn’t be able to do that without my linemen,” Thomas said. “My linemen, they work the hardest.” But that...
    For the second week in a row, a San Ramon Valley football player is the Bay Area News Group’s boys high school athlete of the week. John Ben Pau Mendoza received 14,635 votes (43.66%) by the 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday to capture this week’s honor (Sept. 12-17). Menlo School cross country runner Landon Pretre finished second and Moreau Catholic football player Dean-Taylor Chapman placed third. Congratulations to all the candidates for this week’s recognition. Mendoza follows teammate Luke Baker to give San Ramon Valley back-to-back athletes of the week. The junior scored three touchdowns last Friday to help the undefeated Wolves roll past Las Lomas 41-17. Mendoza carried only six times and finished with 88 yards as San Ramon Valley improved to 3-0 heading into its game Friday at Liberty. To nominate an athlete for next week’s poll, email highschools@bayareanewsgroup.com by Monday, Sept. 26, at 11 a.m. Please include stats and team results. We also review stats submitted to MaxPreps.com by coaches/team statisticians for consideration. Winners are announced each Friday on the Mercury News & East Bay Times websites. Past winners Sept. 5-10:...
    San Ramon Valley quarterback Luke Baker has been named Bay Area News Group boys high school athlete of the week for Sept. 5-10 after he received 16,405 votes (45.21%) by the 5 p.m. deadline Wednesday. Acalanes football player Trevor Rogers finished second and Archbishop Riordan football player King-Njhsanni Wilhite placed third. Congratulations to all the candidates for this week’s recognition. Baker, a 5-10, 180-pound junior, was spectacular in a 35-28 victory at home over Elk Grove. He completed 28 of 41 passes for 426 yards and four touchdowns as the Wolves improved to 2-0. In a season-opening 41-7 win over Vintage, Baker threw for 208 yards and two TDs on 14-of-17 passing. To nominate an athlete for next week’s poll, email highschools@bayareanewsgroup.com by Monday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m. Please include stats and team results. We also review stats submitted to MaxPreps.com by coaches/team statisticians for consideration. Winners are announced each Friday on the Mercury News & East Bay Times websites. Past winners Aug. 28-Sept. 3: Luke Llabres, Willow Glen water polo Aug. 22-27: Mikhail Popov, College Park water polo Related Articles ...
    San Ramon Valley softball player Paige McLeod has been named the Bay Area News Group’s girls high school athlete of the week for May 16-22 after she had 8,510 votes (40.05%) when the 5 p.m. deadline arrived Wednesday. Aragon softball player Brooke Tran (7,182 votes/33.80%) took second and Heritage softball player Kasey Aguinaga finished third. Congratulations to all the candidates for this week’s recognition. McLeod, a junior pitcher/first baseman, threw a complete game in San Ramon Valley’s 2-1 win over Bishop O’Dowd in the first round of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs. She allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out eight. McLeod ended the week with 156 strikeouts in 160⅔ innings and a .400 batting average with 13 extra-base hits. She has pitched about 90 percent of SRV’s innings. To nominate an athlete for next week’s honor, email highschools@bayareanewsgroup.com by Monday, May 30, at 11 a.m. We also review stats submitted to MaxPreps.com by coaches/team statisticians for consideration. Winners are announced each Friday on the Mercury News & East Bay Times websites. Past winners May 9-15: Layla Michelson, St. Mary’s-Berkeley...
    LIVERMORE — Granada beat San Ramon Valley twice during the regular season, both times in close, competitive games. The third meeting Tuesday was all Granada, a 7-0 victory in the North Coast Section Division I semifinals. The Matadors moved on to the D-1 championship game Friday at home against No. 2 seed Heritage, in a 5 p.m. start. The two previous meetings between Granada and SRV ended 2-0 and 4-1 in extra innings. “We went through a little patch where we were underperforming.” Granada coach John Heinz said. “Now the girls have come around, really hitting the ball well in practice.” Granada center fielder Makayla Winchell came into the game with a .505 batting average and didn’t do any damage to that lofty mark at all, banging out four singles in four at-bats. She got Granada (26-3) started with a single to left to lead off the bottom of the first. She stole second, went to third on a ground out and was able to slow-walk home when freshman cleanup hitter Delaney Aumua belted an opposite-field triple into the right-field...
