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Preps Roundup: Redskins plow past Argonaut

The Calaveras Redskins defeated the Argonaut Mustangs 52-45 on Tuesday at Mike Flock Gym in San Andreas in a battle of two teams expected to vie for a boys’ Mother Lode League basketball championship.

The Mustangs and Redskins were ranked second and third, respectively, in a preseason coaches poll.

Jake Land scored 10 points and seven rebounds to lead the Redskins balanced-scoring attack.

Also for Calaveras, Taylor Manning scored nine points, Nick Elliott tallied eight points and grabbed seven rebounds, Jacob Williams netted six points and Dylan Byrd and Terelle Williams each scored five points.

“We played a little tight in the first half, (then) relaxed and got going a little better in the second half,” said Redskins head coach Kraig Clifton. “Great team effort again with balanced scoring. We are sick, injured and that is why we depend on our bench and they came through for us tonight. Again!”

The Redskins (12-1, 1-0 MLL) next will play Summerville (9-5, 0-0 MLL) on Monday in Tuolumne. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.


Quirie wins at Bulldog Classic

Humphrey Quirie is starting to regain his form on the wrestling mat.

Coming off an impressive seventh-place finish at the 88-team California Coast Classic in Santa Cruz last week, Quirie followed that strong performance with a first-place showing at the Bulldog Classic on Saturday in Turlock.

The 160-pound senior won his first two matches by pin and then topped Livingston’s John Aguilar, 9-2, in the semifinals.

In the championship showdown against Turlock’s Andy Orozco, Quirie trailed 3-2 heading into the third period. 

Orozco was penalized a point for an illegal hold, which forced overtime.

With 25 seconds left in the extra session, Quirie secured a double takedown to win 5-3 for a perfect 4-0 record.

“Bottom line, I’m extremely proud of how he wrestled all tournament,” said Summerville head coach Jordan DePaoli. “He’s really stepped it up. He needs to learn how to win those close matches. We’ve been on the short end of those close matches in his career, and by him doing that, he proved that he can do it and win close matches with great wrestlers.”


Jumpers rip Gavilan, CVC play starts Wednesday

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Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Columbia’s Marquell Hubbard scores on a layup on Saturday in the Claim Jumpers’ win over Gavilan at Oak Pavilion.
After being held scoreless in a 67-59 loss to San Joaquin Delta College last Tuesday, Rafe King was not going to let that happen again.

King rattled in eight triples, including all six of his attempts from that distance in the second half, and scored a game- and career-high 31 points en route to helping the Columbia College men’s basketball team dominate Gavilan 93-63 on Saturday in a non-conference clash at Oak Pavilion.

“It was just a lot more fun because there wasn’t anyone face guarding me the whole entire time,” King said. “Gavilan mostly played zone and they went to man a couple of times, but whenever they played zone, it seemed like I was open the entire time. The team did an awesome job of finding the open man. It just felt perfect shooting the ball. No matter what I did, the form was perfect every single time. It was the exact same.”


Redskin boys suffer 1st loss; girls rip Riverbank

The Calaveras Redskins boys’ basketball team had its 11-game winning streak snapped on Friday.

Calaveras fell to Liberty Ranch 70-62 in a non-league game in Galt.

“A really good game played by both teams,” said Redskins head coach Kraig Clifton. “It had a playoff feel to it, which is perfect right before the start of league. We trailed the entire game and closed it to two points with just over 2 minutes to go, but couldn’t get over the hump.”


Cashman to represent USA in France

Keely Cashman has trained much of her entire life to be one of the top alpine skiers in the country.

And after years of commitment and dedication, that time invested on the slopes has paid off.

Keely will represent the United States at the Longines Future Ski Champions race on Saturday in Val d’Isere, France. The 15-year-old Tuolumne County resident, who is a member of the United States National Training Group, earned a coveted spot on the 14-person Giant Slalom competition after outstanding recent performances.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Keely said. “It’s crazy and I never expected this, this early in my career, but it’s pretty awesome. Ever since I started skiing, it’s always been a goal. I was pretty excited. I didn’t really believe it because I didn’t expect it anytime soon. I’m just so happy. I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited to have this opportunity.”


Bears jump on Delhi early for win

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Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Summerville’s Bryce Farrell (above, left) drives to the basket on Tuesday against Delhi in the Bears dominant victory in Tuolumne.
Summerville boys’ basketball coach Ben Watson has an unselfish, team-first philosophy and his Bears, almost all of them, put on an offensive clinic Tuesday night against Delhi.

