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Empire notes: SRJC's Skylar Chavez lights up scoreboard

The sophomore accounted for just shy of half of the SRJC men's baskertball team's 91 points in their 91-77 home win over Cosumnes River on Friday.|

Santa Rosa Junior College sophomore Skylar Chavez accounted for just shy of half of the Bear Cubs' 91 points in their 91-77 home win over Cosumnes River on Friday.

Chavez, who prepped at Drake High, was 15 of 23 from the field and 3 of 7 from behind the arc in scoring 45 points. Fouling him wasn't wise - he hit 12 of 13 free throws. He also snagged seven rebounds, dished out three assists and had a steal and a block for good measure.

The Bear Cubs were 18-6 overall and 9-3 in the Big 8 Conference while riding a three-game win streak heading into Tuesday night's game on the road against Sierra College. The last time the Bear Cubs played Sierra, on Jan. 11, they won 95-78. The Bear Cubs are in second place in the conference behind San Joaquin Delta, which was 12-1 heading into Tuesday's game with American River.

Bear Cubs swimmers take second place at NorCal Relays

The Santa Rosa JC women's and men's swim teams both finished second in the NorCal Relays on Feb. 2. The women's team finished second to Sierra College with strong outings from Molly Davis, Alex Langley, Mary Khattar and Katie Morrison, a combination that won the 200-yard medley. On the men's side, the Bear Cubs finished second to Sierra College. The team of Chadwick Leung, Nate English, Mark Sidorenko and Jack McCormick won the 200-yard medley. Julian Schiano DiCola, John Madden, Matthew Hayes and Leung won the 400-yard individual medley. The Bear Cubs will compete in the Sac City Invitational on Feb. 22.

SSU men's tennis led by locals

Locals Nate Oppenheim and Alec Wong are leading the Sonoma State men's tennis team in the early matches of the season. Oppenheim, a senior who graduated from Orchard View in Sebastopol, paired with Max Nudell to beat the Thunderbirds' No. 1 doubles duo in the season opener with Southern Utah last Thursday. Oppenheim, SSU's No. 1 singles player, fell to Southern Utah's No. 1, 6-2, 7-5. Wong, a junior out of Rancho Cotate, was beaten 6-0, 6-0 in the No. 5 spot. Southern Utah won the match 6-1. On Sunday, the Seawolves rallied to beat American River 6-1 behind Oppenheimer's 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 1 and Wong's 7-5, 6-1 win in the No. 5 spot. Oppenheim was also a winner in the No. 1 doubles match. The Seawolves head south to take on Biola on Thursday, Concordia on Friday and UC San Diego on Sunday.

'Hounds on the hunt

Berean Christian might want to watch out Wednesday. Healdsburg secured the No. 9 seed in the North Coast Section Division 4 boys soccer tournament.

The Greyhounds are likely better than that. Their record is 5-5-6 overall and 3-3-4 in the North Bay League-Oak Division, but they have scored 25 goals this season and allowed 26. They lost to Roseland University Prep 2-1 on Nov. 30.

RUP earned the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye. The upside is this is a Healdsburg team that could mess up a bracket. The downside is that the winner of Wednesday's game gets No. 1 seed University on the road Saturday night.

Montgomery boys, Newman girls are area's sole No. 1 seeds

In a loaded winter playoff season, just two area teams earned a No. 1 seed in their respective brackets. Montgomery boys soccer grabbed the top spot in Division 2 after compiling a 17-0-2 record and going 10-0 in the North Bay League-Oak Division. The Vikings have scored 69 goals this season and allowed just 14. They face the No. 16 seed, Windsor, at Elsie Allen at 7 p.m.

The other top spot went to the Cardinal Newman girls soccer team. The Cardinals are seeded No. 1 in Division 4 and drew No. 16 Swett. The two teams kick off 7 p.m. at El Molino Wednesday. The Cardinals went 11-4-1 overall and finished 8-3-1 in a tough NBL-Oak Division race.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield.

Kerry Benefield

Columnist, The Press Democrat

Have a story that is wild, wacky, bizarre or beautiful? Tell me about it. Have a question that starts with, “What’s the deal with…?” Let’s figure it out together. This column is about the story behind the story, a place to shine a light on who we are, what makes us a community and all of the things that make us special. With your help, I'll be tackling the questions that vex us: (the funny, the mundane, and the irritating.)

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