    CONTRA COSTA COUNTY — Firefighters were working to contain the Highland Fire Monday afternoon in hills south of Tassajara, authorities said. The fire began around 2:50 p.m., with reports of flames seen from Camino Tassajara and Highland Road. Alameda County Fire Department, San Ramon Valley Fire Deprtment and Contra Costa County Fire Protection District firefighters responded alongside CalFire resources to battle the fire, initially estimated at about 25 to 30 acres in size with a moderate rate of spread. There were no reported threats to structures or reports of injuries, and a cause was under investigation. Check back for updates. Firefighters are responding to a Vegetation Fire in the area of Camino Tassajara and Highland Road pic.twitter.com/gLYy2jAiog — San Ramon Valley Fire (@srvfire) May 23, 2022 Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.
    Baseball De La Salle clinches the top EBAL seed De La Salle, playing at home in Concord, overcame three deficits to defeat San Ramon Valley 7-6 on Wednesday and clinch the top seed in next week’s East Bay Athletic League tournament. With one regular-season league game to play, De La Salle leads California and Foothill by two games. Ethan Dungo had three hits and two RBIs, Kai Smith had two hits and two RBIs and Anthony Martinez homered for the seventh time this season to lead the Spartans. De La Salle, the Bay Area News Group’s top-ranked team, improved to 19-4 overall and 11-1 in the league. San Ramon Valley fell to 13-9, 7-5. The 18th-ranked Wolves led 1-0 after one inning, 3-2 in the third and 6-3 in the fourth. Each time, De La Salle came back. No. 6 Palo Alto 13, Los Altos 3 Danny Peters had himself a senior day. He had two hits, knocked in six runs and scored a run to lead Palo Alto to a rout of Los Altos in a Santa Clara Valley...
    In a memo that he shared with the school’s baseball community last week and emailed over the weekend to the Bay Area News Group, former San Ramon Valley baseball coach Tony Battilega cited an unsupportive administration, parent dishonesty and his own mental and physical health concerns as the reasons he submitted his resignation last week with three games left on the schedule. Battilega, in an interview on Sunday, said he didn’t make the decision to step down from a team ranked 10th in the latest Bay Area News Group Top 20 without a lot of thought and patience. Ultimately, he determined that the environment was too toxic for him to continue. He resigned on Thursday, according to the school district. Battilega’s memo is dated the previous day. An email from the Bay Area News Group on Friday to San Ramon Valley principal Whitney Cottrell and athletic director Greg Ochs was forwarded by Cottrell to a district spokesperson, who confirmed that Battilega had resigned but declined to provide a reason. “We can’t share that due to privacy reasons,” San Ramon Valley...
    Baseball St. Francis scored 18 runs in its first six West Catholic Athletic League games, relying on pitching and defense to remain undefeated in league play. Friday, the offense joined the fun. Elias Duncan led off the first inning at Archbishop Mitty with a home run, his first of the season. The junior shortstop opened the second inning with a home run, too. Wyatt King followed Duncan’s second homer with one of his own, the back-to-back shots extending the Lancers’ lead to six. St. Francis went on to a 15-6 victory that was 15-1 until Mitty scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh. The decisive margin came as a welcome surprise for the Lancers, who won their previous six WCAL games by an average of 2.3 runs. “It’s a lot more comfortable,” Duncan said. “A lot less stressful pitches towards the end of the game. But it was a good team win. The energy was great throughout. That’s what really propelled us.” The Lancers reached the midway point of the league’s round-robin schedule 7-0. They are 12-2...
