Pinewood avenges a loss to Bishop O’Dowd and has now joined the top five while looming and seemingly ready for a NorCal Open Division showdown against state No. 1 Archbishop Mitty is 2015 Open Division state champ St. Mary’s of Stockton.
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(After games of Saturday, March 11)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)
1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 26-2
College coaches were everywhere for the Monarchs’ 92-71 win over Sacred Heart Cathedral to start the NorCal Open Division playoffs. They were there mainly to see super sophomore Haley Jones, who didn’t disappoint with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.
2. (2) Clovis West (Fresno) 31-2
If there were any thoughts about it being easy for the SoCal Open Division top seed to cruise to a spot in the state finals, those were dashed quickly as Troy of Fullerton pushed the Golden Eagles until the last 20 seconds before falling 68-61.
3. (3) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 26-3
On the other side of the Southern Regional Open Bracket to Clovis West is the Jackrabbits, who did their part in advancing toward an expected matchup vs. the Golden Eagles on Saturday by rolling over Fairfax 77-58. Jasmine Jones led the way with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
4. (4) Mission Hills (San Marcos) 30-2
We saw both Mission Hills and Clovis West lose at the MLK Showcase in Stockton so it would be kind of funny if the two played for the SoCal Open Division title. The Grizzlies certainly can’t be forgotten heading into their matchup at Poly on Tuesday after beating Etiwanda last week 54-40.
5. (6) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 25-3
It’s been a meteoric rise for head coach Doc Scheppler and his girls who weren’t even ranked a few weeks ago. The Panthers move up again with an avenging 51-43 triumph over Bishop O’Dowd in the NorCal Open Division.
6. (7) St. Mary’s (Stockton) 21-8
Due to the players who are now in the Rams’ lineup, there are some who think the winner of their game at Mitty on Tuesday in the NorCal Open Division semifinals will be the team that eventually winds up as the CIF state champion. St. Mary’s topped Salesian of Richmond 72-49 in last Friday’s regional quarterfinals.
7. (11) Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 29-3
The new Cinderella of the Open Division playoffs was the only No. 7 seed in either girls or boys action to come out of the first round victorious. The Cardinals did that by knocking off No. 2 seed Carondelet on the road 48-47 in a matchup that showed again how closely bunched the top teams from the CIF North Coast Section have been all season.
8. (5) Carondelet (Concord) 28-5
Season complete. This is where the Cougars fall after their loss to Cardinal Newman in the NorCal Open Division. They may not fall further as the season ends, either, if the NorCal teams win state titles in the top two girls division in two weeks in Sacramento.