Hoopsters led by Grant Verhoeven, who moves to No. 2 in state history for career rebounds.
On the diamond, pitchers Paul Blackburn, Kevin George, Isaac Horigan and Cameron Stewart turn in eye-opening outings.
Also, player comes through in memory of longtime coach Jerry Coakley.
(After games of Wednesday, March 7; Contributing: Bob Barnett, Mark Tennis)
Alex Fertig (Buchanan, Clovis) The senior standout fouled out in the first overtime but still led his team with 29 points in a playoff loss to Clovis West. According to Central Section historian Bob Barnett, Fertig ended his four-year career with 2,287 points, the sixth best in section history.
Xavier Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) The X-Man was an offensive rebounding machine as he grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and finished with 20 total rebounds to go along with 19 points in a 63-59 win by the state’s No. 1 ranked team over Long Beach Poly for the CIF Southern Section Division IAA championship.
Ron Lee (Oak Park, Agoura Hills) Putting on a fourth quarter show in a CIF Division III South Regional opening game, he scored 23 points in that quarter and finished with a game-high 34 as the Eagles advanced with a 72-58 win over Grant of Van Nuys.
Edward Moore (Jesse Bethel, Vallejo) He dropped in an even 30 points but his team dropped a tough 92-89 overtime decision to Deer Valley of Antioch in the opening-round of the NorCal D1 playoffs.
Bryce Pressley (Jesuit, Carmichael) The son of former Sacramento King Harold Pressley just missed a triple-double as he scored 22 points while grabbing nine rebounds and blocking nine shots in a 64-62 win over Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinals.
Roschon Prince (Poly, Long Beach) He scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half and overtime when the Jackrabbits advanced in the Southern California Division I playoffs with a 65-59 win over Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo.
Kiran Shastri (Miramonte, Orinda) He’s on the honor roll again after scoring a game-high 38 points in a 73-68 overtime win against Manteca Sierra in the opening round of the NorCal D3 playoffs. He also had nine rebounds and five blocks, and scored 12 of the Matadors’ points in overtime.
Kendall Smith (Deer Valley, Antioch) The junior guard had a game-high 30 points, including a free-throw that sent the game into overtime of a Northern Regional Division I opening-round 92-89 victory over Vallejo Jesse Bethel.
William Stallworth (Tulare) After getting 49 points in an earlier playoff game, he scored 31 points, 20 coming in the first half, of a 76-49 win over East Bakersfield in the semifinals of the CIF Central Section Division II playoffs.
Chris Swartz-Edmisten (Sacramento Waldorf, Fair Oaks) Opening the NorCal Division V regional with a huge performance, the state's leading scorer rampaged for 49 points in a 73-65 overtime win for the Waves over Liberty Christian.
Charlie Thompson (Clovis West, Fresno) Charlie made the boys from Buchanan sorry as he scored a game high of 32 points as the Golden Eagles nipped the Bears 92-76 in two overtimes in the CIF Central Section semifinals. Charlie came back in the finals against top-seeded Bullard of Fresno with 28 points, but it wasn’t enough as Bullard won 69-54.
Grant Verhoeven (Central Valley Christian, Visalia) The 6-foot-9 Stanford commit has shown why he should be an All-American, according to Central Section historian Bob Barnett, who’s seen a few over the years. Grant scored 28 points to go with 17 rebounds and 10 blocks in a 61-45 win over Kingsburg in the Division IV section semifinals. The senior then led his team to its third section championship in four years as they buried Sierra of Tollhouse in the finals 76-49 as Grant put on a show by scoring 41 points, which is the most points ever scored in a final section game. He also tied his career high of 26 rebounds and five blocks. Grant has now scored 2,539 career points and has pulled down a walloping 1,732 rebounds, the second most in state history. The only player higher on the all-time list is Darnell Robinson, who snared 2,209 between 1990 and 1993 at Emery of Emeryville.
Gabe York (Lutheran, Orange) Scoring the Lancers’ final 11 points, he finished with 35 in a 64-57 win over Dorsey of Los Angeles in a SoCal Division I regional opener. York also scored 28 points in the Lancers’ 64-58 win last Saturday in the CIFSS Division IA finals against Mission Viejo.