    Baseball No. 8 San Ramon Valley 4, Dougherty Valley 3 (8 innings) San Ramon Valley had to dig deep to stay undefeated in East Bay Athletic League play. Trailing by two after one inning Wednesday, the Wolves rallied on their home field in Danville to beat Dougherty Valley in extra innings. San Diego State-bound Jaron Nevarez hit a home run and tied the score in the eighth with a double. Blake Jacobs, a UC Santa Barbara commit, knocked in the winning run with a walk-off single. Nevarez finished 2 for 4 as the Wolves improved to 9-2 overall and 5-0 in the league. With the score tied 3-3, the bases loaded and the infield drawn in, @blakejacobs_ delivers the knockout punch with the game winner to RF. Wolves walk off Dougherty Valley in the Bottom of the 8th. pic.twitter.com/SKZyvRuCw1— SRV Baseball (@SRVBaseball1) March 24, 2022 Dougherty Valley grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the first. After San Ramon Valley scored single runs in the fourth and fifth, the visitors reclaimed the lead with a run in the eighth. Matt Gonsalves...
    SAN JOSE – It’s not uncommon to witness a blowout in the CIF NorCal regional girls basketball Open Division quarterfinals. It’s another thing to encounter a running clock in the fourth quarter. Such was the case Wednesday night as No. 2 Archbishop Mitty unleashed its uncompromising full-court press on visiting San Ramon Valley, which trailed by 40 points entering the fourth quarter and eventually lost 74-36. “It’s an exceptional basketball team that is going to do exceptional things,” SRV coach John Cristiano said of the Monarchs. Five days earlier, Mitty (28-1) trailed midway through the third quarter of the Central Coast Section Open Division title game in Santa Cruz at the Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Monarchs closed out the game on a 36-12 run to claim a 30th section title in program history. The seventh-seeded Wolves (26-5) didn’t allow any points for nearly two minutes and actually led 2-0, but it wasn’t long before Mitty found its footing as it scored 27 of the next 31 points. The Monarchs went on to sink nine 3-pointers in the first half and...
    DANVILLE — It’s not like it was a topic of discussion, given that San Ramon Valley High was in the midst of a taught first-round Northern California Division II boys playoff game against Burlingame Tuesday night. But surely the Wolves remembered that under similar circumstances just three days before in the North Coast Section Division II final against Salesian, they’d let a three-point lead slip away in the final minutes on their home floor. Not this time. The eighth-seeded Wolves never trailed in a 53-45 win over Burlingame, although the No. 9 Panthers made them work for it even if they never quite got over the hump. San Ramon Valley, 18-9, advances to face top-seeded Elk Grove on the road in the second round Thursday night. Burlingame’s season is over at 21-6. Parker McClaughery led San Ramon Valley with 16 points, with Seamus Peely adding eight and William Ambidge and Mason Thomas seven each. For Burlingame, guard Sean Richardson led the way with 17 points with Carson Robenault adding nine on three 3-pointers. “We’ve been in a lot of tight...
    DANVILLE — In December and January, when Salesian High was hit with a seemingly endless run of bad luck having mostly to do with the COVID-19 virus, the thought of raising a North Coast Section title pennant seemed almost unthinkable. Yet there was the Pride Saturday night, accepting its first-place medals and posing for pictures with family following a 49-47 road win against top-seeded San Ramon Valley in the North Coast Section Division II championship game. “There were plenty of times when we did not envision this,” Salesian coach Bill Mellis said. “I’m proud of these guys because they’ve weathered a lot of storms. We’re finally starting to click.” Salesian, 13-8, lost a big chunk of its season because of COVID-19, with a number of players coming back from a preseason tournament in Las Vegas with the virus and then losing others because opponents couldn’t play for the same reason. Mellis estimates a dozen players and coaches were affected by the virus at various times. It was an uphill battle just to have a postseason, and...
