St. Mary’s overwhelms Whitney to advance to regional semifinals

·5 min read

The St. Mary’s boys basketball team knocked Clovis East out of the CIF Northern California Division Il Regional tournament on Tuesday in Fresno and Thursday night in Stockton they eliminated upstart No. 16 Whitney 89-67.

St. Mary’s guard Jamar Marshall knocked down four 3-pointers, threw down monster dunks, played lockdown defense and scored a team-high 34 points. Also playing big for the Rams was Grant Jory, who also hit four 3-pointers and scored 23 points. Jamar’s younger brother Jadyn had 10 points for a team that is now 5-1 in the playoffs. St. Mary’s lost to Grant in the Sac-Joaquin Section D-II finals and has maximized its second life. It starts with Marshall, the two-sport star.

“I’m so thankful for my team,” Marshall said. “Everyone has been really stepping up for us and it’s not just me. A lot of players have been stepping up for us which has been big. That’s what you need from a championship team.”

Last season, St. Mary’s lost in the NorCal quarterfinal round to Serra of San Mateo. That game still sticks with Marshall.

Coach Ken Green can appreciate a prolific guard like Marshall because he also was one at St. Mary’s. Green won section championships at St. Mary’s in ‘81 and ‘82 under famed coach Jon Gustorf. Marshall also won back-to-back section championships as the Rams point guard in 2018 and ‘19.

“Jamar really turned it on tonight,” Green said. “He didn’t come out until the end of the game. It was his last home game and what a special way to go out.”

Green got into coaching because of Gustorf, his mentor. Gustorf won nearly 500 games over 29 seasons with the Rams. Green became coach at St. Mary’s in 2002 when Gustorf stepped down. The two still talk.

“It’s special to be here at St. Mary’s,” Green said. “The community is awesome, and it’s great when my friends come to games to support us. Coach Guatorf was at the Jesuit (playoff) game last week watching. He’s a legend. We still email and always gives my team encouragement.”

There once was a large gap between Sacramento and Bay Area basketball in the NorCal rounds, including when Green played. The gap closed and then some with programs such as Sheldon seeking a NorCal Open Division three-peat.

“Our tough schedule helps us for moments like these,” Green said. “We have played a lot of teams that are still playing. I think we play somewhat a Bay Area-style of basketball because of our physical man-to-man defense.”

St. Mary’s (25-9) now travels to the other side of Stockton on Saturday to take on Weston Ranch in a semifinal. The Cougars beat Oakland Tech 63-50 Thursday.

“They are one of the most talented teams in Northern California,” Green said. “It’s a tall task but we will go out and keep competing as hard as we can.”

Whitney (26-7) reached this part of the season for only the second time in program history. Ryan King led the Wildcats with 18 points. Jake Fink had 17 and Dom Spence nine. All of those players are seniors, a group coach Nick French will not forget.

“They’ve been amazing,” French said of his senior class. “As a coach, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids. They are the kind of kids you want your sons to be.”

CIF Northern California Regional boys basketball

Open Division

Saturday semifinals, 6 p.m.

No. 4 Dublin vs. No. 1 Sheldon at Cosumnes River College

No. 3 Bishop O’Dowd at No. 2 Mitty

Division I

Riordan 76, Vanden 62

De La Salle 53, Menlo-Atherton 43

Salesian 62, Grant 45

Campolindo 60, Capital Christian 58

Saturday semifinals, 6 p.m.

No. 4 De La Salle at No. 1 Riordan

No. 7 Campolindo at No. 3 Salesian

Division II

St. Mary’s 89, Whitney 67

Weston Ranch 63, Oakland Tech 50

Sacred Heart Prep 55, Branson 53

St. Patrick-St. Vincent 85, De Anza 66

Saturday semifinals, 6 p.m.

No. 9 St. Mary’s at No. 4 Weston Ranch

No. 3 Sacred Heart Prep at No. 2 St. Patrick-St. Vincent

Division III

Wood 56, Pleasant Valley 50

Saint Mary’s 68, Sacred Heart Prep 64

Foothill 67, Sequoia 58

Carmel 59, St. Ignatius 42

Saturday semifinals, 6 p.m.

No. 16 Wood at No. 4 Saint Mary’s

No. 11 Foothill at No. 7 Carmel

Division lV

Brookside Christian 68, Stuart Hall 63

Hoover 60, Hillsdale 58

University 64, Golden Valley 55

Lincoln 79, Clear Lake 42

Saturday semifinals, 6 p.m.

No. 8 Brookside Christian at No. 4 Hoover

No. 3 University at No. 2 Lincoln

Division V

Pierce 56, Calaveras 50

Eastside Prep 51, Christopher49

San Domenico 68, Gridley 55

Bradshaw Christian 58, Pacific Bay Christian 57

Saturday semifinals, 6 p.m.

No. 5 Eastside Prep at No. 1 Pierce

No. 3 San Domenico at No. 2 Bradshaw Christian

Division VI

Weed 54, South Fork 35

Ferndale 67, Stockton Christian 65

Fall River 60, St. Bernard’s 49

Ripon Christian 64, California School for the Deaf 41

Saturday semifinals, 6 p.m.

No. 4 Ferndale at No. 1 Weed

No. 3 Fall River at No. 2 Ripon Christian

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