All four CIF Southern Section Open Division teams in Division II are into the semifinals in SoCal bracket….Great story brewing in D3 with Keppel of Alhambra….Plus big game between Castro Valley and Oak Ridge set up in NorCal D1.
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 girls 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: No trouble for top seed Sacramento St. Francis so far so more interesting Tuesday semifinal pits 31-2 Castro Valley (the NCS D1 champ) vs. 28-2 Oak Ridge (which lost to St. Francis in the Sac-Joaquin semis but was ranked higher than St. Francis for most of the season). Castro Valley topped Berkeley on Saturday night 65-58 while the Trojans got past Dublin 51-46.
SoCal D1: Now that Oaks Christian’s ridiculous No. 16 seed has been proven to have been ridiculous with its win over Fresno Edison on Saturday, attention can turn to the southern half of the bracket where north Orange County rivals Troy and Brea Olinda will play on Tuesday. There were some fierce matchups between those two when current Mater Dei head coach Kevin Kiernan was at Troy. Brea’s Reili Richardson scored 32 points in the team’s 61-46 win on Saturday vs. Alemany. Troy, the highest ranked team overall in the state that played on Saturday at No. 14, beat Santa Barbara 72-54. Vista Murrieta, ranked No. 15 in the state last week, has been boosted lately with the return of preseason All-American candidate Jaelyn Brown. She missed almost all of the season with knee injury rehab. She had 10 points and seven rebounds in win Saturday vs. Serra of Gardena.
NorCal D2: Top seed Vanden looks to be in good shape heading into the semifinals. The Vikings aren’t playing the Vikings of Pleasant Valley (Chico) in the semis, either. Pleasant Valley (26-1 coming in) was upset in its game by Elk Grove.
SoCal D2: All four of the CIF Southern Section Open Division teams that were placed in this bracket after going 0-2 in their section playoffs qualified for the semifinals on Saturday night. It was not unexpected. In previous years, Mater Dei would have been D1, Fairmont Prep D4, Harvard-Westlake D3 or D4 and Cajon D2 in the regional brackets under similar circumstances and two or three may have reached the state final. This year, only one of those four will get there.
NorCal D3: This looked like a good spot for Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco and it continues to look that way. No. 10 seed Inderkum made it to the semifinals, but that’s not a surprise to us. It was more surprising that the Tigers didn’t do better against Christian Brothers in the section playoffs. They had a win over Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa early in the season.
SoCal D3: Keppel of Alhambra knocked off Newbury Park on Tuesday and since the Cougars were the top seed in the bracket there’s now a good chance that the Aztecs can get all the way back to the state finals in this division after losing big in last year’s D2 state final to Archbishop Mitty. It would be a great eomeback of sorts for the girls, who began the season in difficult circumstances due to the dismissal of its former head coach amid sexual misconduct charges.
NorCal D4: All four top seeds got through to the semifinals by winning on Saturday. Top seed Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa defeated Scotts Valley 61-45 while No. 2 Menlo School of Atherton beat University Prep of Redding 55-43.
SoCal D4: Just before all of the pairings were announced last week, our own Harold Abend mentioned he thought the D4 state final probably would be between Cardinal Newman and St. Anthony of Long Beach. In Saturday’s game, the Saints showed that their No. 5 seed was just a wee bit wrong with an easy 68-43 romp past No. 4 seed Duarte. Top seed Antelope Valley (26-2) is up next for St. Anthony. No. 2 seed La Canada also had rolled over its first two opponents.
NorCal D5: Not much to say other than top seed Eastside College Prep looked strong on Saturday in 65-31 win over Argonaut of Jackson. Freshman Zion Gabriel had a huge outing with 28 points.
SoCal D5: From an individual scoring standpoint, it may be D5, but one of the state’s hottest players continues to be L.A. Price sophomore Dawnyel Lair. In Saturday’s 75-45 victory vs. Faith Baptist of Canoga Park, Lair had a stat-stuffing line of 42 points, 20 rebounds, eight steals and six blocks. Top seed Flintridge Prep also is already out.