Boys BB: Regional QFs

It’s a huge night for the CIF North Coast Section in NorCal as Berkeley and Bishop O’Dowd knock off Jesuit and Weston Ranch, but there were even more NCS winners than that…..Riley Battin’s 47-point night was one of the big stories in the south, along with wins by state No. 10 Crespi and state No. 11 Redondo.

For breakdowns of the 16 Open Division games played Friday night, CLICK HERE.

(Here’s our quick-take breakdowns of the five NorCal and five SoCal divisions in this year’s CIF state boys basketball playoffs after all games played on Saturday, March 12; next divisional state rankings will be done after Tuesday’s games; those will be for Gold Club members only; please sign up and pay a small fee so you can see everything that we do.)

NorCal D1: To give one a sense of Berkeley’s 62-59 upset of No. 2 seed Jesuit of Carmichael keep in mind that Jesuit has a win over SoCal Open Division semifinalist Cathedral Catholic, which is the team that beat nationally ranked Sierra Canyon on Friday. Another good win for the CIF North Coast Section was its D1 finalist, Monte Vista of Danville, surging in the fourth quarter to beat Oakland Tech 53-43. The Bulldogs came into that game at 28-3. Top seed Bellarmine also is into the semfinals after a 72-63 triumph over Castro Valley.
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SoCal D1: Crespi is the top seed and highest team in the overall State Top 20 (at No. 10) that is not in the Open Division. The Celts beat state No. 18 Inglewood on Saturday and will now play St. Augustine of San Diego in the semifinals. It will be an all-South Bay semi on the other side of the bracket was state No. 11 Redondo taking on state No. 19 Narbonne. Redondo got 26 points and 11 rebounds from Leland Green (a four-year starter) in its 84-72 victory over Birmingham of Lake Balboa. St. Augustine, meanwhile, eliminated its second straight opponent from the CIFSS’s Big VIII League when it topped Roosevelt of Eastvale. The Saints knocked off state-ranked Corona Centennial earlier in the week.

NorCal D2: As Tuesday approaches, the possibility exists of there being two all-West Catholic Athletic League finals in NorCal with a fifth team, Bellarmine, in the D1 final. That doesn’t even include the best team in the league, St. Francis, which was in the Open Division. In this bracket, the teams are top seed Serra and No. 3 Mitty. It does seem like Mitty may have a tough time at El Cerrito on Tuesday, especially the way that El Cerrito’s Sayeed Pridgett has been playing lately.

SoCal D2: On the girls side in this bracket, all four CIFSS Open Division teams reached the semis. For the boys, there’s two but two of the four actually played on Saturday as Los Alamitos rallied to beat Santa Margarita 64-59. The Griffins (No. 3 seed) will play Long Beach Poly next. In the Jackrabbits’ win vs. El Camino Real on Saturday, Zafir Williams dominated with 34 points and 18 rebounds. Although the seedings were particularly goofy, the four teams left are more than solid and any one of them could win state in this division.

Bishop O'Dowd head coach Lou Ritchie gives instructions to guard Austin Walker in last year's Open Division state final. Photo: Willie Eashman

Bishop O’Dowd head coach Lou Ritchie gives instructions to guard Austin Walker in last year’s Open Division state final. Photo: Willie Eashman

NorCal D3: It really was a great night for the NCS, also because of Bishop O’Dowd going on the road and knocking off top seed Weston Ranch of Stockton 72-64. The Dragons, last year’s Open Division state champs, played like a defending champ. Sophomore Naseem Gaskin was their leading scorer with 31 points. He also had 10 rebounds. Riordan and Sacred Heart Cathedral, meanwhile, from the WCAL also both won.

SoCal D3: The performance of the night (boys or girls) had to belong to Oak Park sophomore Riley Battin, who set a school record with 47 points and also had 18 rebounds, four blocks and four assists in his team’s win vs. Bernstein of Los Angeles. While top seed Ayala escaped an upset bid from Hart (Newhall), the wide open nature of this bracket (can say that about the north as well) also was shown with Bonita of La Verne’s 70-67 win vs. a Santa Barbara squad that was 32-1.

NorCal D4: Two of the CCS Open Division teams that dropped down into this bracket, top seed Half Moon Bay and No. 3 Palma, both are still going. They are going to be playing the two Sac-Joaquin Section D4 finalists in Tuesday’s semifinals. Half Moon Bay will host West Campus of Sacramento while Palma will travel to play Central Catholic of Modesto. Austin Hilton had 27 points for Half Moon Bay in its win vs. Liberty Ranch of Galt on Saturday.

SoCal D4: Speaking of competitive equity and schools with large enrollments being able to play in lower divisions, meet El Camino of Oceanside. The Wildcats have traditionally been D1 in San Diego, but are D4 this year. That’s why it’s hard to call their win on Saturday over top seed Diamond Ranch a big upset. Of course, the other three semifinalists are smaller private schools that have their own built-in advantages. In Viewpoint’s 76-69 win vs. Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks on Saturday, Aram Anslanian, known as the Armenian Assassin, bombed away for 30 points.

NorCal D5: Didn’t we say earlier in this rundown that the NCS had a great night? In this bracket, all four semifinalists are from the NCS after Saturday’s results. No. 1 seed St. Joseph Notre Dame rolled past Woodside Priory 61-50 while No. 2 seed Mariposa County lost at home to Stuart Hall of the NCS, 70-65.

SoCal D5: Just like in the north, all four semifinalists are from one section in this case the Southern. While top seed St. Joseph of Santa Maria is one of them, No. 2 seed Flintridge Prep is not. It was beaten 68-52 by Saddleback Valley Christian of San Juan Capistrano. That is the team coached by 1985 Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year Tom Lewis, who starred at Mater Dei and then USC.

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

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