Feb 192012


(NOTE: This article has been corrected for a couple of errors. The first was an incorrect mention that James Marshall High School had once been on the site of the current Riverbank Elementary School campus. It wasn’t; it was of course at the site of the current Westmore Oaks Elementary campus (which is the “old” RCHS campus). The second error was that we inadvertently substituted Elkhorn’s basketball team for Riverbank’s when talking about the elementary school basketball tournament — it was really Riverbank that made the run into the playoffs. The News-Ledger regrets the mistakes.)

Wow! Youth basketball season!

The Washington Unified School District girls basketball program wound down with great playoffs and a championship series.

BY DON SCHATZEL for the News-Ledger

The playoffs began at Riverbank Elementary School, that used to be Golden State Middle School (small history lesson. . .) I mention this because the schools gym is high school-dimension,  complete with Rotary- sponsored scoreboard.

The four teams that qualified for the playoffs were regular season winner Stonegate Elementary and prospective championship opponent Bridgeway Island, whose only loss was to Stonegate. Upstart Riverbank and always-in-the-playoffs Southport joined the post-season party!

What was expected was not to be.

Riverbank pulled off the upset of the season in the first round, beating Bridgeway Island 30-21. Riverbank became West Sac’s own version of a Cinderella team. Joanna Lira led Riverbank with 8 points and held Bridgeway’s powerful offense to just 8 first-half points. Michaela Faaifo had 8 points and Melissa Bustamante had 4 for Bridgeway.

This was Riverbank’s first trip to the championship game.

Stonegate and Southport squared off to determine Riverbank’s championship opponent. Stonegate ran off to an 8-point halftime lead, 19-11, then pulled away for a 36-14 victory and a chance to play Riverbank for the local title. Gabby Mistler had 8 points and Niki Singh  7 points for powerhouse Stonegate. Anniyah Furlow 4 points for Southport.

The consolation and championship games were played at Westmore Oaks Elementary School, formerly River City High School, and its gym, too, has high school dimensions.

In the Southport vs. Bridgeway Island match for third place:

Bridgeway rebounded from its disappointing opening round loss with a 26-11 win. Jordan Criswell had 9 points and Michaels Faaifo  7 points. Mikaela Drewry led the Southport scoring.

The long-awaited championship between Riverbank and Stonegate was a tough physical game, with Stonegate winning 32-9 for their first championship. Riverbank battled the entire game, but Stonegate brought a  deep a bench and kept the pressure on the entire game.

The unstoppable Alina Castillo scored 17 points and Nikki Singh had 8, both for Stonegate. Joanna Lira earned 5 for Riverbank. Congratulations to all four teams for making the playoffs and playing great basketball.

Our Lady of Grace School is  in mid-basketball season. The J.V. team, made up of 5th and 6th graders, beat St. Elizabeths of Elk Grove 14-2 to stay in first place. Krystal Robles,  Lauren Bykowski and Julianna Calles had great games for the OLG win.

What youth sports league started in 1974 has 25,000 teams worldwide, 360,000 participants,ages 4-18, four world series tournaments, and is an international program not just in the U.S?

GIVE UP? It’s little league girls’ softball – not boys baseball!
West Sacramento Girls Softball Little League is registering players. As are the West Sacramento Dolphins, West Sacramento Little League and Washington Little League, with separate registration for summer programs. They have web sites so they are easy to find!

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Copyright News-Ledger 2012



  3 Responses to “‘Heart of the City’: West Sacramento’s vibrant youth sports scene”

  1. Oooops… Elkhorn didn’t make the playoffs… didn’t defeat Bridgeway… didn’t make it to the championship game… that was Riverbank… ooops…

  2. Response to EXTRAVATREK:

    We will be issuing a correction in the Feb. 29 edition of the News-Ledger, and correcting a couple of mistakes in the online version of this article shortly.

    (Note: the above commenter also left a comment under the same article at the News-Ledger.com website, and we have responded there as well).

    Thank you.


  3. Thank you.