Third-seeded U-Prep gets close, falls 51-36 to Wood of Vacaville in NorCal D-IV quarterfinals

Every time the U-Prep boys basketball team would cut into the Wood (Vacaville) lead on Thursday, the Wildcats had an answer. Whether it was a pressure turnover or a clutch bucket, the No. 6 seed in the NorCal Division IV playoffs countered everything the No. 3 Panthers (26-7) threw at them as Wood (25-7) advanced to the quarterfinals with a 51-36 win. All playoff coverage is presented by Redding Rancheria.

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Astro Jump Boys Basketball Team of the Week: U-Prep Panthers

Three days after losing its leading scorer in a Northern Athletic League win over Anderson, the U-Prep Panthers went into a Friday showdown with West Valley knowing a loss would likely sink their league title aspirations. Adding to the difficulty factor, last season’s league MVP, Jordan Miller, was also out against the Eagles with an ankle injury.

But the Panthers responded with a 59-54 win over the Eagles to deadlock Dub-V at 7-1 in NAL play heading into the final week of the regular season. For their perfect week and gritty homecoming win, the U-Prep Panthers are the Astro Jump Boys Basketball Team of the Week. It’s the second time the Panthers have earned the honors.

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Shasta County Sports Basketball Lunch Pail Gang

Years ago, when I was at the newspaper, I wrote a basketball piece where I highlighted those kids who I loved watching. Not because they would fill up the basket with points, but because they were solid contributors who came to the job daily and just worked. I called them the Lunch Pail Gang.

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