Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Antioch, East County schools form athletic program for special education students

Saturday, June 13th, 2015
unifiedbasketball 5 682x1024 Antioch, East County schools form athletic program for special education students

Unified Basketball League game between Heritage High and Antioch High. photo by Michael Pohl

By Luke Johnson

Antioch and Deer Valley High School, along with Pittsburg High, have joined the three schools from the Liberty Unified High School District to become a part of a unified basketball league. This program, in conjunction with Special Olympics, is the first in Northern California.

Last year, Freedom High (Oakley) Athletic Director Steve Amaro helped develop a unified basketball league for the LUHSD, and the in-game atmosphere was electric and exceeded expectations.

It was a full gym,” Amaro said about the first game of last season. “It was amazing… It became more of an event than I ever expected.”

Amaro invited Antioch High Athletic Director Ferris Anthony to a game and he immediately fell in love with it, and was on board for incorporating it on to his campus.

I came back to the athletic directors meeting and said, ‘Count Antioch in!’” Anthony exclaimed. “They were all looking at me like, ‘What? What?’ I said, ‘We’re in, man. This is something we wanna do. This is a great thing.”

Team rosters are formed by unifying life skills students with regular education students. What this does, is make life-skills students feel they are apart of the school and creates bonds with regular education students.

They see me around school and say, ‘Hey, whats up?’ And that makes me feel real good, because they see we are also people in life, so we can also do what they do, but differently,” Deer Valley unified basketball player Jesus Guerra said to MaxPreps.

This program is currently growing, and has already caught the attention of the Mount Diablo Unified School District along with middle schools in Brentwood. Unified sports in the Bay Valley Athletic League has already expanded to include bowling in the fall and will have an undetermined athletic competition in the winter. This, like many other incredible things, is expected to catch on like wildfire.

It felt real good. I never thought I was going to do this in my life,” Guerra said after a game against Pittsburg.

unifiedbasketball 7 1024x682 Antioch, East County schools form athletic program for special education students

The Antioch High Unified Basketball Team. photo by Michael Pohl

Share this:
email Antioch, East County schools form athletic program for special education students su Antioch, East County schools form athletic program for special education students digg Antioch, East County schools form athletic program for special education students fb Antioch, East County schools form athletic program for special education students twitter Antioch, East County schools form athletic program for special education students

Free Summer Golf and Vendor Show at Antioch driving range, June 27

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Golfballin website ad 565x1024 Free Summer Golf and Vendor Show at Antioch driving range, June 27

Share this:
email Free Summer Golf and Vendor Show at Antioch driving range, June 27 su Free Summer Golf and Vendor Show at Antioch driving range, June 27 digg Free Summer Golf and Vendor Show at Antioch driving range, June 27 fb Free Summer Golf and Vendor Show at Antioch driving range, June 27 twitter Free Summer Golf and Vendor Show at Antioch driving range, June 27

Warriors, Cavs don’t disappoint, send NBA Finals Game 1 into OT giving Golden State the victory

Friday, June 5th, 2015

By Felicia D. Purcell

The Antioch Herald

The wait is over and the Golden State Warriors can officially put a “W” in the win column for Game 1 of the NBA Finals winning in OT over the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-100. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 22 points and Klay Thompson wasn’t far behind with 21. LeBron James carried his Cleveland Cavaliers team on his back scoring 44 points.

It was a slow start for all of us,” said Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr at the post game press conference. “You know, I just felt like the quarter we looked nervous.”

stevekerrgame1Finals Warriors, Cavs dont disappoint, send NBA Finals Game 1 into OT giving Golden State the victory

Warriors rookie head coach Steve Kerr at the press conference following their Game 1 Finals victory.

With the two rookie head coaches in Dave Blatt and Kerr, making their debuts they coached their teams in a duel of the ages and Cleveland jumped off to a head start in the first quarter 29-19. The Cavs led by as much as 14 points, during the game, but it would be the depth of the Warriors bench and the lack of a strong supporting cast that would hurt James’ team in the end.

It’s great, it’s so much fun,” said Kerr following the 132nd consecutive sell-out crowd of 19,596 at ORACLE. “This is what we all dream of in the NBA, to play in The Finals, to coach in The Finals, to be a part of all of this, two great teams.”

The victory extended the Warriors winning record at home to 47-3 for the season.

