PD Preps Insider: St. Vincent baseball coach climbing up victories rankings

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

St. Vincent baseball coach Gary Galloway figures to take a nice climb up the Cal-Hi Sports list of all-time winningest California prep baseball coaches this year.

Galloway won his 500th game last year and enters this season with 501 wins. There are only six coaches ahead him on the list with at least 520 victories and all are retired. Galloway’s career mark is 501-196-3. El Segundo’s John Stevenson holds the all-time win record with 1,059 victories from 1960-2009.

Willits’ challenge

A great Willits boys basketball season will take a decidedly difficult turn in the North Coast Section playoffs.

Willits is 22-2 overall and 12-0 in the NCL I. While the title should get Willits a home section playoff game, the Wolverines know they could be challenged to advance because NCS Division 4 is loaded.

Three-time defending NCS Division 4 champion Salesian again tops the section rankings and is 15th in the state for the division. Moreau Catholic of Hayward is second in the section and 16th in the state. Fortuna is third in NCS and 18th in the state. St. Patrick’s-St. Vincent of Vallejo is fourth in the section and 19th in the state. St. Mary’s of Albany is fifth in NCS and 23rd in the state.

Willits is eighth in the section and 42nd in the state. One spot above the Wolverines in NCS is Cardinal Newman. The section playoffs typically have 16 teams.

Wrestling allies

Even the most bitter battles in high school sports can be contested between athletes who are anything but mortal enemies. Casa Grande’s Erica Mihalca pulled off a minor upset Saturday at 131 pounds in the NCS girls wrestling meet, beating Albany’s Erica Sotelo.

“Erica and I are actually really good friends,” Mihalca said. “We’ve wrestled each other before and we used to do judo together. She knows that my throws are my best thing. So, I really had to be patient and I finally got one.”

Swatter supreme

Analy’s girls basketball team capped its unbeaten Sonoma County League season on Friday with a 37-25 victory at Sonoma Valley, but Ciara Smith did plenty to try to lift the home team to an upset win.

Smith, Sonoma Valley’s 6-foot-2 junior center, blocked 15 shots for the Dragons. She was busy at both ends of the court with three points and 12 rebounds as well.

Near-miss wrestlers

While 13 Empire girls earned spots in the CIF state wrestling meet starting Feb. 28 in Visalia, that number came close to being even larger.

Windsor’s Kim Carrillo (235) finished fourth, just one spot below the qualifying position. Ukiah’s Lariza Gonzalez (16) was fourth, as was her teammate Lani Faust (171).

Ukiah was third in team standings with 141 points, followed by Rancho Cotate (115) and Maria Carrillo (63.5). Kelseyville and Casa Grande tied for the 12th spot with 48 points each. James Logan (193.5) won the team title followed by Albany (158).

Michael Coit, Ted Sillanpaa and Allie Colosky contributed to this report.

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