    Bay Area News Group preseason baseball rankings (Records from 2021) No. 1. De La Salle (20-4) — The Spartans ended last season on 13-game win streak. This season they return a deep pitching staff led by junior Cal Randall, a UCLA commit. Handling these arms will be senior catcher Anthony Martinez, who is headed to UC-Irvine. No. 2. Archbishop Mitty (24-5) — The Monarchs will be especially tough with ace RHP Tristan Fox pitching. The 6-4 senior was 9-0, 1.44 ERA in 2021. Zach Yorke and his .304 average are back behind the plate. Jarren Advincula and Alijah Ramos are solid middle infielders. No. 3. San Ramon Valley (15-9) — The Wolves lost four in a row to end last season but did post back-to-back shutouts against De La Salle. This team will be able to mash with 6-4 catcher Nick Putnam, OF Jaron Nevarez and junior 3B Blake Jacobs. Good pitching staff. No. 4. Clayton Valley Charter (18-8) — CVC has four college-bound players returning. C Ryder Helfrick is one of Baseball America’s top 25...
    No. 1 Carondelet 57, No. 5 Bishop O’Dowd 47 CONCORD – Carondelet bolted out to a lead against visiting Bishop O’Dowd in the first quarter Wednesday, then held off a charge by the Dragons to win 57-47 and advance to the North Coast Section Open Division girls basketball championship game. “Just like our first game, they’re never going to quit, they play so hard,” said Carondelet coach Kelly Sopak about fifth-seeded Bishop O’Dowd, which Carondelet also defeated on Dec. 28. “I just thought our kids really responded that fourth quarter. … We just had some big shots late.” Carondelet (24-2), the No. 1 seed, will host No. 3 seed San Ramon Valley (25-3) in Friday’s 7 p.m. championship game after SRV beat Pinole Valley in its semifinal Wednesday. It’ll be the third game between the teams this year after splitting the regular-season series. In Wednesday’s semifinal, Carondelet’s Valentina Ortiz sank a pair of 3-pointers in the first minute, three seconds of the game for a 6-2 Cougars advantage, and Carondelet built the lead to 12-3 by...
    NCS basketball Salesian boys sizzle into D-II final Salesian is peaking at the right time. The second-seeded team in the North Coast Section Division II playoffs won for the eighth time in nine games, hammering Benicia 70-46 Wednesday night. Next up for the Pride is No. 1 seed San Ramon Valley, which eased past fourth-seeded Montgomery 51-35 in the semifinals. The teams play in Danville on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Salesian is only 12-8 after a Covid outbreak sidelined eight players and wiped out a bunch of games. But the Pride has bounced back. Against sixth-seeded Benicia, Salesian stormed to a 35-12 lead at the half. Alvin Loving had 13 points and Tyler Harris contributed 11 for the winners. San Ramon Valley is 17-8 and has won each of its playoff games by at least 15 points. Girls: Can anyone stop Acalanes? Acalanes turned in another impressive performance in the semifinals of the NCS D-!! playoffs, beating No. 5 seed Alameda 53-42 to reach the final against Northgate, a 53-46 winner over Montgomery. Trailing 12-9 at...
    San Ramon Valley is seeded third in the North Coast Section Open Division girls basketball playoffs. But because the Wolves didn’t win their league, they had to travel to Brentwood on Thursday night to play sixth-seeded Heritage, the champion of the Bay Valley Athletic League. The NCS bylaw didn’t keep the visitors from advancing. After a tight first half, San Ramon Valley eventually broke it open for a 63-45 victory that moved the Wolves into a semifinal matchup Wednesday against second-seeded Salesian. Sierra Chambers scored 21 points and Natalie Pasco added 18 points to lead SRV, which was coming off a loss to Carondelet on Saturday in the East Bay Athletic League championship game. Kendall McClure had 12 points and Zeni Purge and Amanda Muse each scored 10 points for Heritage. After the teams played to a 15-15 draw through one quarter, SRV led 28-27 at halftime and 44-37 after the third quarter. In the other first-round Open Division game, fifth-seeded Bishop O’Dowd went to Santa Rosa and beat fourth-seeded Cardinal News 58-54....