Golden States bench has been one of the deepest in the league all year with, everyone scoring baskets combining for 34 points led by veteran Andre Iguodala who led the bench in scoring with 15 points and 2-of-3 from the three-point line, versus the Cavs’ nine points from the bench.

Andre has been huge this whole playoffs,” said Warriors center Andrew Bogut. “People just noticed it tonight because he scored. But he does a lot of things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. His defense on LeBron at the end of regulation was huge. But he was scoring tonight, he was aggressive, he had a couple of dunks, he hit some three’s. He looked like the Andre from Philly.”

In his sixth straight Finals game, James gave ORACLE fans a sigh of relief when his jumper hit the rim to send the game into overtime. Fans know all too well of his game ending shockers as recently as last February while, as a member of the Miami Heat, he sank a 3-pointer to win the game with 0.1 seconds left on the shot clock.

We were lucky to get overtime,” said Kerr, “It’s always a game of runs. Our team, we like to play fast. We try to rely on our defense to get stops so we can get out and run.”

The Warriors did just that going on a run in the second half 24-7 eventually sending the game into overtime, knocking down shots, and outscoring the Cavs 10 to 2. Cleveland lost their rhythm when their second best player, Kyrie Irving, left the game with a left knee injury with two-minutes left in overtime. The Cavs would get their only basket in OT with a lay-up by James with 9.5 seconds left.

I’ve been in the league 11-years and it’s always something interesting,” said Iguodala of the anticipation and excitement of going up against James. “My years in Philly, I always had to guard the best players and then I had to try to create on offense as well.”

Game 2 will be held at ORACLE on Sunday, June 7th at 5 p.m. and televised on ABC.

SIDE NOTES:

  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr became the first rookie head coach to win Game 1 of an NBA Finals since Mike Dunleavy, and Kerr along with Cavaliers head coach David Blatt became the second pair of NBA rookie coaches to meet in The Finals. The first duo dates back to the league’s first year in 1947.

  • Warriors’ Klay Thompson joined his dad, two-time NBA champion Mychal Thompson as the seventh father/son combo to appear in The NBA Finals according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

  • Former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson, now doing color commentary for ESPN/ABC, called the game.

  • Cleveland’s two points in OT tied all-time Finals low for an overtime period in the shot clock era (since 1954-55).

  • An MRI was done Friday on Cavs guard Kyrie Irving to see if there’s a tear in his left knee. He left the ORACLE Arena on crutches. Another news report stated he will undergo season ending surgery.

Follow Felicia on Twitter @sportsinthebay_

Share this:
email Warriors, Cavs dont disappoint, send NBA Finals Game 1 into OT giving Golden State the victory su Warriors, Cavs dont disappoint, send NBA Finals Game 1 into OT giving Golden State the victory digg Warriors, Cavs dont disappoint, send NBA Finals Game 1 into OT giving Golden State the victory fb Warriors, Cavs dont disappoint, send NBA Finals Game 1 into OT giving Golden State the victory twitter Warriors, Cavs dont disappoint, send NBA Finals Game 1 into OT giving Golden State the victory

Warriors advance to NBA Finals for the first time in 40-years with 104-90 victory over Houston

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Draymond 768x1024 Warriors advance to NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with 104 90 victory over Houston

Draymond Green in the locker room celebrating the Warriors’ victory, Wednesday night. photo by F.D. Purcell

F.D. Purcell, Bay Area Sports Reporter

The Antioch Herald

Former Warriors head coach Alvin Attles roamed the hallway leading to the basketball court at ORACLE Arena with a focused look on his face. When I went to say hello and congratulate him he answered in his typical unaffected nature his deep bellowing voice replying “congratulating me for what?” I said for making it to the finals for the first time since the 1974-1975 season.

His reply? “I like that hat, young lady.”

I tried to give him a look of pity, but it only worked for a future quote.

Call me if you need me, girl.”

This past Monday marked the 40th anniversary that his team won the only championship Golden State has won since moving from Philadelphia. But now a new era has been ushered in, and the Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals after a 104-90 win over the Houston Rockets, and will face the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Much like Attles is unaffected, current head coach Steve Kerr carries the same type of demeanor. It’s not about him, but everyone else.

I’m happy for everybody, especially our fans,” he said. “Forty years is a long time.”

Kerr was only nine-years old, the last time the Warriors won the championship and he said that he’s relieved now that they’re headed to the NBA Finals.

I always think of Pat Riley’s great quote: ‘When you’re coaching in the NBA, there’s winning and there’s misery.’ And he’s right,” Kerr added.

