Boys BB: Salute To Section Champions

State No. 6 Salesian of Richmond has just collected its gear after winning its first CIF North Coast Section Open Division title on Friday at Contra Costa College. Photo: Willie Eashman.

There were a lot more boys teams that earned CIF section championships over the weekend besides state No. 1 Harvard-Westlake and the ones we covered on Wednesday in Sacramento. Here’s a roundup of all of the other section champions from around California. Each team deserves to get a mention with all of the others that we’ve been mentioning all season in our State TOP 35 rankings package.

NOTE: This post was updated with information and comments about some of the CIF regional pairings that were announced on Sunday, Feb. 25.




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(All teams listed with win-loss record)


D1: Clovis North (Fresno) 27-6
The Broncos fell to No. 23 in the state behind league rival Clovis West after losing to the Golden Eagles in their most recent game, but will now have to come way up with a 69-60 victory in the section finals over No. 7 St. Joseph of Santa Maria. The defending champion Knights got 26 points from junior Tounde Yessoufou but he was only 8-of-18 from the field and sophomore Julius Price also didn’t go completely nuts with 15 points. Clovis North got 21 points from Connor Amundsen, 20 from Jordan Espinoza, made 19 of 22 free throws and only committed seven turnovers compared to 15 for St. Joseph. On Sunday, the Broncos were seeded No. 3 in the NorCal Open Division. Curiously, St. Joe was placed in the SoCal Open Division and was scheduled to play at Sierra Canyon in the first round. The CIF just isn’t going to go more than four teams deep from the Southern Section in the SoCal Open bracket, even if it means a difficult situation for a team like the Knights.

D2: Dinuba 29-3
It’s been 95 years since Dinuba had won a section title, but a large crowd from the town showed up at Selland Arena on Friday and helped the Emperors get over the hump with a 46-42 victory against Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo. It hasn’t been a surprise as head coach Jeff Schofield had teams in the last two seasons that both won 26 games. This year’s team enters the regional playoffs (NorCal or SoCal) at 29-3.

Leon Madec had a huge game with 30 points for Kerman during the D4 game in the Central Section. Photo: Pdouble_33 /

D3: North (Bakersfield) 26-6
The Stars also won their first-ever section title in school history, but it wasn’t without some drama and controversy in a 51-49 win in overtime vs Sierra of Tollhouse. Sierra’s Logan Kilbert (the leading scorer for a career in section history) had a made shot at the end of regulation discounted on the horn going off. Some of the North players did stop playing, however. An inbounds pass was then stolen. Then at the end of overtime as Sierra was looking to score a game-winning basket, North’s Baylin Statler stole a pass and ran down the other way for a lay-up with two seconds left.

D4: Kerman 19-15
It’s never for sure in this era of competitive equity, but it’s safe to say the Lions got an upset in their section final vs Corcoran. They were only 1-7 in their league and were only 18-15 coming in compared to 27-3 for Corcoran. Sophomore Leon Madec had 30 points for Kerman. Daniel Bibioff added 21 points.

D5: Coalinga 26-5
The section final that the Horned Toads won featured perhaps the best comeback of the weekend in the state. They were down 16 points at halftime to Mendota and were down 47-37 in the fourth quarter, but then they scored 11 straight points to pull out a 48-47 triumph.

D6: Caruthers 19-14
Third-year head coach Jordan Dancer netted his first section title for the Blue Raiders. They last won a section title in 2015. They got it by downing Strathmore, 37-28.


Open: Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco) 23-4
It was more like the first game than the second game between the Crusaders and Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in the CCS Open finals played on Friday at Santa Clara University. In that first game, Riordan needed overtime but in the second it won by 20. This time, it was 59-53. The Monarchs got to within 40-38 early in the fourth quarter, but never tied or took the lead. The Crusaders (23-4 and No. 13 in the state) won their second CCS Open title in three years and on Sunday was handed the No. 2 seed for NorCal Open Division behind Salesian of Richmond (already won in NCS Open).

D1: Los Gatos 21-6
The Wildcats matched the football team winning a CCS D1 title a few months ago by winning one on the court. They nipped Menlo-Atherton of Atherton, 58-54. Junior Scotty Brennan, son of recently hired University of Arizona football coach Brent Brennan, led Los Gatos with 16 points and 10 rebounds. His two free throws with 13.9 seconds left broke a 54-54 tie. Anthony Martin then made two free throws with 2.3 seconds left for the final margin.

