Gunn Titans (19-3) play Oak Grove Eagles (15-9) in 2nd round CCS action Thursday at 7. Take 280 and 85 South to Blossom Hill road exit, right, then another mile and a half. Give it about 45 minutes. Oak Grove is a 7-time CCS winner in football (Marty Morninweg, Mike Holmgren, but also Dave Stieb in baseball) but this Titan squad can prevail with a little focus.
The Titans went 10 men deep Tuesday. They were a little iffy against the press — 18 turnovers — but if they leave those jitters in the 650, they could become only the fourth group of cagers in 50 seasons to reach 20 wins. (The 1980-1981 Titans, with Kent Lockhart, a 2-time CCS player of the year and eventual Knicks draftee, went 25-3 including 21 straight). I liked the Heidenreich-Lees passing and driving, and use of the glass, although I still, after seeing 10 games, cannot tell 24 from 32 when they are moving. I was psyched to see senior reserve Lukas Dorward sink a shot, despite a few rough moments. If Russell, Alex “Al Palo Alto” Gil, Jon Davis and the LH’s all get hot on the same night, these lads can bring a bell home, from Foothill Saturday night as well. Stuff of hoop dreams, I admit. (And full disclosure, although I suited for four CCS games, my action was limited to pre game layups; I was close enough on a free throw in a route of Los Altos at Foothill in the SCVAL Shaughnessy finals to get my name in the box score there however). If Gunn loses but Paly prevails in its bracket, I would likely check that out Saturday. Overall, I am rooting for Seqouia and not Sacred Heart as sleepers in the Open Bracket –which means that Div. 1 is really a battle for #9 in CCS. Daily News has it thusly: 1. St. Francis 20-4 (saw them twice, including win over San Ramon Valley); Serra (19-5), have not seen accept on Cal-Hi sports; 3. SHP (22-2), have not seen but have 5 guys including the QB Mason Randall from their CCS football miracle team; 4. Sequoia (22-5) have not seen, accept for on Cal-Hi and heard a half on radio KCEA, and their star Chris Bene is nephew of my old nemesis Tony Fenwick of Menlo; 5. Paly at 17-7, have seen five times, and sat with the Mullins last week in los to Fremont; Mr. Mullin was aghast that Kevin was benched for important second half minutes by Coach Sax, and I am at least mystified; 6. Gunn, I’ve seen 10 times this year, matching the 10 I caught in football; 7. Menlo 16-7, have not seen but I saw a JV game featuring Beau Brown’s son; 8. M-A, 14-10, neither.
As John Reid, the former Awalt assistant coach, points out in his excellent account today, Chris Russell also hit a trey to put Gunn up 43-37, in effect, the dagger. Gil converted two in a row, proving his worth as El Camino MVP.
and1: The shot above, of Russell’s block, was at 49-44: the visitors never got another bucket after that tough lesson, although they did not quit either. That’s sportswriter Reid, our version of Ring Lardner, seen above, the man in the green shirt, in the red section.
edit to add: Crikey, that’s actually Gil #10 not Russell #25 with the block; good on Alex. Russell is helping weak side, you can see his face. Motorola Moto G 4.4.3 Android phone is not a Nikon SLR camera. And although Gunn went 10 deep of the 16 they carry and seven scored, Noah Steinbrenner and Stefan Johnson, both well-built former soccer players both got in, I still say, having watched 10 football games this fall, and I told his father as much, Noah Riley off the bench has something to contribute. Brandyn Williams told me he is the toughest kid on the team (having been sacked 20 times and knocked down 100 times for the 1-9 gridders, who I called the best #956 ranked team in the nation; Noah’s brother David Riley was money from outside for the 2006 Titans).