Girls BB: Regional Final Quick Picks

Six-foot-nine center Andrea Aquino battles for position during her team’s game against St. Mary’s of Stockton that was played last January. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Good luck to all teams playing in CIF regional finals on Saturday. We will focus our coverage on the games played at Long Beach State (Open, D1) with coverage from Ronnie Flores and on the games played at Santa Clara University (Open, D1) with coverage from Harold Abend. Editor Mark Tennis will be editing everything later, but not going to games due to family funeral in Sacramento. We only felt comfortable giving predictions for the first four divisions but have comments for all six.

Open Division (NorCal)
Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 68,
Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 55

The Panthers weren’t able to duplicate their three-point shooting and overall team play in the NorCal regional final two years ago after they knocked off St. Mary’s of Stockton in the semifinals. That will be even tougher this time trying to beat Mitty. The Monarchs have only gotten better in the playoffs.

Open Division (SoCal)
Windward (Los Angeles) 63,
Clovis West (Fresno) 57

We love the way the Golden Eagles have shifted into a higher gear in February and March after they played what many thought was a questionable preseason schedule. At this point, none of that matters. Still, the matchup we’d more want to see in Sacramento would be the one between Windward and its Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year candidate, Charisma Osborne, and Mitty with Haley Jones.
The Trailblazers notched their second win against Bishop Montgomery in the regional semifinals. They are looking for their first trip to the CIF Open Division state final. Etiwanda’s defense will hold them down but not enough.

Division I (NorCal)
Miramonte (Orinda) 71, Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 56

The Mats should have been in the Open Division and have won their first three games 73-49, 90-57 and 69-52. They were only seeded fourth. Sacred Heart Cathedral has surprisingly reached the regional final as a No. 10 seed. Both teams have a lot of CIF regional and state final history.

Division I (SoCal)
Ribet Academy (Los Angeles) 50, Serra (Gardena) 48

All of the pieces for Ribet may be coming together now. Based on watching the Fighting Frogs earlier this season, they have the size inside and guard play outside to be very good. Serra’s Alexis Tucker is one of the best in the state, but the other players will have to do a lot too for the Cavs to win.

Division II (NorCal)
Pleasant Valley (Chico) 59, Valley Christian (San Jose) 52

After surviving an upset bid from Sacramento in its first game, the Vikings haven’t left much to chance in easy wins over Silver Creek of San Jose and San Ramon Valley of Danville. Valley Christian is one of three WCAL teams still going, but after this week it’ll probably only be one (Archbishop Mitty).

Division II (SoCal)
Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 48, San Marcos 44

The Seahawks haven’t been to the CIF state finals since 2002 when they lost in the D2 championship to Stockton St. Mary’s. At first glance at looking at the CIFSS teams that were going to be D2 this season, Redondo stood out. There are teams better in the state, but maybe none from D2.

Division III (NorCal)
West Campus (Sacramento) 58, Clovis 49

Last year’s D4 state champs looked like they were in a good spot for D3 when the brackets came out and they’ve been dominant. West Campus won in the semifinals 71-33 over a Sacred Heart Prep squad that beat top-seeded Enterprise.

Division III (SoCal)
Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista) 66, Sunny Hills (Fullerton) 62

Chloe Webb is averaging more than 20 ppg for the Crusaders. Sunny Hills is the only Orange County team (boys or girls) still playing. The Lancers are at home, but this is a team that just won on the road way up at Tulare.

Division IV (NorCal)
Woodside Priory (Portola Valley) vs. Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento)

The girls from Portola Valley are only 16-14, but they’re from the same league as Pinewood, Eastside Prep, Sacred Heart Prep and others from higher divisions. Bradshaw Christian has 12 losses, but dropped down to D4 after losing in Sac-Joaquin D3 playoffs. Sorry CIF, but when teams are dropping down in divisions we’re going to mention it.

Division IV (SoCal)
Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro) vs. Knight (Palmdale)

Last year’s D5 state runner-up is a big favorite since the Huskies just beat Foothill Tech by 17 and Foothill Tech beat Knight by 12 in the CIFSS D4AA playoffs.

Division V (NorCal)
Lowell (San Francisco) vs. Durham

For the CIF’s sake, we hope Durham wins. Enrollment for the CIF Northern Section school is around 300. Lowell has more than 2,000. It may be a great game, but from a fairness issue doesn’t feel right.

Division V (SoCal)
Sierra Pacific (Hanford) vs. Hueneme (Oxnard)

Sierra Pacific is favored, but the thought of having a D5 state final between two large enrollment schools like Lowell and Hueneme should be sickening for true small schools everywhere.

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