    DANVILLE – In emphatic fashion, second-ranked Carondelet announced on Saturday night it doesn’t plan to lose again. The Cougars not only claimed the East Bay Athletic League title with a 64-49 victory at top-ranked San Ramon Valley, but this was also an opportunity to atone for what occurred two weeks earlier in the same gymnasium. In fact, the pregame speech reiterated a message sent inside the locker room after a 64-60 upset by SRV on Jan. 29 – the only setback against any team from Northern California. “The thing that we talked about immediately after the loss is we had to earn the right to be back here,” Carondelet coach Kelly Sopak said. “I know everyone assumed the likelihood we’d be back, but there was no guarantee. We had to earn our way back and I think that really kept them focused in the moment.” Carondelet (24-2), which is virtually guaranteed to be the No. 1 seed in the Open Division when the North Coast Section brackets are announced Sunday, looked nearly flawless in front of...
    Boys basketball EBAL semifinals De La Salle trailed by a point in the final seconds of the third quarter when Alec Blair showed why he is no ordinary freshman. With San Ramon Valley in position for the last shot, Blair made a block near the top of the arc, grabbed the ball, dribbled across midcourt while being closely defended and somehow buried a 3-pointer as time expired. “It was a huge play, obviously,” De La Salle coach Marcus Schroeder said. “It swung the momentum. It was a ridiculous play. But he’s obviously capable of doing some pretty cool stuff.” The Spartans, playing at home in Concord, took command in the fourth quarter on the way to a 61-50 victory Thursday night that sent them to the East Bay Athletic League final Saturday. De La Salle will play host to fifth-seeded Granada, which had a big second half to upset top seed Dublin 61-52 in the other semifinal Thursday. Ths second-seeded Spartans (20-4) have won 10 in a row since opening EBAL play with...
    The next wave of high school football players announced their college commitments Wednesday, including Bay Area standouts Hassan “The Missil3” Mahasin out of Open Division state runner-up Serra and Cal-bound Jackson Brown out of San Ramon Valley. Mahasin, last spring’s Bay Area News Group player of the year, suffered a torn ACL in October. But that didn’t slow down the recruiting efforts from San Diego State, which beat out Boise State, San Jose State and Colorado in pursuit of the 5-foot-10, 175-pound three-star athlete. “They were still fighting for me and still showed love, especially after I tore my ACL,” Mahasin said. “They were the first ones to call me and let me know my scholarship was still there and they still want me. That’s what pretty much made it feel like home.” The Aztecs secured a commitment from Serra offensive lineman Drew Azzopardi during the December early signing period but patiently waited to ink his teammate until national signing day. Mahasin, who went on an unofficial visit in July and toured the campus again a...
    Boys basketball Tom Costello loves his team. The longtime Dublin boys basketball coach said the two hours he’s on the court with his players brightens each day. That made a difference Tuesday night, Costello said. Playing in front of its first electric atmosphere in nearly two years, Dublin could have faded into darkness when rival Dougherty Valley surged on its home court in San Ramon to a 16-point lead through three quarters. But the Gaels charged back to force overtime. When the game ended, the visitors celebrated a 74-72 victory that put them one victory away from clinching the top seed in next week’s East Bay Athletic League tournament. “It’s been a weird season,” Costello said. “I’m not just saying this because we got a big win tonight. That’s a huge win against a really good team on their court. But I don’t know where I’d be, mentally, if I didn’t like my guys. I absolutely love this group of guys. “I think that’s one of the main reasons we were able to...