Rather than get into the stats of the game, it’s important to talk about the character of Golden State.

I expected to see bottles of champagne and wild partying, following the game, but amidst the sweaty locker room and filled with music, the players sat near their lockers with cell phones in hands, texting and tweeting fans and loved one.

The group was loose, relaxed. Yet, somewhat quiet for a team who’d achieved such a historical feat. Half of their parents probably weren’t even born then.

The player with the most visual and vocal swagger, forward Draymond Green donned his NBA Finals hat and could be held saying “the skies the limit” while a large group of media surrounded him as teammate, center Festus Ezeli played the role of photographer, snapping photos from his own his cell phone.

Everyone was smiling, but there was still a feeling of “we’ve still got work to do.”

We wanted to appreciate the moment, not take it for granted, because it was something that we’ve been waiting for and wanted to close out tonight,” said MVP Stephen Curry who finished the game with 26-points. “But you kind of take it for what it is. Because you have four more wins and you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself.”

After falling to the L.A. Clippers in the seventh game of the Western Conference Semi-Finals last year, the team went through a coaching overhaul when management fired Mark Jackson and hired Kerr.

Jackson, who was the color commentator for Wednesdays game, was a beloved coach among his players. After the game, Curry admitted it was a tough summer and that he didn’t agree with the decision to fire Jackson. But, obviously it was the right decision in hiring Kerr, who Curry called a “humble guy who exceeded all expectations.

On the court, Golden State is flashy with their precise executed passes and long jumpers. But much like their coach, they’re a humble group of guys. Cause and point: instead of basking in his teams monumental victory, Ezeli took the time to personally thank me for what I’ve done for him all season.

There was a time when you could go into a sporting goods store in another city, anywhere and not find a piece of Golden State paraphernalia. Most people didn’t even know where the team played.

Now Curry has the top selling jersey behind LeBron James. Hes part of a dynamic duo called “The Splash Brothers.” Golden State is the national favorite to win the championship, and with their winning record has given them home court advantage throughout the NBA Finals.

While I won’t pretend to know any about them personally, I can honestly say in all the years associated with the Warriors (1999-current), this by far is the best group of guys I’ve encountered.

The wait is over for the long suffering fans who’ve endured names such as Vonteego Cummings, Chris Mills and Victor Alexander, ownership and coaching changes and even a player who choked his coach.

They started from the bottom and now, they’re here. After three-straight years of making the playoffs the Golden State Warriors have beat all the odds against them and will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the big dance called the NBA Finals.

Golden State will host the first two games at ORACLE Arena next Thursday, June 4th at 6:00 p.m. All the playoff games can be viewed on ABC.

Follow F.D. Purcell @sportsinthebay_

Share this:
email Warriors advance to NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with 104 90 victory over Houston su Warriors advance to NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with 104 90 victory over Houston digg Warriors advance to NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with 104 90 victory over Houston fb Warriors advance to NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with 104 90 victory over Houston twitter Warriors advance to NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with 104 90 victory over Houston

Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title, beats De La Salle for NCS Championship

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015
Heritage vs Deer Valley VB 05 15 15 Cathie Lawrence 0152 1024x1020 Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title, beats De La Salle for NCS Championship

Deer Valley’s Jacob Evans and Jacob Brannon attempt to block the spike of a Heritage player during the match on Friday, May 15, 2015. By Cathie Lawrence

Face De La Salle for the NCS Championship, tonight

By Luke Johnson

2006.

That number represents the year in which Deer Valley High School boys’ volleyball last lost a match to a Bay Valley Athletic League opponent. The Wolverines would go undefeated 118 matches later, win nine consecutive BVAL Pennants and two North Coast Section Championships.

The team who beat Deer Valley in 2006 is not even in the BVAL anymore, and that’s De La Salle. The Wolverines have not even lost a single set in the past five years; a streak that has expanded to 143 sets.

Head Coach Lou Panzella said the reason behind his great success is because he has been blessed with great players such as Jason Agopian, Noah Lebonte, Marcus Lee and Derrico Kwa. Today the team is led by a quad of seniors: Jordan Ewert, Jared Stark, Jacob Evans and Jacob Brannon; all of which have received All-BVAL honors.

One of the most different things [about this season] is that this time I’m a senior, and instead of having all these people to look up to, there are a couple people looking up to me, which is kind of a strange feeling,” Stark said. “Playing [on varsity] as a freshman, I always had these really big players on the team to look up to, and now I kinda have to hold my own and show that I am someone to look up to.”