D2: Valley Christian (San Jose) 13-14
It’s not unusual in the CCS for teams that were toward the bottom of the West Catholic Athletic League standings get into lower playoff divisions and then win. The Warriors did that this year in D2 and in Saturday’s final they defeated Christopher of Gilroy, 48-35. It is their sixth section title, but the first under current head coach Colin Pfaff.

D3: Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 14-13
After winning the CCS Open title last year, the Irish got another section title, this one in D3, with their down to the final seconds 49-48 win on Saturday vs Santa Cruz High. After Fed Pernell made two free throws with 1:12 left, neither team scored again with several game-changing shots that missed. It also marked the 13th overall section title for SHC.

D4: Carmel 24-3
Football quarterback Hudson Rutherford scored 17 points to lead the Padres past Menlo School of Atherton, 57-52, to keep up their momentum into the regionals. The team’s leading scorer on the season has been 6-foot-5, 280-pound center Jackson Lloyd, a junior who is one of the state’s top offensive line recruits in football. He had 13 points on Saturday.

D5: Oakwood (Morgan Hill) 13-14
A blocked shot in the closing seconds by sophomore Vidal Nzoyem gave Oakwood its first ever section title. Summit Shasta of Daly City was looking for a go-ahead basket but thanks to Vidal it didn’t happen in a 60-59 thriller.

Add King-Drew to the list of L.A. City top divisional champions over the years that is dominated by all-time greats like Crenshaw, Westchester and Fairfax. Photo: @CIFLACS /


Open Division: King-Drew (L.A.) 19-11
In the first ever Open Division city title won by the Golden Eagles, Jayshawn Kibble had 20 points and Josahn Webster had 18 points in a 62-56 victory over LACES. King-Drew has won L.A. City titles before in three other divisions. LACES was a surprise finalist after it upset top seed Cleveland of Reseda in the semifinals.

D1: Washington (Los Angeles) 14-15
It took overtime for the Generals to get past San Pedro, 64-56, on Friday night at El Camino College. Dewayman Mann had six of his 16 points in the extra time, all on free throws (no misses). Zach Saavedra of San Pedro led all scorers with 24 points, but missed a three-pointer that would have won the game at the regulation buzzer.

D2: Verdugo Hills 21-11
A 53-43 win on Saturday over Garfield of L.A. gave the Dons their second section title and first since 2010. George Abdulnour netted 15 points as Verdugo Hills knocked off a Bulldogs’ squad that was 24-2 entering the game.

D3: Carson 14-16
It’s the first section title for the Colts since 1982 as they topped Jordan of L.A., 62-60, on Friday. That also brings up long lost memories of all-state player Eldridge “El Hut” Hudson leading the school to the CIF D1 state title in 1982 at the Oakland Coliseum. We were there.

D4: Bernstein (Hollywood) 27-5
Head coach Chanz Smyth’s squad defeated Math & Science College Prep on Saturday morning, 67-61. Senior guard Troy Agtang was our SoCal Player of the Week last week with 37 points that he had in the semifinals.

D5: New Designs University Park 24-3
The Cardinals rolled past Horace Mann UCLA, 57-43, in their section final. It’s too bad there’s no smaller division even below D5 for Southern California like there’s a D6 for NorCal. There’s no state final in that division but the really small school programs in L.A. City and San Diego have no chance in a regional with CIF Southern Section lower division teams (many of them bigger schools placed in lower divisions due to competitive equity).


Open: Salesian (Richmond) 29-1
Head coach Bill Mellis’ squad (No. 6 in the state) gained its first ever NCS Open crown with a 52-43 win on Friday at Contra Costa College over De La Salle of Concord. It’s the third straight season the Spartans have lost in the NCS Open final. The Pride, 29-1 with just an overtime loss to St. John Bosco of Bellflower on its season log, only led 8-6 in the first quarter in a game that was a defensive slugfest the whole way. DLS (25-5) came into the game at No. 14 in our Cal-Hi Sports State TOP 35 rankings.

