Patriots are off to a strong start The Heritage High boys basketball team got off to a strong start and improved to 4-1 after winning the championship against River City, 66-60, at the McKinleyville Tip-Off Classic on Dec. 7. Senior Shon Briggs was named Tournament MVP and teammate Marcus Wallace also named All-Tournament. This season the Patriots have six returning seniors, and hope to make a deep playoff run. Last year, they finished third in the Bay Valley Athletic League standings and were knocked out of the CIF NCS Division I playoffs in the second round by Deer Valley.
-- Nick Roth
Deer Valley reaches Winter Classic finals The Deer Valley girls basketball team earned a spot in the Winter Classic finals after defeating James Logan 66-51 in the first round and Dougherty Valley 64-35 in the semifinals. In the Dec. 7 finals, Deer Valley faced off against Division I rival Berkeley, and lost 51-46. Last year, Deer Valley finished second in the BVAL standings and was knocked out of NCS playoffs in the second round by Berkeley.
-- Nick Roth
Los Medanos is third at Tip-Off Classic On Dec. 7, the Los Medanos College men's basketball team defeated Canada 90-88 in the third-place game of the Monterey Peninsula Tip-Off Classic. The Mustangs defeated Gavilan 101-67 in the first round of the tournament, then narrowly missed the championship game after losing in the semifinals, 101-90, to the tournament host Monterey Peninsula College.
-- Nick Roth
On deck Don Nelson Classic, boys basketball, Dec. 19-21, TBA -- Heritage will travel to Dublin High School for the three-day tournament that features some of the top teams in the area. Kris Kringle Tournament, mens basketball, Dec. 19-21, TBA -- Los Medanos basketball will travel to Santa Rosa Junior College for a three-day tournament. Solano Showdown, womens basketball, Dec. 13-15, TBA -- Los Medanos women's basketball will head to Solano for an eight team tournament that features local teams Diablo Valley, Chabot and De Anza.
Stars of the week Shon Briggs, Heritage, basketball -- Briggs scored 17 points in Heritage's championship win over River City at the McKinleyville Tip-Off Classic and was also named Tournament MVP. Alejandra Cephas, Deer Valley, basketball -- Cephas was a defensive catalyst in the finals at the Dougherty Valley Winter Classic. She racked up 10 rebounds and six blocks to go along with her eight points in the 51-46 loss. Joe Mixon, Freedom, football -- Mixon is one of six finalists for the U.S. Army national player of the year award. Throughout his senior year campaign he ran for 1,704 yards and 28 touchdowns in 11 games, including 470 yards and nine touchdowns in two North Coast Section playoff games. He tallied 4,281 rushing yards and 76 touchdowns during his three-year varsity career.