Outside of high school, Ewert is a National and World Champion. He signed his letter of intent to play for Stanford University in November, and is on the verge of becoming the first player with 2,000 career kills at Deer Valley (currently at 1,934).

The Wolverines (38-1) beat East Bay rival De La Salle (25-5), Saturday, May 23 in the NCS Championship match, 3-1 giving Deer Valley its third straight title.

Share this:
email Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title, beats De La Salle for NCS Championship su Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title, beats De La Salle for NCS Championship digg Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title, beats De La Salle for NCS Championship fb Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title, beats De La Salle for NCS Championship twitter Deer Valley boys volleyball team stays unbeaten through 118 league matches, wins 9th straight title, beats De La Salle for NCS Championship

Warriors squeak a win over the Rockets, 99-98, lead series 2-0

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

By F.D. Purcell

Antioch Herald

Golden State led by as much as 17 points in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, however they would find themselves battling down to the last seconds of Wednesdays game but would scrape a win by the score of 99-98.

After trailing early in the game the Warriors rallied to a 17-point lead, in the first half before heading into halftime tied at 55.

Steph Curry ended the game with a third of the Warriors points at 33, including five three-point shots, out of 11 attempts. Center Andrew Bogut had the next most points for the team, with 14, followed closely by Klay Thompson with 13 and Draymond Green with 12.

Head Coach Steve Kerr talked about Houston losing by a closer margin in the playoffs, as opposed to the regular season.

This is how the playoffs go. You’re playing great teams,” he said. “You’re playing teams that are generally a lot more in tune with game planning and preparation, and generally speaking healthier.” “Houston is healthier than what we saw in the regular season,” Kerr added.

Rockets center Dwight Howard who banged knees with teammate Josh Smith in Game 1 was listed as questionable for Thursday’s game but showed no signs of injury, finishing with 19 points.

I just tried to play as hard as I could, tonight,” he stated. “I didn’t think about it at all. See how it feels tomorrow, but I just wanted to play this game for my teammates – all I could give them, despite whatever happened with my knee.”

James Harden’s offense kept Houston in the game, as well as their strong defense.

Although they are up 2-0, Golden State fans best not get comfortable like Clippers’ fans did in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Houston climbed out of a hole doing what only a few NBA teams have done and rose from a 3-1 deficit to win that series.

We’re playing a lot better, as well, too,” said Harden about keeping their confidence in spite of trailing the Warriors 0-2 in the series. “We had plenty of opportunities to win both of the games, so we have all the confidence in the world.”

With Golden State’s consecutive 130th sell-out crowd of 15,596 at ORACLE Houston stayed in the Warriors rear view mirror throughout the second half. With the game winding down the Rockets went on a 6-1 run with a little over 40 seconds left. But Harden would end up coughing up the ball on the final play of the game.

It is just unfortunate that we didn’t get a shot up but they made a great play at the end of the game to get a stop and get a win,” said Rockets veteran Trevor Ariza.

In the NBA, as with all sports, a win is a win. However, Warriors forward Draymond Green feels the Dubbs haven’t played well.

“We haven’t played well, at all,” he shared. “We haven’t put it all together, yet. But it’s like that sometimes. To be up here sitting 2-0 that’s big.”

Houston looks to make up for the two losses at ORACLE in their next two games at home Saturday and Monday.

Follow F.D. Purcell @sportsinthebay_

Share this:
email Warriors squeak a win over the Rockets, 99 98, lead series 2 0 su Warriors squeak a win over the Rockets, 99 98, lead series 2 0 digg Warriors squeak a win over the Rockets, 99 98, lead series 2 0 fb Warriors squeak a win over the Rockets, 99 98, lead series 2 0 twitter Warriors squeak a win over the Rockets, 99 98, lead series 2 0

Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110-106 in first game of Western Conference Finals

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
stephandriley 05 19 15 Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110 106 in first game of Western Conference Finals

Steph Curry and his daughter Riley, at the press conference following the Warriors Tuesday night playoff victory.  photo by F.D. Purcell

F.D. Purcell

The Antioch Herald

The Babyface Assassin strikes again. It was the MVP vs. his runner-up in Stephen Curry and James Harden. ROARACLE was loud as usual, but Golden State started off slow with Game 1 jitters. Then, when they found their rhythm all systems were go. Curry would finish with 34-points and Harden with 28-points.

