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WEB EXCLUSIVE: Davis and Modesto collide in City semifinals

BOYS

Tonight’s semifinal games of the Modesto City Classic bring together teams from three leagues, all facing off for berths in the finals.

The Modesto Metro Conference grabs the major spotlight with Grace Davis taking on Modesto tonight at 8 o’clock at Downey. The Spartans outscored Golden Valley 16-4 in the third quarter Thursday night en route to a 57-42 victory, while Modesto also pulled away in the second quarter to beat Downey 53-48.

In the other half of the championship bracket, the reigning Valley Oak League Manteca Buffaloes rode their electric guard Kiwi Gardner to a 90-70 romp over Johansen. Gardner has scored 43 points during the first two games, though teammate Gerry Cooper is not far behind with 32. Pitman from the Central California Conference advanced by pulling away in the fourth quarter to throw Enochs, one of the tournament hosts, into the consolation bracket 68-45.

Manteca meets Pitman at 8 p.m. at Enochs.

The 16-team tournament also wheels forward with a consolation bracket and outbrackets on both sides. A player to watch early in the season is Jordan Kron, a freshman guard from East Union of Manteca, who’s accounted for 45 points during the Lancers’ 3-point loss to Davis and an 86-55 thumping of Central Valley. East Union, a guard-dominated but quick team which appears to be improved over last season, used a press to outscore CV 52-17 in the second half. The Lancers also tossed in 11 3-point baskets, five by senior Tyler Bylow and three by Kron.

Ceres bounced back from a first-round loss to Johansen and, behind 30 points by Justin Canatsy, turned back a fourth-quarter rally by Central Catholic to win 51-46. Canatsy hit 3 triples during the third quarter as Ceres’ lead increased to 14 points.

Elsewhere, Sonora managed only six second-period points and was stopped at the Stagg tournament by Edison 65-44. Calaveras jumped out of the gate with a 21-2 flurry and raced past Denair 56-39, despite 19 points by the Coyotes’ Clayton McDonald.

At Riverbank’s Ron Peterson Tipoff Tournament, the host Bruins tangle with Oakdale in the semifinals tonight at 8:30, preceded by Calaveras vs. Ripon Christian at 7. In the consolation bracket, it’s Denair vs. Hilmar at 4 p.m., and Summerville vs. Waterford at 5:30.

Zack Gonzales’ 17 points were good enough to lead Riverbank over Waterford 73-53. Oakdale used 13 points by Spencer Thomas (3 triples) to vault the Mustangs over Summerville 49-43. Ripon Christian found a hot hand in Logan Vos with 24 points to stop Hilmar 69-56, though the Yellowjackets’ Jomer Ta-a made an impression with five 3-pointers for 15 points.

The 67th Gustine Rotary Tournament moves into the semifinals tonight with Orestimba facing Delhi at 8:30 and Linden vs. Livingston at 7. In the consolation bracket, it’s Kimball — Tracy’s newest high school still minus upperclassmen — vs. Millennium of Tracy at 4, at LeGrand vs. host Gustine at 5:30. Guillermo Ramirez swished four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points during Delhi’s 48-43 verdict over Gustine.

GIRLS

The Modesto Christian Crusaders, California Division IV finalists last season, have begun impressively.

Guard Brandi Henton, bound for Cal State Long Beach, energized Modesto Christian during two season-opening victories at the La Jolla Country Day tournament. MC popped Windward of Ferndale 58-42 on Wednesday and followed it up with a 72-45 victory over Bishop Gorman. Henton scored 32 points, including five 3-point baskets, vs. Bishop Gorman. She also contained guard Erin Ellenberg, who has committed to Oklahoma. Ellenberg was held to 4 points by MC after totaling 30 Wednesday night.

“Brandi and (Marina) McKeever just shut her down,” MC coach Robb Spencer said. “That was our goal, to just take her out of the game.”

Modesto Christian runs into host La Jolla Country in tonight’s semifinal at 6:15.

In other tournament action, Patterson finished with a 9-2 rally to defeat Beyer 39-35 at the Golden Valley tournament. The Tigers’ Cassie Coble scored nine of her 18 points in the fourth quarter of the closely-fought game which was Patterson’s season opener. Beyer (1-2) was led by Hannah Miller and Cierra White with eight points apiece.

The Escalon Lions Club Tournament churns into tonight’s semifinals with Summerville vs. Denair at 6:30 and Redwood Christian vs. Argonaut at 8. In the consolation bracket, it’s the host Cougars vs. Delta of Clarksburg at 3:30 and Riverbank vs. Downey at 5.

At the Pitman tournament, Enochs’ Taylor McCain had 14 points, five steals and three assists to lead the unbeaten Eagles (3-0) over a scrappy Le Grand team 53-42. Miranda Flores knocked down three of the Bulldogs’ eight 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. Enochs meets Linden tonight at 5:30, followed by Le Grand vs. Pitman.

Ceres senior Jode Johnson continued her hot early-season pace with 24 points as the Bulldogs (2-1) dropped San Leandro 56-26 at the Mills tournament in Millbrae. Ceres again will show off an inside-outside punch this season, illustrated by 16 points by center Jamie Beck.

Livingston improved to 3-1 after its 61-50 win over Atwater at the Mariposa tournament. Maria Flores paced the Wolves with 18 points. Mellissa Valentine topped Atwater (2-2) with 14 points in a game void of 3-pointers.

Central Catholic (1-2) hit the road to the Live Oak tournament, where it was beaten 51-20 by Corning. The Raiders hit only eight of 39 shots and committed 35 turnovers. Brooke Reno had 11 points for CC.

Brittney Hopper and McHenry picked up 15 points apiece during Waterford’s 54-34 win at home over Big Valley Christian. Megan Palmer had 11 points for BVC.

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