    Boys basketball Bay Area News Group Top 20 No. 1 CAMPOLINDO (18-1) Previous ranking: 1 What’s happened since the last ranking: Won two big ones at home, turning back Miramonte and Northgate in league play to stretch winning streak to 12 games. Up next: Wednesday at Clayton Valley Charter, 7 p.m. No. 2 ARCHBISHOP MITTY (14-4) Previous ranking: 3 What’s happened since the last ranking: Victories at St. Francis and at home against Bellarmine kept the Monarchs on top of the WCAL standings. Up next: Wednesday at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 7:30 p.m. No. 3 DE LA SALLE (16-4) Previous ranking: 5 What’s happened since the last ranking: Six-game winning streak has elevated the Spartans from last place to first place in the EBAL standings. Up next: Thursday vs. Granada, 7 p.m. No. 4 MIRAMONTE (16-2) Previous ranking: 4 What’s happened since the last ranking: Went on the road and gave Campo a battle on Friday before losing 55-46. Bounced back to rout College Park. ...
    San Ramon Valley High won its home East Bay Athletic League girls basketball game 64-60 against top-ranked Carondelet on Saturday in Danville. Natalie Pasco led the Wolves with 24 points, and Jaime Kent scored 18 points for Carondelet. Both teams next have 7 p.m. games, with San Ramon Valley hosting Amador Valley on Tuesday, February 1, and Carondelet traveling to Pleasanton to face Foothill on Monday. Click here for more about the game. See a photo you like? Click here to purchase a high-quality print or a keepsake photo on a mug, button, greeting card and more. DANVILLE, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 29: San Ramon Valley High’s Sadie Carter (23) and Allison Stern (24) celebrate during team introductions before the start of their basketball game against Carondelet in Danville, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)  DANVILLE, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 29: From left, San Ramon Valley High’s Sierra Chambers (3), Carondelet’s Katie Kostolansky (23), San Ramon Valley High’s Natalie Pasco (32) and Carondelet’s Valentina Ortiz (30) battle for a loose ball in the...
    Girls basketball The battle for the No. 1 girls basketball team in the Bay Area — and Northern California, for that matter — just got real interesting. On Saturday afternoon, Salesian beat St. Mary’s-Stockton. A few hours later, San Ramon Valley took care of business at home against the Bay Area News Group’s top-ranked team, Carondelet. Throw Archbishop Mitty, Pinewood, Bishop O’Dowd and St. Ignatius – plus Folsom of the Sacramento area – into the mix and it’s pretty clear that the NorCal regionals are going to be completely up for grabs. Let’s start with Saturday. The most anticipated game of the weekend unfolded in Danville. Carondelet was riding high, having won seven in a row since its only previous loss, to a Texas powerhouse in the final of the West Coast Jamboree in Livermore. The Cougars’ resume included a one-point win over St. Ignatius, a seven-point win over Bishop O’Dowd and an 11-point win over Archbishop Mitty. The Concord powerhouse, now in its second season under former Miramonte coach Kelly Sopak, was expected...
    SRV hands Dougherty Valley its first defeat Leading by eight points with less than three minutes to play Friday night, San Ramon Valley found itself tied on the road against Dougherty Valley as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Seamus Deely made sure there’d be no overtime. The San Ramon Valley sophomore slid across the lane to rebound a teammate’s missed 3-pointer, turned, and shot. The ball banked off the backboard and dropped through the hoop as time expired, giving SRV a 63-61 victory that left Dougherty Valley tasting defeat for the first time this season. The winners improved to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the East Bay Athletic League. Dougherty Valley, ranked second by the Bay Area News Group, dropped to 14-1, 2-1. No. 17 SRV seemed comfortably in control earlier in the fourth quarter, leading 59-51 with under three minutes to go. But Dougherty Valley had a late run. MORE BASKETBALL Bay Area News Group boys, girls basketball rankings Top-ranked Campolindo holds off Clayton Valley Dougherty Valley...
