Rob Hoyt has worked hard to turn around the Columbia College men’s basketball program and the second-year boss, along with a few of his players, has caught the attention of his peers.
Hoyt was named by Central Valley Conference coaches as the co-coach of the year with Fresno City’s Ed Madec on Sunday in a meeting in Fresno.
“It’s really humbling to be honest with you,” Hoyt said. “It’s a tribute to surrounding yourself with good people and showing up to work.”
The Calaveras Redskins reigned supreme on Friday and Saturday at the 2015 Division V Sac-Joaquin Section Wrestling Championships at Bud Castle Gym.
Jesse Jones/Union Democrat Redskin Jason Stokkeland (left) wrestles Waterford’s Matt Profeta in the 132-pound championship on Saturday at Sonora High's Bud Castle Gym.
Calaveras captured first overall as a team with three first-place champions — tied for the most in the tournament — three second-place medals, two third-place medals, one fourth-place medal and two fifth-place finishers. The Redskins earned 232.50 points.
In all, Calaveras tied a school record and will be sending nine wrestlers — Tyler Chavez (106), Jason Stokkeland (132), Anthony Giangregorio (138), Alex Rajewski (145), Trevor Vath (152), Ayden Garcia (170), John Kelley (195), Shane Torre (220) and Jarred Kirk (285) — to the section’s Masters Tournament that will be held on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27 and 28 at Stockton Arena.
“The kids wrestled great,” Calaveras coach Vince Bicocca said. “This team does not have one outstanding superstar. This team is just very solid. We have a lot of good individuals. The level of the whole team has improved over the course of the season.”
Win or lose, Wednesday’s game was going to be be bittersweet.
Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Columbia’s Marquell Hubbard shoots a jumper on Wednesday against Fresno at Oak Pavilion.
It was sophomore night and it was also the Columbia College men’s basketball team’s season finale.
In the end, the Claim Jumpers were able to trim a nine-point, second-half deficit to two with a minute and 41 seconds left in regulation, but fell 69-62 late to No. 1 Fresno City in a Central Valley Conference showdown at Oak Pavilion.
Freshman Marquell Hubbard led Columbia with 15 points and sophomore Tony Williams chipped in 13. Michael Meserole, also a freshman, added nine.
“We didn’t care if they were the last team in the state or the first team in the state,” Meserole said. “We were going to give it all we got, and I felt that we did. They just hit tough shots down the stretch.”
The Calaveras Redskins boys’ basketball team knew it needed to take care of business in its season finale to win its second straight Mother Lode League championship.
And the Redskins did against the Summerville Bears.
Calaveras defeated Summerville 56-44, and with the Sonora Wildcats falling to Amador 62-60 in Sutter Creek, the Redskins claimed the MLL title outright on Tuesday at Mike Flock Gym in San Andreas.
“Hard fought game just like we expected,” Calaveras coach Kraig Clifton said. “Ben (Watson) always makes his teams better and it is really impressive how much they have improved. I think they can shock someone in the playoffs.”
The Sonora Wildcats boys’ hoopsters let a co-Mother Lode League title slip through their grasp.
Amador, who entered Tuesday’s game in Sutter Creek with an 0-11 league record, stunned a Sonora team in a 62-60 upset win. The Wildcats were tied for first-place with a 9-2 mark before falling to the Buffaloes late.
It was senior night for the Sonora Wildcats girls’ basketball team on Tuesday at Bud Castle Gym, and it was only fitting that it was a pair of seniors who provided the fireworks.
Sonora’s Sabrina Truong (4, left) passes to Bailey Henington in the fourth period on Tuesday in the Wildcats 56-20 win over Amador at Bud Castle Gym. Jesse Jones / Union Democrat
Sonora drained 10 triples, led by seniors Sandra Renda’s five and Hannah Garrett’s two, as the Wildcats coasted past the Amador Buffaloes 56-20.
With the win, the Wildcats clinched a share of the Mother Lode League championship with Argonaut. This is their first conference title since 2008.
Renda dropped a game-high 17 points and Garrett scored 10. Brooke Canepa, also a senior, also registered 10 points. In all, 10 different Sonora players got on the score sheet.
