Open Division Openers

Ma'Ane Mosley of Berkeley St. Mary's (left) battles for rebound in team's loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral. Folsom junior guards Tre Finch and Jordan Ford, meanwhile, are happy after win over El Cerrito. Photos: Willie Eashman & Mark Tennis.

Ma’Ane Mosley of Berkeley St. Mary’s (left) battles for rebound in team’s loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral. Folsom junior guards Tre Finch and Jordan Ford, meanwhile, are happy after win over El Cerrito. Photos: Willie Eashman & Mark Tennis.

Shocker of the night was the margin of victory by Serra of San Mateo boys over state No. 12 Moreau Catholic of Hayward. We have recaps of Folsom-El Cerrito and Bishop Montgomery-St. Augustine plus breakdowns of the two regional boys and girls divisions.

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Tuesday’s regional semifinals for the boys will be Folsom vs. Bishop O’Dowd at Laney College in Oakland; Modesto Christian vs. Serra of San Mateo at Serra; Mater Dei of Santa Ana vs. Bishop Montgomery at site TBA; and Etiwanda vs. Fairfax of Los Angeles at Fairfax.

Tuesday’s regional semifinals for the girls will be Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco vs. St. Mary’s of Stockton at Delta College; St. Ignatius of San Francisco vs. Miramonte of Orinda at Miramonte; Clovis West of Fresno vs. Chaminade of West Hills at Chaminade; and Long Beach Poly vs. Mater Dei at Mater Dei.

Next Saturday, the NorCal regional championships in the Open Division and for Division I & Division II will be at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento while the SoCal regional championships for the Open Division plus D1 & D2 will be at Long Beach State’s The Pyramid.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BOYS

•The shocker of the night in the state on the boys side was San Mateo Serra’s 79-51 blowout of Moreau Catholic. After the Mariners battled state No. 1 Bishop O’Dowd more than respectably last Saturday in the North Coast Section Division III final, not many saw a blowout loss coming next to the Central Coast Section Open Division champions. Moreau (23-7 and ranked No. 12 overall in the state) just had one of those nightmarish outings while Serra came out smoking and never cooled. In the first half, the Padres (25-5 and likely coming into the overall State Top 20 next week) shot 17 of 33 from the field while Moreau was just 5 of 19 and also committed 12 turnovers. Jake Killingsworth, the hero of Serra’s CCS final game, led the team in scoring again with 18 points.

Ivan Rabb will be in the McDonald's All-American Game. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Ivan Rabb will be in the McDonald’s All-American Game. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

•State No. 1 Bishop O’Dowd moved on with a 76-55 victory over CCS Open Division runner-up St. Francis of Mountain. Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year front-runner Ivan Rabb scored early and often, got the St. Francis big men into trouble and wound up with 30 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. The Dragons improved to 25-4 and remained unbeaten against California competition. St. Francis finished 22-7.

•For a recap of Folsom’s 78-75 win against El Cerrito, CLICK HERE.

•While state No. 10 Monte Vista of Danville was the No. 2 seed and was the 2014 D1 state champ, the Mustangs losing at home to No. 7 Modesto Christian 47-44 was not much of an upset. The Crusaders (29-3) are battle-tested and probably should have been seeded higher. They also were No. 15 overall in the state. It was the same type of defensive-oriented game that Monte Vista (28-3) played one week ago against De La Salle in the NCS D1 final, but this time lost at the end instead of won. Jeff Wu had 18 points for MC, including two free throws with 1:13 left that pushed his team in front 45-44. On Monte Vista’s next possession, Anthony Townes came up with a steal and dunk to make it 47-44. Stefan Mitu, who had a game-high 19 points for the Mustangs, tried to hit a 3-pointer at the final horn to force overtime but was heavily defended and missed.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BOYS

•Three of the four openers were one-sided, but the one that wasn’t was Foothills Christian of El Cajon coming one play short of upsetting CIF Southern Section Open Division runner-up Etiwanda. The visiting Knights (25-7*), who were not happy about being in the Open Division, nonetheless proved they can play at the highest level (and proved their No. 19 overall state ranking was correct) and lost by just 56-55. They had a chance for a game-winning basket at the end, but the ball was knocked loose from Arizona commit and big-time junior T.J. Leaf (22 points, 14 rebounds). Leaf also had a blocked shot in the last minute, but the loose ball was picked up by Etiwanda’s Garrett Carter, who scored the eventual game-winning basket with 32 seconds left. State No. 3 Etiwanda (24-8) almost had all five starters score in double figures with Carter ending up as the leader with 11 points.

•For a recap of No. 1 seed and state No. 2 Bishop Montgomery’s 75-51 win over San Diego Open Division champion St. Augustine, CLICK HERE.

•In the other two games, state No. 4 Mater Dei of Santa Ana used a 28-2 run to overcome a 13-2 early deficit and went on to roll past Westchester of Los Angeles 67-49 while state No. 5 Fairfax of Los Angeles beat Orange Lutheran 75-53. La’Vette Parker had 16 points for the Monarchs (27-4) in that spurt and ended with 23 points. Lorne Currie had 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Lions, who improved to 31-2. Backcourt mate Lindsey Drew also nearly had a triple-double with 10 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Rogers Printup knocked down 22 points for Orange Lutheran, which was No. 8 in the state and finished 24-6. Westchester capped its season with a 21-13 record.

