Roseville graduate Crabb helps lead Yuba College into regional basketball final

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Yuba College, featuring two players from Roseville, will play host to Santa Rosa Junior College at 7 p.m. today in a Northern California Regional men’s basketball final.

The winner will advance to the state championship tournament from March 9-11 at Cosumnes River College in south Sacramento.

The 49ers (31-3) have won six consecutive conference titles and back-to-back Bay Valley Conference tournaments. They earned a No. 2 seed in the NorCal playoffs for the first time, thanks in part to Roseville High School graduate Kevin Crabb.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward is averaging 10.3 points (on 56-percent shooting from the field), 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per game. Crabb had 17 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for Yuba in a tough 86-83 victory over Las Positas on Wednesday night.

Yuba coach Doug Cornelius said Crabb was injured for much of last season, and the 49ers also had two other NCAA Division I-caliber post players. It’s been different for Crabb this season.

“He’s been really big for us,” Cornelius said Thursday. “It’s been fun, really, to see the turnaround — getting the confidence, getting healthy finally and becoming a key contributor for us.”

Yuba, which includes three players from Rocklin and one each from Lincoln and Del Oro, blew out No. 18 West Hills 98-58 in its playoff opener.

Anthony Romero, formerly of Rocklin, made seven three-pointers and scored 23 points against Las Positas to help the 49ers register their 20th consecutive victory. Romero averages 14.9 points.

Spencer Butterfield, formerly of Del Oro, and Cody Kale, formerly of Rocklin, scored 14 points each. Butterfield leads the 49ers in scoring (16.5) and rebounding (8.3), and Kale averages 12.8 points. Nick Alongi, a 6-2 sophomore wing from Woodcreek, averages 2.3 points.

Also, the sixth-seeded Sierra (22-9) women beat Taft 71-55 and then lost to No. 3 Fresno City 90-82 in the third round. Sophomore guard Morgan Ragan of Granite Bay scored 10 points in the loss to Fresno City, and freshman guard Raina Loya of Roseville played for the Wolverines.

Oakmont QB Shields will attend Minnesota college

Oakmont senior quarterback Ryan Shields accepted a football scholarship to Bemidji State University in Minnesota.

Oakmont coach Tim Moore said in an e-mail that Shields would redshirt next season and have an opportunity to compete for the starting job in 2012.

Shields passed for 2,959 yards and 32 touchdowns in two varsity seasons and was an All-Capital Valley Conference first-team selection last fall. He also shared the CVC’s outstanding sportsmanship award and most recently was one of seven area players to receive scholar-athlete honors by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

Shields received several scholarship offers from NCAA Divisions II and III and NAIA colleges, according to Moore.

“He is very confident that the Bemidji State Beaver football program is the perfect fit,” Moore said.