I think we finally realized it was the Western Conference Finals” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “Honestly, sometimes with Game 1 in a series, there’s kind of a feeling-out process.”

You play against a team that has a certain style, that first 24 minutes in this series is going to be a little bit different, and it took us a while to kind of figure out the pace,” Curry told The Antioch Herald.

The leagues MVP tallied his league-leading sixth 30-point game of the playoffs and his 11th career postseason 30-point game to add to his game-high 34-points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. On Monday he also added a 2015 BET Awards nomination for Sportsman of the Year.

Houston center Dwight Howard would leave the game in the first half after banging knees with teammate Josh Smith preventing him from running or jumping, he would not return. It is unsure whether he’ll be a go for Thursdays game.

I hope not. We get a day to rest and we will look at it in the morning. We will see how it feels tomorrow,” Howard said afterwards.

The small lineup Kerr implemented worked for Golden State and Shaun Livingston scored 18 from the bench. Forward Klay Thompson who finished the game with 15 points talked about what the smaller lineup provided for the team who they swept 4-0 in the regular season.

“The ability to push the ball in transition and switch up on defense, and we play with great length.” “They’ve obviously gotten better,” Thompson said of the team they swept in the regular season who came back from a 3-1 deficit over the L.A. Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals becoming the ninth team in NBA history to do so.

With a 1-0 lead in the series Curry brought his other leading lady to the press conference, his adorable two-year old daughter Riley who kept reporters laughing with her outspoken nature, telling her father he needed to lower his voice while speaking.

Clearly it was past her bedtime and as most two-year old’s would do she became bored and bolted from the risers heading for the exit as her exasperated father finished up his press conference mumbling, “I gotta go chase behind a two-year old,” as he walked up the aisles.

As Riley came into the press conference with energy it is no doubt the Rockets will come in with the confidence and defense they displayed in Game 1 in Thursdays Game 2.

Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday at ORACLE Arena.

Game Mentionables:

Shaun Livingston scored a playoff-career high 19-points, the most by a Warriors reserve this postseason scoring a half career-high 16-points in the first half.

Draymond Green secured his eight double-double of the playoffs (12th career in the postseason) with 13-points and 12 rebounds to go with eight assists in a postseason career-high 43 minutes.

Festus Ezeli rolled in with playoff season-highs of six points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.

James Harden finished with a team-high 28 points to go with a playoff-career high 11 rebounds and in assists, missing what could have been his second career postseason triple-double by one assist.

Follow F.D. Purchell on Twitter: @sportsinthebay_

Share this:
email Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110 106 in first game of Western Conference Finals su Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110 106 in first game of Western Conference Finals digg Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110 106 in first game of Western Conference Finals fb Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110 106 in first game of Western Conference Finals twitter Warriors rally back to beat Rockets 110 106 in first game of Western Conference Finals

Warriors defeat Grizzlies, advance to Western Conference Finals for first time since 1976

Friday, May 15th, 2015

By F.D. Purcell

Antioch Herald

The last time the Golden State Warriors were headed to the Western Conference Finals, Jimmy Carter was in the White House and disco was king.

For the first time in 39 years, the number one team in the NBA will be one series away from the NBA Finals winning 4-2 games over the Memphis Grizzlies 108-95.

Their length at the win gave us trouble all series,” said Memphis Head Coach Dave Joerger, who lost three straight to Golden State after leading the series 2-1.

The Splash Brothers were making buckets out the gate and Memphis would make a come back but would never take the lead.

Steph Curry finished the game with 32-points, scoring 8 out of 14 3-point field goals and 10 assists. Klay Thompson scored 20-points and had 8 rebounds.

Each step you have to sit back and reflect a bit, we have a couple of days to do so,” said Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who has championship rings with Chicago and San Antonio.

Golden State has several days to rest before facing the winner of Game 7 in the Rockets versus Clippers series on Sunday.

Follow F.D. Purcell on Twitter: @sportsinthebay_

Share this:
email Warriors defeat Grizzlies, advance to Western Conference Finals for first time since 1976 su Warriors defeat Grizzlies, advance to Western Conference Finals for first time since 1976 digg Warriors defeat Grizzlies, advance to Western Conference Finals for first time since 1976 fb Warriors defeat Grizzlies, advance to Western Conference Finals for first time since 1976 twitter Warriors defeat Grizzlies, advance to Western Conference Finals for first time since 1976