Iimar'i Thomas from Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco looks for shot against Berkeley St. Mary's. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Iimar’i Thomas from Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco looks for shot against Berkeley St. Mary’s. Photo: Willie Eashman.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA GIRLS

•The game of the night in the north was state No. 5 Orinda Miramonte’s 57-52 overtime win over state No. 10 Pinewood of Los Altos Hills. Pinewood, a D5 state powerhouse for many years that won state titles in 2012 and 2014, forced overtime on a layup with 10 seconds left in regulation by Marissa Hing. The Panthers (24-4) also scored the first three points of overtime, but No. 2 seed Miramonte (29-2) took control from there. A very good sign for the Matadors was that other players besides junior star Sabrina Ionescu came through. Rachelle Louie actually led them in scoring with 16 points (Ionescu had 15) while Uriah Howard had some key baskets as well. Gabi Bade topped Pinewood with 18.

•State No. 1 and top seed St. Mary’s of Stockton won in its NorCal opener over 2014 D3 state champion and state No. 17 Modesto Christian by almost the same margin as when the Rams played the Crusaders in January. It was 92-66 then and on Friday it was 90-65. St. Mary’s (30-1) is playing another rematch in Tuesday’s semifinals against Sacred Heart Cathedral. It was 72-66 in San Francisco in that one, which was one of the Rams’ closest wins of the season. Tuesday’s game, however, will be in Stockton. Modesto Christian, which did not deserve to be the No. 8 seed in the bracket, finished 28-5.

•Both of the West Catholic Athletic League teams in this bracket won in their first-round games. CCS Open Division champ and state No. 8 Sacred Heart Cathedral stayed hot with a 69-54 triumph at home over St. Mary’s of Berkeley while state No. 14 St. Ignatius bounced back from a poor showing in the CCS Open Division to beat No. 3 seed and state No. 18 Salesian of Richmond on the road 74-60. With its senior leadership, many expected St. Ignatius (22-6) would play better now knowing that one loss and it’s over and the Wildcats did. They had to play well with Salesian’s Kian McNair scoring a game-high 30 points. The Pride ended their season at 26-4. Sacred Heart Cathedral improved to 18-10 while St. Mary’s finished 22-8.
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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GIRLS

•State No. 5 Alemany of Mission Hills may have been facing a Clovis West of Fresno team that was just outside of the State Top 20, but knew that going on the road up to Fresno was going to be a difficult task. The Golden Eagles (24-4) made sure the trip home for Alemany (24-7) was a season-ending one with a 53-50 triumph. Alemany, which moved up so high in the state due to a win over Southern Section Open Division winner Chaminade in its final league game and then due to a win over Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth in the CIFSS Open Division quarterfinals, fell behind in the first half and never could go on any kind of run. Clovis West connected on six 3-pointers in the first half (from six different players) to take a 27-23 lead. Sarah Bates led the Golden Eagles with 14 points. Clovis West will have to travel now with a matchup on Tuesday at state No. 2 Chaminade. Knowing that Alemany was able to beat Chaminade once, however, should give head coach Craig Campbell’s girls some confidence they have a chance.

•Just like Mr. Basketball front-runner Ivan Rabb had an impressive start in the Open Division for the boys, so did Ms. Basketball front-runner Katie Lou Samuelson of state No. 3 Santa Ana Mater Dei for the girls. Samuelson, in fact, broke Mater Dei’s school record with a 42-point night in the Monarchs’ 99-73 victory over Palisades of Pacific Palisades. She broke the previous record held by UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, which is where she is headed next, too. Aly Rosenblum, a UCLA committed junior, added 21 for Mater Dei. Palisades ended at 22-11.

•Top seed and state No. 2 Chaminade went on a 22-0 run in the first half and ended up with an easy 82-53 win over Narbonne of Harbor City. There was no letdown for the Eagles (26-3) after their win over Mater Dei (which was No. 1 in the state and nation at the time) in the CIFSS Open Division final. La’Tecia Smith of Narbonne (23-5*) still led all scorers with 30 points.

•Finally, in the Long Beach Poly-San Marcos Mission Hills matchup, a 28-28 tie in the third quarter got broken up by a 7-0 run by the state No. 4 Jackrabbits to help them take control. They continued to surge in the fourth quarter and wound up with a 58-41 win over the Grizzlies. Pitt-bound guard Tania Lamb keyed the third quarter run and ended with 15 points for Poly, which improved to 26-3. The Grizzlies (25-6) came into the night after winning the San Diego Section Open Division title and had moved to No. 20 overall in the state.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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One Comment

  1. Debru30
    Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I would love to know the mindset of the committee when matching up the teams and choosing who should be placed in the Open Division. It seems that if you want to avoid being placed in Open, you should just lose a game then you’ll be placed as the top seed in the Division that you should be in.

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