Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog

Quick-hitting, behind-the-scenes news and notes from the staff, including previews of upcoming content and events.

Fantag Game of Week: Modesto Christian league streak marches on

At three different times in Monday’s Modesto Christian at St. Mary’s of Stockton boys basketball game, the host Rams tied up the visiting Crusaders with most inside Morelli Gym very aware of what might be at stake. State No. 20 Modesto Christian, however, still prevailed 89-80 and extended its state record league win streak to 189 games.

For Fantag video highlights of this game, CLICK HERE.

For Fantag video highlights of state-ranked Sheldon of Sacramento vs. Jesuit of Carmichael (game also played Monday), CLICK HERE.

For most of the years of Modesto Christian’s state record 189-game league win streak in boys basketball, the Crusaders have faced little competition from schools in their league, which used to be organized mostly by school enrollment and to keep all of Modesto Christian’s teams in the same league.

Modesto Christian’s Dathan Satchell gets hug after 26-point outing in win at St. Mary’s (Stockton). Photo: Mark Tennis.

These days, though, adding more competitive equity to league realignments plus more and more schools having teams in different leagues because of those factors, the Modesto Christian league win streak is going to be threatened more frequently. It was last year in a game against Beyer of Modesto and with the team now in the even tougher Tri-City Athletic League with the likes of St. Mary’s (Stockton), Lincoln (Stockton), Tracy, Lodi and others, it was thought that the toughest challenge to that streak this year would come on Monday night when head coach Brice Fantazia took his squad to St. Mary’s.

Facing a St. Mary’s team that went to the CIF NorCal D2 final last season and returned several key players, including three-year 6-foot-7 senior starter Bryce Johnson, the Crusaders did indeed get that test. It didn’t seem like it for most of the night as Modesto Christian led 32-24 at the half, extended its lead to 48-35 by the end of the third quarter and led by as many as 18 points. But the Rams got their home crowd rocking with a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter and had the score tied at 69-69, 71-71 and 73-73.

At that point, with 2:06 left in the game, senior Dathan Satchell came through for the Crusaders by making his sixth 3-pointer for a 76-73 lead. Then came a steal and lay-up by junior Michael Pearson for a five-point lead and from then on it was a case of the Rams mostly playing the foul ’em and hope they miss free throw strategy. Modesto Christian made its free throws and went on for a 89-80 victory.

The two teams will play again later in the league schedule, but that game will be at Modesto Christian. And based on how the other teams in the league have looked so far this season, that will probably be the only chance for the Modesto Christian league win streak, which began in the mid-1990s, will be broken.

That assessment also is based on how the Crusaders looked on Monday night. With their size, experience, depth and emergence of a scorer like Satchell plus the deadly 3-point shooting of freshman Devin Dye, it’s easy to see how they recently pushed current state No. 5, nationally ranked and unbeaten Salesian of Richmond to overtime and have left the imprint of a stinker loss to Campolindo of Moraga at their own tournament as more of a distant memory.

Satchell, who led all scorers with 26 points, was asked if maintaining the league win streak was on the minds of himself and his teammates.

“Big time,” he said. “We’re not losing in league, period.”

Pearson, a Cal-Hi Sports all-state sophomore from last season, added 18 points for the Crusaders.

“We are finally getting healthy, which we haven’t been all season, and hopefully we can peak at the right time,” said Fantazia, whose team went back into this week’s State Top 20 at No. 20 after having to drop out for one week and will be playing St. John Bosco of Bellflower next Monday at the MaxPreps MLK Classic being held at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. “I was proud of the way my guys handled the atmosphere and played for each other.”

For St. Mary’s, Johnson shined with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Jamar Marshall, who didn’t play football this season, still showed explosiveness on the court, improved ball-handling and shooting, and was even-steven with Pearson. He finished with 23 points.

Fantag Games: Weston Ranch & Oak Ridge victorious

Click on the link after each game recap to see video highlights from each of these two Fantag Games of the Week. For this second week, we have two recaps and video highlights done with one more to go, which will be from Monday’s Modesto Christian at St. Mary’s (Stockton) boys contest.
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Fantag Games of Week Recaps

Click on the link after each game recap to see video highlights from each of these three Fantag Games of the Week. For this first week, we’d say we had one upset, one game that was close throughout and another that went to overtime. Stay tuned to see previews for our next set of these games.
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Girls BB: So Cal Prep Classic Winners

Both Mater Dei teams — from Santa Ana and Chula Vista — plus McClatchy of Sacramento and Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates earn tourney crowns.
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It’s Official: Mater Dei State TOY

Mater Dei players and coaches get their photo taken following win against St. John Bosco for CIF Southern Section D1 championship. Photo: / Mater Dei HS.

For the third time in its history, but second year in a row, Mater Dei of Santa Ana collects State Team of the Year honor in California prep football. Read more for why this year’s Monarchs reminds us of the school’s and head coach Bruce Rollinson’s very first CIF Southern Section championship squad.
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Boys BB: Major Showcase Schedules

In November, we will begin to release our preseason 2018-19 Cal-Hi Sports boys basketball state rankings. As a preview to how things could shake out, here is a list of the major 2018-19 tournaments and classics involving California teams that figure to be ranked. Look for our preseason Cal-Hi Sports state rankings on the week of November 5, as the winter sports calendar has been moved up beginning this school year. The CIF state basketball championships will take place March 8-9, 2019. 

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Jayden Daniels State Record

In most career state record categories, Cajon of San Bernardino QB Jayden Daniels is behind former Folsom QB Jake Browning, but there is one state record of Browning’s that he did break. In honor of Jayden announcing his verbal commitment on Thursday of this week, here’s a rundown of his records. Note: All according to Cal-Hi Sports (no other state record compilations exist from any other source).
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CIF Football Pick ’em Scores

We don’t have a contest or anything but feel free to send in your picks for this week’s 10 CIF state football championships. Just to see a list of the scores we are going with, read on. If you want the full breakdown, CLICK HERE. If you are not a Gold Club member and now would like to see our full breakdown, you can get it for a low as $3.99. For details, CLICK HERE.
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Folsom vs. Central set some records

Final official totals from last Friday’s 84-46 win by Folsom over Central of Fresno in the CIF NorCal D1-AA championship game are out and it was indeed a shootout of statewide historical proportions.
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Aaron Judge: Bi-Coastal Standout

Fresno State fans remember him as an all-conference phenom who led the Bulldogs to the Western Athletic Conference championship in 2011. New York Yankees fans know him as an All-Star outfielder who had a record-breaking rookie season in 2017. As one of the many fresh-faced stars in MLB, Aaron Judge is also one of those rare players who has captured the baseball world’s attention from coast to coast. Here’s everything you need to know about this on-the-rise bi-coastal star.
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