Boys BB: Saluting Section Champions

Aaron McBride had an Alley-oop dunk and also scored on a slam dunk right at the buzzer to give Centennial the CIF Southern Section Open Division title vs St. John Bosco. Photo: Nick Koza.

State No. 1 team Centennial of Corona wins on a dunk at the buzzer in CIF Southern Section Open Division championship. We also have roundups of other games at the Honda Center in Anaheim and from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Every section champion also deserves to get a mention so that’s what this list of teams is all about.

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(Ronnie Flores contributed info from the Honda Center)
(All teams listed with win-loss record)

Southern Section Boys

Open: Centennial (Corona) 29-3

Defeated St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 58-56. LMU-bound Aaron McBride had jumped passing lanes and finished with streaking dunks at least 25 times in his four-year career, but he came up with the biggest jump the passing lane steal of his career and its result gave the Huskies (No. 1 in state) their third consecutive CIF Southern Section Open Division crown. Centennial is the first team in the section’s 10-year history to accomplish the feat courtesy of McBride’s monster dunk right before the final horn.

St. John Bosco (26-6) had possession with under 30 seconds and looked to run down the clock to take the game-winning field goal or at worst go into overtime. Sophomore Elzie Harrington (team-high 15 points) picked up his dribble and looked to get the ball across the key to freshman Brandon McCoy (six points). That’s when McBride anticipated the pass, jumped the lane, tipped the pass to himself towards his own basket with 3.9 seconds, gathered the ball on his next stride and streaked towards the basket for a two-handed dunk as Bosco’s Xinyi Li chased him. He flushed it with authority right before the buzzer to account for the winning field goal.

Centennial (29-3) will be the No. 1 seed in the SoCal open regional as it goes for its second straight CIF open title and third consecutive state No. 1 finish. McBride’s play capped off arguably the best overall CIFSS open final ever. We’ll be hard pressed to see a better ending in the upcoming regional tournament.

“When he got the steal, it seemed like he jumped from the free throw line to dunk it and we all just spazzed out,” Centennial coach Josh Giles said.

McBride and rapidly improving junior Eric Freeny each scored 18 points for Centennial, which has not lost to an in-state foe since falling to Havard-Westlake of North Hollywood in the first 2021 CIFSS open pool play game.
Herrington led three Bosco double-digit scorers, which included junior Jack Turner (13 points) and sophomore Kade Bonam (10 points). Turner fouled out with 3:32 to go, but Bosco still had its chances down the stretch behind some big individual offensive plays by McCoy in a game that was pretty even statistically. Both teams shot 13 free throws and the Braves out-rebounded Centennial, 28-27.

Central Section Boys

Caedin Hamilton was an inside force for St. Joseph in its Central Section title game win vs Clovis West. Photo: Gabe Camarillo.

D1: St. Joseph (Santa Maria) 25-6
Defeated Clovis West (Fresno) 74-58. It wasn’t going to be a repeat of the Knights collapsing down the stretch in this one. They used their height advantage and were in control throughout. Center Caedin Hamilton had 14 points and 18 rebounds. Star sophomore Tounde Yessoufou had 16 points. St. Joe (25-6, No. 14 in state) topped a Golden Eagles’ squad that was No. 15 in state. Marshel Sanders had 22 points in a losing cause.

D2: Arroyo Grande 22-9
Defeated Porterville 59-30. The Eagles won their first-ever section title in the Central. Adam Silmon scored 17 points.

D3: Kingsburg 18-12
Defeated Sierra (Tollhouse) 63-43. The Vikings won their third section title in four years and did a good job on Sierra standout Logan Kilbert, who did lead all scorers with 16 points but that was far below his average. Chris Bowe had 13 points for Kingsburg.

D4: Tulare Western (Tulare) 18-14
Defeated Kerman 60-40. Brothers Malachi Ficher (soph) and Carmine Ficher (senior) both scored 16 for the Mustangs, who advanced out of the semifinals with an OT win against Washington of Easton.

D5: Madera South (Madera) 17-15
Defeated McFarland 71-64. Stallions didn’t have to play a semifinal game as they were awarded a forfeit due to dangerous travel conditions earlier in week for Desert (Edwards).

D6: Taft 16-14
Defeated Highland (Bakersfield) 43-41. Wildcats completed a run to a title as the top seed.

