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GRIPPING — Trojan Michelle Barkley, center, watches intently from the bench last March's overtime game at Kennedy for the section title. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

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From page A6 | January 02, 2013 | Leave Comment

Oak Ridge High girls basketball 58, Kennedy 62 — It wasn’t a victory for the Lady Trojans but without a doubt their CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I final against Kennedy — a rematch of 2010 — was a classic. Tense, thrilling — you name it and this game that went double overtime had it.

Set on a big stage at Power Balance Pavilion, now Sleep Train Arena, this March matchup for the section banner featured 24 points from sophomore Trojan guard Jenn Hoffman who nailed 6-of-9 three-pointers including a game-tying pressure free throw with five seconds left in regulation to make the score 49-49.

The game was deadlocked at 54-all after the first overtime period. Oak Ridge held a brief 58-57 lead on Jenna Klein’s free throw. The Cougars answered with a go-head three-pointer and held on to avenge 2010′s loss to Troy at what was then known as Arco Arena.

Golden Sierra High football 16, Highlands 14 — Both teams came in riding a three-game win streak but it was the Grizzlies’ tough defense, special teams and the ball bouncing their way that keyed this homecoming game victory in Garden Valley in mid-October. The Grizzlies’ defense was led by Brian Cann, Samuel Steward, Bryson Campbell, Daniel Lesher, Adam Sewell, Zander Mishler, Justin Eicher, and Austin Mason along with a host of other teammates to overcome an early deficit.

On offense, Grizzly wide receiver Gracen Christensen made a clutch grab on fourth down play for 20 yards that set up a 7-yard scamper by Sewell (16 carries, 98 yards). Later in the game, Golden Sierra seized the lead thanks to a special teams play in the waning seconds of the first half. After Mason crashed through and blocked a Highlands’ punt, Cann struck a 42-yard field goal that bounced off the cross-bar for a 16-6 lead going into halftime. The Scots scored another touchdown but fell short.

Ponderosa football 49, Sheldon 46 — In the Delta River League finale on a cold November night in Sacramento, the Bruins needed a win to secure an at-large CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoff spot and did just that with big plays on special teams and defense.

Ponderosa led for good with 8:30 left in the game after running back Austin Tibbs hauled in a 24-yard pass from quarterback Jake Bist (10-of-17, 198 yards) to make it 42-39. The Bruins cemented the win on a big special teams play — an onside kick that hit a Sheldon player and ended up in the hands of Andrew Olson. Four offensive plays later, the Bruins increased their lead to 10 when running back Christian Canepa (22 carries, 186 yards) scored on a 5-yard run with 6:56 left and Curtis Goldsmith booted the extra-point.

Sheldon scored its last touchdown with 24 seconds on a 14-yard pass. The Huskies opted for another onside kick — they kicked one to start the game — but Bruin running back Jeff Martin recovered the ball to allow the Bruins to run out the clock for the win and return trip to postseason for the first time since 2007.

Ponderosa boys volleyball def. Oak Ridge 21-25, 19-25, 25-21, 29-27, 17-15 — Regular season match but intra-county rivals going at it into overtime last spring. Tense, exciting and huge plays all around. A classic.

Democrat Staff

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