PD Preps Insider: Redwood Classic enters 56th year

Here’s one way we can be sure that basketball season has arrived: The Redwood Classic Basketball Tournament starts tonight at Anderson Valley High School in Boonville.

Beginning its 56th year, the Redwood Classic is one of the oldest and largest small-school tournaments in California. The field includes NCL schools Mendocino, Point Arena, St. Vincent, Laytonville and Cloverdale, as well as the host Panthers. They’ll be joined by Branson, Tulelake, Valley Christian, Bentley, Bradshaw Christian, Hoopa, California School for Deaf, Stuart Hall, Marin Academy and Pinewood.

The first of 25 games tips off at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, with a champion crowned on Saturday.

Top girls’ hoopster to visit

One of the nation’s top girls basketball players will be competing this weekend in Casa Grande’s Big House Invitational tournament.

Sabrini Ionescu, from Miramonte High School, has been selected to play for the Team USA Under 16 national team. She’ll lead the Matadors into the tournament opener 6 p.m. Thursday against Redwood, with Eureka meeting Casa Grande immediately afterward.

Ionescu, a 15-year-old sophomore, made the USA Basketball U-16 national team in a 124-player tryout in July. The 6-footer was one of just two players to make the squad without having been invited to the tryout. The team will play internationally in Brazil next June.

The round-robin tournament continues Friday with two games starting at 6 p.m. and concludes Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 2:30 p.m.

Empire highlights at state

A couple of other Empire distance runners deserve mentions after their efforts Saturday in the CIF cross country championship races in Fresno.

Maria Carrillo’s Shaz Breedlove turned in the fastest time of all Empire girls runners. Her time of 19:04 placed 63rd in the Division 2 race.

Saskia Vanommeren-Egberts of Casa Grande posted a 19:31, good for 93rd place in the Division 2 girls race.

El Molino’s Brian Schulz had the fastest time of all freshmen in the Division 4 boys race. It was also the seventh-best among freshmen in all divisions.

‘They are very impressive’

The North Coast Section Division 2 championship will be settled Saturday night at Rancho Cotate High School when top-seeded Casa Grande faces No. 3 seed Miramonte.

Jack Schram, coach of the Miramonte Matadors — they call themselves the Mats for short — is getting his team ready at the school’s campus in Orinda.

And he has seen for himself what Casa Grande can do, once in person and three times on film.

“They are a very solid football team in all phases of the game,” Schram said. “They have a big, solid line. Their quarterback can run and has created matchup problems. They are very impressive.”

For more on the Miramonte football team, see Bob Padecky’s column from Orinda in The Press Democrat on Thursday.

Press Democrat staffers Bob Padecky, Ted Sillanpaa and Jim Crowhurst made contributions to this report.


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