Central Coast Section Boys

Open: Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 16-12
Defeated Serra (San Mateo) 64-59. Surprise winner after Archbishop Mitty and Archbishop Riordan shared title in WCAL. Football stars R.L. Miller (24 pts, 8 rebs) and Jerry Mixon Jr. (12 pts) both shined for Fighting Irish.

D1: Bellarmine (San Jose) 14-13
Defeated Los Gatos 63-55. These two teams were the top two seeds. The Bells were only 5-9 in the WCAL.

D2: St. Francis (Mountain View) 14-12
Defeated Christopher (Gilroy) 50-21. The Lancers were behind Bellarmine in the WCAL at 4-10, but like the Bells also won a CCS title. In their case, the section title game wasn’t even competitive. None of the WCAL teams should ever be lower than D1 in that section.

D3: Monterey 19-8
Defeated Burlingame 62-43. Matthew Gallagher tossed in 20 points to lead the Toreadores, who captured their third section title in the last six years.

D4: The King’s Academy (Sunnyvale) 22-3
Defeated Half Moon Bay 59-53. The Knights battled higher divisional teams like Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo School in their league and will be a NorCal threat if they’re in a lower division than D2.

D5: Priory (Portola Valley) 24-3
Defeated Oakwood School (Morgan Hill) 68-45. This team split with CCS D4 winner The King’s Academy and would be another team to watch in NorCals in a lower division.

L.A. City Section Boys

Open: Taft (Woodland Hills) 21-10
Defeated Fairfax (Los Angeles) 64-62. Head coach Derek Taylor won his 500th game earlier this month and now adds his fourth L.A. City title. Keyon Kenzie had a big night for the Toreadors with 21 points.

D1: Grant (Van Nuys) 21-10
Defeated Venice 63-53. The Lancers won their second straight L.A. City title. Venice is the team that played and lost last year in the CIF D3 state final to Pleasant Valley of Chico.

D2: Eagle Rock 24-5
Defeated South Gate 53-49. Benicio Curiel paced the win with 15 points.

D3: Garfield (Los Angeles) 24-5
defeated Arleta 47-42. Head coach father Jamaal Barnes and his son Jaylen (who had 11 points in the game) led the Bulldogs to their first section title.

D4: Sotomayor (Los Angeles) 17-15
Defeated Huntington Park 56-50. It’s the first-ever section title for the Wolves.

D5: Port of Los Angeles (Wilmington) 12-9
Defeated New Designs Watts 67-39. The big news from this one is that Polar Bears are a team that did not win a game last season.

Frank Allocco Jr. once led Northgate of Walnut Creek to a CIF state title and is now leading the program at Clayton Valley. Photo: Clayton Pioneer.

North Coast Section Boys

Open: Dougherty Valley (San Ramon) 27-3
Defeated De La Salle (Concord) 65-51. State No. 11 Wildcats made their case to be top seed for NorCal Open by winning their first NCS Open title. DLS (21-8) lost in this game for second straight year after closer loss last season to Campolindo. Ryan Beasley (USF) had 21 points for Dougherty Valley.

D1: Clayton Valley (Concord) 26-4
Defeated Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 82-79 in OT. Head coach Frank Allocco Jr. and team earned its second straight section title. A goal-tending call with 2.2 seconds left in regulation helped tie the score. Jake King then had a game-winning lay-up at the finish in OT to win it. He knocked down 21 points as well.

D2: Campolindo (Moraga) 23-7
Defeated Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 48-47. Although the Cougars’ faithful thought their 2022 NCS Open champs should have been in D1, their team had to scratch and claw to win it in D2. The team was the top seed. If it is D2 again for the NorCals, watch out.

D3: Branson (Ross) 27-3
Defeated Pinole Valley (Pinole) 69-50. Super soph Semetri Carr had a career-high 36 points for the Bulls. Junior Jase Butler added 15. If those two stick around for next year, this could be one of the top NorCal squads regardless of any divisions.

D4: University (San Francisco) 28-3
Defeated Justin-Siena (Napa) 67-59. Head coach Randy Bessolo’s squad downed a Justin-Siena squad that won the NorCal D4 title last season.

D5: Urban (San Francisco) 22-8
Defeated Head-Royce (Oakland) 52-45. The Blues were the top seed and won out.

D6: San Francisco Waldorf 22-5
Defeated Napa Christian 67-44. The Wolverines also were a top seed in the NCS that went wire-to-wire for a section title.

