Freedom squeaks by Rodriguez The record-setting season for the Freedom High boys basketball team continued as the Falcons came from behind to defeat Rodriguez-Fairfield 74-72 on March 15 in the quarterfinal round of the California Interscholastic Federation Division I Northern regional playoffs. At halftime, Freedom (25-6) trailed Rodriguez (27-4) by 10 points but rallied in the third and fourth quarter to cut the deficit and eventually take the lead for good. After this newspaper went to press, Freedom hosted Jesuit-Carmichael (29-3) in the semifinals on March 18.
-- Nick Roth
Deer Valley rolls past Santa Rosa After winning the North Coast Section Division I championship on March 7, the Deer Valley girls basketball team cruised to a 71-56 victory over Santa Rosa (28-5) on in the second round of the CIF Division I Northern regional playoffs on March 15. It was the fifth consecutive playoff win for Deer Valley (24-5), and when this newspaper went to press, the Wolverines were gearing up for their March 18 semifinal match against Berkeley, a rematch of the NCS championship.
-- Nick Roth
Pirates building steam in early season The Pittsburg baseball team has gotten off to a strong start, winning its last four nonleague games and improving to 5-1 on the season. In their last three games, the Pirates defeated Ygnacio Valley, Ukiah and Mt. Diablo by a combined total of 45-7. Second-year coach Josh Almond looks to bring home the Pirates first winning season since the 2006-07 campaign.
-- Nick Roth
On deck CIF Division I Northern regional championship at Sleep Train Arena, boys basketball, March 22, 4 p.m. -- The top two Northern California Division I teams will battle to get to the state championship game. CIF Division I Northern regional championship at Sleep Train Arena, girls basketball, March 22, 2 p.m. -- There will be at least one NCS team in this championship game, since Deer Valley and Berkeley face each other in one semifinal. Los Medanos at Yuba, baseball, March 22, 1 p.m. -- The Mustangs are 2-1 in Bay Valley Conference play, and will next lock horns with Yuba for a three-game series.
Stars of the week Elliott Smith, Freedom, boys basketball -- Smith led Freedom to a thrilling 74-72 victory over Rodriguez and scored a game-high 26 points to go along with 16 rebounds. Harrison Jones, Pittsburg, baseball -- Jones was a force at the plate, logging multiple hits in victories over Ygnacio Valley and Ukiah. Over the two-game stretch, Jones went a combined 5 for 7, including four RBI and three runs scored. Jerome Hill, Los Medanos, baseball -- Jerome Hill was an offensive force against Napa, going 7 for 11 with a double, three RBI and four runs scored.