Combined, the 2015 senior class recorded 44 of the Wildcat’s 56 points.
“It was an awesome feeling coming out tonight,” Garrett said. “We worked our hardest throughout this whole entire season to get where we are right now. It was one of our goals at the beginning of summer and at the beginning of the year, and we accomplished it. I’m really happy.”
The Calaveras Redskins wrestling team proved once again this season that they are still the Mother Lode League kings of the wrestling mat.
Jesse Jones/Union Democrat Calaveras’ Jason Stokkeland (right, at top) defeated Summerville’s Zach Marquez by decision on Friday to win the Mother Lode League 132-pound title.
Calaveras, who hosted the MLL Tournament, captured the title with a team score of 236.5 points on Friday at Mike Flock Gym in San Andreas. The championship is the Redskins ninth in a row.
Tyler Chavez (106), Johnny Hoskins (120), Jason Stokkeland (132), Anthony Giangregorio (138), Alex Rajewski (145), Ayden Garcia (170), John Kelley (195), Shane Torre (220) and Jarred Kirk (285) all topped their respective weight classes and won coveted first-place medals for Calaveras.
“It’s always a pleasure,” Calaveras co-coach Mark Bowe said. “We really enjoy seeing the kids reap the benefits of their hard work. We put 11 kids in the finals. It’s really a testament of the kids working hard. That’s what we like. We like to see them get rewarded for their hard work.”
The Calaveras Redskins girls’ basketball team kept its postseason hopes alive with a 45-38 win over Summerville on Monday in Tuolumne.
Brookelyn Vance-Larkin led Calaveras with 17 points. Tori Woods added 11 and Laney Evans had 10.
Calaveras led 16-12 after the first and held on the rest of the way. Alyssa Pecora, Emily Jasper, Alicia DeHerrera all had two. Katie Church tossed in one.
By GUY DOSSI
Jesse Jones/ Union Democrat (Clockwise from top left) Sonora Wildcat Charlie Dunn (32, left) is challenged by Summerville’s Cole Brewster on Friday in a Mother Lode League boys’ basketball game in Tuolumne.
For The Union Democrat
A strong fourth-quarter performance helped the Sonora Wildcats keep their Mother Lode League championship dreams alive, as they defeated the Summerville Bears 68-58 Friday night in Tuolumne.
Sonora outscored Summerville 20-9 in the game’s final 8 minutes, and are now one step closer to owning a share of the league title.
“Summerville really is a great team,” junior Charlie Dunn said. “I have been playing against them since elementary school, and they have never played us easy. We knew they were going to play hard, and we practiced really well for them. We just came together as a team in the fourth quarter and talked about how much we wanted it. Winning this game means we are still right there for a league championship, and that is what we wanted from the beginning. We weren’t going to give it to them easy tonight, and we came out and played our hardest.”
“Not dead, can’t quit.”
Columbia sophomore forward Rosendo AmayaWood (40) tosses a hook shot over Porterville’s Alex Simpson on Saturday during a Central Valley Conference game at Oak Pavilion. Jesse Jones/ Union Democrat
That phrase is the Columbia College men’s basketball team’s battle cry.
No matter how many points the Claim Jumpers are trailing by, they have an unwavering belief to keep on fighting by relying on each other.
And on Saturday night at Oak Pavilion, that mindset held true.
Columbia erased an eight-point deficit and made a furious rally in the second half to defeat the Porterville College Pirates 75-66 in a Central Valley Conference showdown.
Five different Claim Jumpers scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Tony Williams’ 15 points. Rosendo AmayaWood and Michael Meserole each netted 12. Ian Merzwinksi splashed 11 and Alex Kiriluk finished with 10. The team was able to bounce back immediately after suffering a disappointing loss to a two-win Merced squad earlier in the week.
“It feels a lot better,” AmayaWood said. “Obviously, a win’s a win, but it feels a lot better to come back from a terrible loss like that. That was not us. It’s nice to regroup and play as a family and play together as a team. That was the biggest thing. We just kind of put it all together and worked as a team and communicated. That’s what we need to do.”