Northern Section Boys

D3: Pleasant Valley (Chico) 27-4
Defeated Chico 54-41. Last year’s CIF D3 state champions won another section title. Moving them up to D2 for the regionals makes sense, but the Vikings actually may not be a stronger team than in 2022.

D4: University Prep (Redding) 19-12
Defeated Colusa 53-34. The Panthers took down top seed West Valley of Cottonwood in the semifinals and had little difficulty in the final.

D5: Trinity (Weaverville) 23-8
Defeated Weed 72-65. This was an upset since the Cougars came into the game as the top seed.

D6: Redding Christian 17-12
Defeated Etna 43-37. The Lions always seem like a threat in the NorCal D6 playoffs, a bracket in which there is no state final.

D7: Loyalton 22-9
Defeated Princeton 78-64. The Grizzlies captured the title in this collection of even smaller schools in the Northern Section.

Oakland-San Francisco Section Boys

Oak: Oakland Tech 19-11
Defeated Oakland 61-59. It was the third close game win by the Bulldogs over their rivals. The first two during league play were 81-79 and 61-59.

SF: Lincoln 26-3
Defeated Lowell (SF) 54-27. The Mustangs will again be a team to watch in NorCal depending on divisional placement. They avenged an earlier loss to Lowell and their last loss before that was in December to Sac-Joaquin Section D1 top seed Folsom by 12 points.

Jalen Brown scored 20 points for Modesto Christian in Sac-Joaquin Section D1 championship. Photo: Mark Tennis / Cal-Hi Sports.

Sac-Joaquin Section Boys

D1: Modesto Christian 25-6
Defeated Jesuit (Carmichael) 79-53. There was much attention for this contest due to Jesuit’s Andrej Stojakovic playing at the home arena of the Sacramento Kings. His dad, Peja, was courtside with former Kings’ stars Vlade Divac and Bobby Jackson. They didn’t have much to cheer about. The Crusaders just had too much depth and too much playmaking on the perimeter. B.J. Davis had another statement game with 27 points. Jalen Brown had his moments as well and ended with 20. MC won its 21st section title on the night when Mater Dei passed Edison of Fresno for the state record at 24. Head coach Bryce Fantazia also lobbied for the Crusaders to be the top seed for the NorCal Open. He hasn’t done that before, but we agree. They are also the defending champions from last season.

D2: Whitney (Rocklin) 21-10
Defeated Granite Bay 61-56. The Wildcats completed the boys-girls sweep for their girls with a win over their Sierra Foothill League rivals. Jaqub Mir pumped in 27 points for GB, but the more balanced Whitney team had three in double figures — Ely Willis (15 points), Matt Schroeder (11) and Elijah Samdahl (11).

D3: Sacramento 25-7
Defeated Vanden (Fairfield) 66-61. Sir Marius Jones and Landon Minniefield both hit three-pointers with about two minutes left that broke a 56-56 tie. Jones had 17 points, Minniefield 16 and teammate Kendahl Hearne 16 in a solid win. The Dragons split with Capital Christian in league, lost twice to Rio Americano (D2) in league and beat a team that has losses to several State TOP 25 opponents.

D4: Marysville 29-3
Defeated Calaveras (San Andreas) 65-63. The Indians won their first section title since 1993 by surviving a wild fourth quarter that saw the teams combine for 55 points. Joshua Brown Jr. had 26 points for Marysville. Jay Clifton netted 26 for Calaveras.

D5: Ripon Christian 23-7
Defeated Fortune Early College of Elk Grove, 58-54. Eli Terpsma knocked down 19 points for RC. Thys Van Der Hoek added 14 points and 10 rebounds.

D6: Valley Christian (Roseville) 22-8
Defeated Sacramento Waldorf (Fair Oaks) 72-29. No typo. That was the final score of a section final. Ian Glaspy 16 points for the Lions.

San Diego Section Boys

Open: St. Augustine (San Diego) 27-4
Defeated Montgomery (San Diego) 83-53. State’s No. 6 team actually trailed 9-3 after the first quarter, but soon got rolling after that. Jurian Dixon and Lolo Rudolph both hit for 17 points for Saints, who also won their second straight San Diego Open crown.

D1: La Jolla Country Day 23-7
Defeated Mission Bay (San Diego) 63-56. The Torreys had lost by 18 points earlier this season to the Bucs.