Twelve different players scored for Summerville and the Bears dominated the Hawks 54-35 in a non-league game in Tuolumne.

Ethan McLaurin recorded a team-high 10 points and Bryce Farrell added eight. Benjamin Richardson racked seven. Summerville shot 54 percent from the field, converting 24 of 44 baskets. The Bears also dished 17 assists and the bench scored 25.

“Team basketball is the focus of what we do,” Watson said. “That’s the plan. They’re great kids. They’re fun to coach. They’ve been great for years. Our philosophy is, ‘The easiest thing in the world to do is to shoot it. It’s to move, screen, cut, get open and deliver the ball that’s a lot tougher.’ We don’t really care who does that easy stuff at the end. It’s all about who does that stuff in the middle that’s important, and that’s what our kids have bought into.”


Redskins win Bret Harte Tourney

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Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Calaveras guard Caleb Hodgson (20) goes up for a shot against Liberty, of Madera Ranchos, on Saturday during the 25th annual BretHarte Boys’ Basketball Tournament in Angels Camp.
Calaveras boys’ basketball coach Kraig Clifton couldn’t have asked for a better start despite the Redskins battling injuries.

After suffering its first loss of the season to Kimball in the team’s season opener, Calaveras has reeled off eight straight victories.

Calaveras won the Riverbank Tournament in early December, and topped Trans Valley League foe Escalon last Tuesday before dispatching Encina Friday, and dominating Liberty, of Madera Ranchos, and Union Mine on Saturday to capture the 25th annual Bret Harte Tournament in Angels Camp.

“Our team depth has really come into play in these last eight games,” Clifton said. “It’s a combination of everyone. It’s someone different every night. It’s someone doing something different, either it’s rebounding or scoring. A lot of guys have stepped up, and we haven’t really played well yet. We haven’t played close to our potential, which is a positive. There’s been a lot of guys contributing, it’s really a team effort right now.”


Sonora pressures, beats D1 Turlock

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esse Jones / Union Democrat Sonora junior Michelle Ries (12, above) a drives to the basket against Turlock on Tuesday night at Bud Castle Gym.
After missing the playoffs last year for the first time in nearly a decade, Sonora Wildcats girls’ basketball coach Amy Santos wanted stiffer competition to help prepare her team for Mother Lode League play.

So Santos scheduled upper-division Turlock and former Valley Oak League rivals Manteca, Oakdale and East Union to open the Wildcats’ slate in the preseason.

And the initial test against Turlock, who entered Tuesday’s non-league game with a perfect 5-0 record, paid off early.

Sonora bolted out to a 12-point halftime lead and knocked off Turlock 62-53 at Bud Castle Gym. Seven Wildcats scored and four different players netted double-digit points. Senior Hannah Garrett registered a team-high 15 and Michelle Ries added 12. Bailey Henington dropped 11 and Gabby Stewart added 10.

“In playoffs, our preseason counts for us,” Santos said. “I wanted to get as many upper-division teams as I can to help our strength of schedule and get a good seed for playoffs.”


Claim Jumpers dominate Modesto, win own tourney

The Columbia College men’s basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better start.

Ian Merzwinski threw down an athletic alley oop dunk to tip off the Columbia College Classic Championship game, and the Claim Jumpers dominated regional rival Modesto Junior College 72-55 on Saturday night at Oak Pavilion.

Alex Kiriluk recorded 11 of his 13 points in the first half and freshman Marquell Hubbard racked a game-high 20. Rafe King added 15. 

“We just ran our offense today and ran it perfectly, just the way we wanted to do,” Merzwinski said. “They let us have open shots and we just kept hitting them. We just want to share the ball. We’re just trying to play as much as we can as a team, and as long as we get the win then we’re all happy.”


Skins win Riverbank Tournament

With only a few games into the season, Kyle Funk is already playing some of his best basketball.

Funk earned Most Valuable Player honors and helped the Calaveras Redskins boys’ basketball team win the Riverbank Tournament.

Calaveras beat Ripon Christian 62-59 in the title game on Saturday, and also defeated Manteca 44-42 Friday and Waterford 67-18 Thursday.

Dylan Byrd and Jacob Williams were named to the All-Tournament team.

In the championship tilt, Calaveras fell behind early 11-0 to Ripon Christian before cutting the deficit to eight at halftime.

Williams scored a team-high 17 points in the finale and Funk added 11. Byrd and Jake Land each had six. Byrd pulled down five boards and Land dished four assists.

“We played much better in the second half,” said Calaveras head coach Kraig Clifton. “Great team win. This was truly a complete team effort to win this tournament.”


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