Paul Blackburn (Heritage, Brentwood) The Oakland Athletics Area Code Games standout came back from a tough-luck 1-0 loss (four-hitter) to Pleasanton Foothill to improve to 2-1 this season with a huge early season performance in a 2-0 shutout of Orinda Miramonte. The Arizona State-committed senior tossed a complete game one-hitter, walked none, and struck out 11 against a Matador lineup that averaged over eight runs per game last season, and had scored 26 runs through three wins this season. Blackburn has now thrown 20 innings and allowed just two runs, 11 hits, and four walks, while fanning 26 batters.
Brian Bostjancic (Drake, San Anselmo) The Pirate senior right-hander tossed a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts in a 5-0 win over Analy of Sebastopol. He also drove in a run and scored a run with bat in hand.
Kevin George (Casa Grande, Petaluma) With the Cal-Hi Sports caravan basking in the 78-degree sunshine for the yearly meeting of perennially tough NCS programs from the Redwood Empire and East Bay portions of the section, the junior left-hander was busy on the mound in a 6-3 Gauchos’ victory over visiting Monte Vista of Danville. George, who was around the plate every inning, used a variety of pitches, including an 88-mile per hour fastball, to toss a four-hitter, with 11 strikeouts and three walks. Only one of the three runs he gave up was earned.
Dylan Hecht (Foothill, Pleasanton) With little room for error, he pitched five shutout innings while striking out 13 in a 1-0 win over previously undefeated Heritage of Brentwood.
Isaac Horigan (Buena, Ventura) Taking the mound at the SoCal Invitational against San Fernando, he struck out nine and tossed a no-hitter in the Bulldogs 9-0 victory.
Allen Ressler (John Swett, Crockett) The junior pitcher had a big day at the plate and on the hill. The Indians’ senior tossed a seven-hitter and struck out 11 in a 11-1 win against Kennedy of Richmond, while going 3-for-4 at the plate. He’s now 2-0-1 with 33 strikeouts in three starts.
Cameron Stewart (Valley Christian, San Jose) Stewart figuratively made stew of opposing St. Mary’s (Stockton) in a 3-0 shutout for Cal-Hi Sports’ No. 19 ranked and 6-0 Warriors. The 6-foot-9 two-sport star that played center on basketball team turned in an outstanding performance. Stewart broke open a scoreless game with a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth, which made him a winner on the mound. He even outhit the Rams’ team, 3-2, as he pitched six shutout frames, while walking two, and striking out seven. Stewart is now 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA, and has 21 strikeouts in 15 innings.
Erik Williams (Stockdale, Bakersfield) In a game that saw the Mustangs score nine runs in the first inning and 15 runs in the second, it was Williams’ bat that led the way as he doubled and homered while driving in five runs in a 26-0 win over West of Bakersfield.
Stat Star Special: Matt Jacobson (Clayton Valley, Concord) He leads emotional win in memory of coach
Longtime educator Jerry Coakley of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District died last Friday (March 2) from heart complications at the age of 74 and it didn’t take long for the players he helped coach at Clayton Valley of Concord to come through in his memory.
In Clayton Valley’s first game of the season at home the next day (March 3) against Rancho Cotate of Rohnert Park, the Eagles won 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh on a walk-off homer by Matt Jacobson. After Jacobson was mobbed at the plate, he hugged Clayton Valley coach Herc Pardi (who had worked together with Coakley for 15 years on the Clayton Valley football staff) and whispered into the ear of Pardi: “That’s for JC.”
Coakley was a longtime athletic director at Mt. Diablo of Concord, then continued to help coach other kids in the district after he retired in 1997. He was primarily the defensive coordinator at Clayton Valley since then and in 2004 was credited for helping the team post a tie against national powerhouse Concord De La Salle.
“It was very emotional after that game,” Pardi said. “The kids absolutely LOVED him. During the football season - especially after a victory - the players would give him a ‘who- rah!’"
When Coakley was not around the baseball field or weight room at Clayton Valley, he was helping his son, Casey, the baseball coach at Los Medanos College.
“We were so blessed to have this great man in our life,” Pardi said. “He will be in my /our hearts forever.”
Note: We’re proud once again to collect weekly writeups of the most significant individual high school stat totals in California. This week, we had baseball and basketball combined for one more week before the honor roll switches to baseball for the rest of the spring. We use these updates as the basis for updating the state record book, which has been published seven times, most recently in the spring of 2009. To report a state stat star of your own, please email highlights to Mark.Tennis@espn.com.