D2: Lincoln (San Diego) 29-2
Defeated Otay Ranch (Chula Vista) 59-54. Hornets looking to win state title for first time since Norm Powell of the Clippers played for them.

D3: Victory Christian Academy (Chula Vista) 24-8
Defeated Ramona 72-67. The Knights were the top seed in that bracket and got past No. 3 seed Ramona in the semifinals.

D4: Imperial 20-8
Defeated San Pasqual (Escondido) 68-54. Our SoCal Player of the Week, David Scariano, had 20 points for Tigers.

D5: Classical Academy (Escondido) 17-9
Defeated Santana of Santee 83-78. The Caimans will be looking to match the football team’s surge late in a season and take them to a CIF state title. Leading scorer Presley Bruskotter has been getting an average of 17 ppg.

Mater Dei assistant coach Jason Quinn, senior standout Zack Davidson and Mater Dei head coach Gary McKnight are shown after the Monarchs won their 24th section title to set new state record. Photo: Nick Koza.

More Southern Section Boys

D1: Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 27-6
Defeated Etiwanda 66-53. The Monarchs (No. 16 in state) outscored the Eagles (No. 9) in each quarter as they rolled to the storied program’s 24th section title, the most ever in state history for a boys program. Mater Dei got a big game from Montana-bound forward Zack Davidson with 27 points and 11 rebounds while freshman Luke Barnett also hit double figures with 12 points. Etiwanda didn’t shoot a free throw until the final period (outscored 24-5 at the line) but still made things interesting in the fourth quarter. Mater Dei will be starting the quest for its 12th CIF state crown when it goes into the SoCal D1 regional. The program now has the most section titles (24), state titles (11) and winningest coach, Gary McKnight (more than 1,200 career wins with 1,231).

D2AA: Tesoro (Las Flores) 29-4
Defeated Lutheran (Orange) 54-35. It was a surprisingly easy win for the Titans over a Trinity League team that was tied for third in that circuit. It also is their first section title since 2009. Carson Brown had another big outing to lead the way with 26 points.

D2A: Rancho Christian (Temecula) 22-10
Defeated La Mirada 63-55. Sophomore Julien Gomez had 32 points for La Mirada, but it wasn’t enough against the top-seed Lions, who were on the bubble for the Open Division. Kevin Patton Jr. topped Rancho Christian with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

D3AA: St. Pius X-St. Matthias (Downey) 29-4
Defeated La Serna (Whittier) 79-48. Junior standout Tyrone Riley, who had 53 points last week in the semifinals, racked up 33 as the state No. 24 Warriors completed a dominant run to their second title in four years.

D3A: San Gabriel Academy 19-14
Defeated Oakwood (North Hollywood) 66-64. A buzzer-beating shot that went in for Oakwood that would have won the game was waved off by officials due to it coming after the horn blew. Starters Ethan McCloskey and Michael Baba missed a lot of games early in the season for SGA due to injuries. Mazin Lumori had a team-high 14 points. Benjamin Eisendrath had 26 points to lead Oakwood.

D4AA: Valencia 22-10
Defeated St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 66-62. Head coach Bill Bedgood got to coach his son, Bryce, in a CIFSS final and his team won its first-ever championship. Micah Ballew led the Vikings with 30 points. Bryce had 12 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

D4A: Jordan (Long Beach) 21-12
Defeated Sage Hill (Newport Beach) 68-57. The Moore League champions won their first CIFSS title since 1996. Senior guard Dennis Redmond Jr. had 23 points followed by Kane Young with 17 and Franklin Chambers with 14.

D5AA: Bosco Tech (Rosemead) 26-6
Defeated Lynwood 88-81. The Tigers made tough shots all game long and took apart the Knights on the offensive glass (16-9) to capture the program’s first section title in boys hoops. Junior Ryan Osborne dominated in the key with 29 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, while sophomore Jaden Erami had a big game with 30 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks. Lynwood freshman Jason Crowe Jr. netted 35 points (14-33 FG, 3 3PT, 4-5 FT) and five assists in a losing effort and enters the regional playoffs with an on-going state freshman record 1,122 points.

D5A: Blair (Pasadena) 23-10
Defeated Santa Paula 84-59. Freshman Timmy Anderson poured in 29 points for the Vikings, who won their first-ever CIFSS title. Senuor Shakour Sidney also had a big outing with 28 points and 15 rebounds.

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.

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