CIF State

Girls Volleyball: Lowell swept out of state playoffs by Granite Bay

By Jeremy Balan

As dominant as the Lowell High School girls volleyball program has been in the Academic Athletic Association since the San Francisco Section began playing the sport in 1974, it has never been able to carry that success over into the CIF State Tournament.

That trend continued on Tuesday, when the seventh-seeded Cardinals dropped their opening-round Division I matchup to second-seeded Granite Bay 25-15, 25-16, 25-15 at Lowell.

Track and Field: Three City athletes come up just short in state finals

By Joey Gulino

CLOVIS – A runner, a thrower and a jumper from the City all went into Saturday’s state finals in search of a championship.

None of them got it. But their seasons were anything but failures.

University’s Bridget Blum finished 10th in the girls 1,600-meter race, while Lincoln’s Collin Luu wound up ninth in the discus finals and St. Ignatius’ Michellie McDonald-O’Brien no-heighted in the high jump finals.

Track and Field: A trio of San Francisco athletes advance to state finals

By Joey Gulino

CLOVIS – The CIF State Track and Field Championships provide arguably the toughest prep competition in the nation.

Therefore, it could be argued that three City athletes are among the best in the nation in their respective events.

University runner Bridget Blum, St. Ignatius jumper Michellie McDonald-O’Brien and Lincoln thrower Collin Luu, all seniors, qualified for Saturday’s state finals in their respective events during Friday’s state prelims at Buchanan High School.

Boys Basketball: Sacred Heart Cathedral falls just short to Alemany in state title game

By Jeremy Balan

SACRAMENTO — The Sacred Heart Cathedral boys basketball team’s chances of winning a state championship simply rolled off the rim in a 71-67 loss to Bishop Alemany of Mission Hills in the California Interscholastic Federation Division III championship game on Saturday at Power Balance Pavilion.

Down 69-67 with under 30 seconds remaining, Sacred Heart junior guard Khalil James drove into the lane and released a shot. The ball bounced off the rim and Sacred Heart senior forward Taylor Johns skied for the rebound, tipped the ball softly back onto the rim, but the ball swirled off the back iron.

Saturday Scoreboard

Scores will be updated as they are sent in. Please send in your scores to or call them in to (415) 251-0918. The score phone line is open 24 hours a day.

Game of the day – Sacred Heart Cathedral vs. Alemany boys basketball: The Irish are seeking their second state title in the boys program’s history and their first since 2009. For live updates on this game, follow us on Twitter at:

Road to the State Championship: Irish guards allow SHC to reach higher level

By Jeremy Balan

Sacred Heart Cathedral head boys basketball coach Darrell Barbour has said it so many times this season — when the guards are on, the Irish play at another level.

Everyone expects big games out of standout senior forwards Taylor Johns and Joshua Fox, but the Irish are at their best when their main rotation of four guards — juniors Khalil James and Herman Pratt, senior Tyler Petroni, and sophomore DeOndre Otis — are firing at all cylinders.

All four players are multidimensional, but they gravitate to specific roles and thrive in them.

Road to the State Championship: Zach Tapel’s season-long struggle

By Jeremy Balan

The most prominent decoration in Zach Tapel’s bedroom is a normal sheet of white paper pinned up above his bed.

It could have come from a printer, a copy machine or just a stack of similar pages, but it’s what is written on the sheet that drives Tapel, a senior on the Sacred Heart Cathedral boys basketball team.

It’s not fancy. In fact, it’s quite rudimentary. In thick black marker, Tapel wrote a date down, “11-11-11.”

It’s the date of one of the most painful moments of his life, both physically and emotionally.

Road to the State Championship: Taylor Johns’ high-flying impact

By Jeremy Balan

On the scoreboard, an ordinary jump shot and an emphatic dunk are both worth two points, but their impact on a game can be entirely different.

The spark and momentum gained from a dunk, especially in high school basketball, can be the difference between winning and losing. Sacred Heart Cathedral senior forward Taylor Johns has provided that spark on so many occasions this season.