    DANVILLE – At halftime Friday night, it appeared that the rivalry battle between San Ramon Valley and Monte Vista would be a low-scoring affair. Each team had nine points. But San Ramon Valley charged out in the second half with touchdowns on its first three possessions and held off a Mustangs fourth-quarter rally to win 30-23. “We just didn’t have that many offensive possessions in the first half, so we just felt like that there were some things we hadn’t tapped into yet that we wanted to come out and get to once we started the second half,” San Ramon Valley coach Aaron Becker said. The Wolves used a counter play effectively on the first drive of the second half, including on a 19-yard touchdown run by Tanner Salisbury for a touchdown. DANVILLE, – CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 5: San Ramon Valley High’s Za’Darion Nardi (21) runs for a first down in the fourth quarter of their football game against Monte Vista High in Danville, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group)  ...
    We’ve reached the final weekend of the high school football regular season in the Bay Area. The playoffs start next week, with five weekends of games before the curtain drops on the season. Our all-for-fun Bay Area News Group picks competition will continue until there are no games left on the schedule. So … There’s still a chance for Mike Lefkow to win the title for the third consecutive season. But even he concedes it’s looking bleakish after he fell even farther behind season-long frontrunner Evan Webeck, who leads yours truly by two games and Lefkow by six. Maybe the race will tighten this weekend. Webeck and I went our separate ways on five of the 17 games we picked, including the huge one between St. Francis and Serra. Lefkow and Webeck chose differently in six of the games. As always, be sure to watch the video as this week we touch on the upcoming playoffs. The brackets in the Central Coast and North Coast sections will be released Sunday. If...
    SAN RAMON — San Ramon Valley High controlled much of the action with a Za’Darion Nardi rushing for 263 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but didn’t secure a win over host California Friday night until two pivotal plays in the fourth quarter. An explosive first half had given way to a more defensive-oriented second half before Cal, trailing 24-20, got in position for a go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies drove from their own 33 to the inside the San Ramon 10, when Trevor Rund got loose but was stripped of the ball before he reached the goal line. It tumbled into the end zone, where Calib Padrid fell on it for a touchback. San Ramon Valley not only averted the score, but three plays later on third-and-10, quarterback Jack Quigley improbably escaped pressure rolling to his left, found Joshua Johnson behind the Cal defense, and hit him for an 81-yard touchdown with 6:29 play. And that was essentially the ballgame. San Ramon Valley, ranked No. 12 in the Bay Area News...
    De La Salle was back at full strength after missing numerous players and coach Justin Alumbaugh last week because of COVID-19 protocols. The result was predictable. The Spartans, playing on the road, built a four-touchdown halftime lead against San Ramon Valley and went on to a 48-14 victory. De La Salle has won four of five since losing to St. Francis in early September and three in a row since its loss to St. Frances Academy of Baltimore this month. The Spartans, ranked third by the Bay Area News Group, are 6-2 overall and 2-0 in the East Bay Athletic League’s Mountain Division. No. 8 San Ramon Valley fell to 5-3, 1-2. Zeke Berry, Charles Greer, Zeke Barber, AJ Bianchina and quarterback Luke Dermon had solid games for De La Salle, which will close its regular season with home games against Amador Valley next Friday and Clayton Valley Charter on Nov. 5. “We spread it everywhere,” Alumbaugh said. “A lot of guys involved. We had everybody back. We had our full team. ...
    CONCORD — On fourth-and-four midway through the fourth quarter Friday night, Clayton Valley Charter coach Tim Murphy flirted with the idea of sneaking the ball for a first down rather than punting, but his gut instinct told him differently. It turned out to be the right choice. As quarterback Brenden Bush snapped the ball for the punt, the Ugly Eagles were penalized, pushing them back five yards.  Now, Murphy and his squad were forced to punt the ball. As the ball went sailing and had a good forward bounce, San Ramon Valley’s Joshua Jackson tried to pick up the ball quickly, but couldn’t come up with it cleanly. The Ugly Eagles recovered the fumble and scored later in the drive to push their lead to two touchdowns. “Punts never work,” Murphy jokingly said. “Generally, nine out of 10 times I’m going to go for a fourth and four, but I’m glad I didn’t because if we would have missed, the game would have been on me.” Instead, the Ugly Eagles held on to win 28-21. ...
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