Congrats to Brian Botteen and the San Ramon Valley Wolves on their State Championship in basketball, division I, which means all but the open division (won by Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland the next night).
I caught two early season Wolves games at the St. Francis tournament and followed them from afar. My former coach Hans Delannoy taught there for 30 years (and coached the lady Wolves to a section title in 2006).
Keith Smith greeted Hans after that December game, and I met him as well.
Hans says that Botteen was a longtime assistant and this is his first year as head coach.
Compared to December (when they lost to the Lancers) he said that the football players like Christian Fuca and JJ Koski improved their game and the team play.
I also noted that Kyle Spackman started over Gregg Polosky against Chino Hills, and that the double-big-men lineup was key to their triumph. That plus Chino’s superstar Lonzo Ball fouled out with 3 minutes to play in regulation (after scored 30 beautiful points).
Eric Sondheimer of LA Times adds his notes:
Keith Smith, the nephew of L.A. Windward Coach Steve Smith, had 20 points for San Ramon Valley (27-6). Christian Fuca, whose father, Joey, was an athlete during his days at Crespi High, had 18 points, including four three-pointers.
“We made some critical mistakes in not guarding Fuca,” Baik said.
Smith, in discussing the strategy for Lonzo Ball, said, “We tried to attack him every chance we got. He’s a key component to everything they do, so the idea was to get him out of his comfort zone, be physical and tire him out. He’s an unbelievable player. One of the best I’ve played against.”
Hans also told me that the top three athletes on that team, Fuca, Smith and Koski, were the best trio of teammates he had noticed in 30 years. MaxPreps has SRV finishing at #14 in the state, ahead of De La Salle and Monte Vista, both of whom had beaten them during the regular season. They finish 27-6.
and1: The Daily News listed their top 15 players on the Peninsula, including Kevin Mullin of Paly (1st team), Alex “al-Palo Alto” Gil-Fernandez of Gunn (2nd team, a junior) and Chris Russell of Gunn (3rd team). I counted having seen 9 of the 15, plus Chris Bene of Sequoia (Tony Fenwick’s nephew) on tv highlights plus radio. I probably caught parts of 40 games on 20 occasions, mostly at Gunn.
This doesn’t fit here really but it is the Dollies and Tree Sarah Young ’17 (by suss) at the Stanford victory of Vanderbilt in NIT action. I sat next to Dr. Dahl and his wife (also Dr. Dahl, I think) and pledged to donate $500 if they could correctly identify the song the band was playing (which was Green Day, “Welcome To Paradise” — I may make a smaller gift in his name in that I at least got him to humm the melody):