D1: Dougherty Valley (San Ramon) 22-10
The Wildcats made big plays down the stretch to squeeze past Dublin, 64-61, to win their second straight NCS title. They won last year in the Open Division and despite dropping down were only the No. 4 seed in this bracket. Head coach Mike Hansen and staff had this group ready for the playoffs. Dublin was the No. 3 seed and fell in a NCS final for the fifth time (against no wins).

D2: Benicia 22-10
In a matchup of teams that had not won NCS titles before, the Panthers (22-10) played in-your-face defense to get past Montgomery of Santa Rosa, 53-50, in the final. The Vikings fell to 28-4.

University High of San Francisco won its third straight title in the CIF North Coast Section. Photo:

D3: University (San Francisco) 27-5
Make it three straight NCS titles for the Red Devils, but they didn’t have an easy time in their 65-55 victory in the final against Piedmont. The Highlanders had the lead in the third quarter and it was just a 41-39 contest entering the fourth. It was a 93-61 win when the two teams played earlier this season. Uni will certainly not be D3 for the regionals (even has an early win over Riordan) and on Sunday as probably was expected by some it was put back in D1.

D4: Justin-Siena (Napa) 26-3
Head coach George Nessman lost some key players from last season’s team that set the program record with 28 wins, but this year’s team is now only two wins from the same total after a 76-69 victory over Ygnacio Valley of Concord. On Sunday, the Braves were seeded No. 2 in the CIF NorCal D3 playoffs and will be playing CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D5 champion Ripon Christian.

D5: Head-Royce (Oakland) 27-4
The Jayhawks grabbed their first ever section in the first season for new head coach Ryan Diew with a 66-46 triumph over league rival Athenian of Danville. MaxPreps ranked Head-Royce as the No. 1 D5 team in the state, which is actually unfortunate because divisional rankings mean nothing in the CIF world of competitive equity. They only matter once teams are put into actual divisions by the CIF and no one knows what those divisions are going to be until the regional matchups are announced. The CIF then proved that point in a major way on Sunday by seeding Head-Royce No. 16 in the NorCal D3 bracket.


D3: Enterprise (Redding) 22-8
Pleasant Valley of Chico had its streak of section titles snapped at five by the Hornets in a contest that needed overtime. Enterprise’s 58-56 win actually was its second over PV this season as it had a 55-48 win in the regular season. The Vikings had won in a rematch, 68-49.

D4: Gridley 22-6
The Bulldogs came through on Saturday with a 62-50 win in the section final vs University Prep of Redding. Uni Prep had won 17 of its last 18 games.

D5: Weed 23-5
After losing to University Prep in last year’s D5 section final, the Cougars stayed in D5 this season and manhandled the competition. They won in this year’s title game on Saturday, 61-38, over Mt. Shasta.

D6: Biggs 22-5
The Wolverines knocked off the top-seeded team from Redding Christian, 60-45, to win their section championship.

D7: Loyalton 21-9
Defeated Princeton 60-56 in title game.


Oak: Oakland Tech 25-5
In last year’s run to the D3 state title, Oakland High got there by beating Oakland Tech in the fourth matchup between the two after losing to the Bulldogs three times earlier. Well, this year, it’s the same as Tech now has three wins over Oakland with Saturday’s 56-49 win. ArDarius Grayson scored 15 points to lead the Bulldogs. Both teams will be in the CIF NorCal D2 playoffs with Tech receiving the No. 2 seed behind top seed Branham of San Jose.

SF: Lincoln 21-10
With a lot of new players due to graduation, the Cardinal still came out on top in the city final played Friday night at Kezar Pavilion with a 61-53 win over Lowell. Somarri Tanner (20 points) and Demarco Reed Jr. (double-double 15 points, 12 rebounds) were the team’s top individuals.


D1: Modesto Christian 27-5
See separate writeup from Wednesday’s final.

D2: Vanden (Fairfield) 24-8
See separate writeup from Wednesday’s final. On Sunday, Vanden was placed as the No. 15 seed by the CIF in D1, which is too bad because it looked like a team that could win a D2 state title. The Vikings are not in the same class as SoCal D1 teams like St. John Bosco and Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks.

Tyler Thompson of Vanden is shown in front of the microphone inside the Sacramento Kings’ media room after his team won CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 title. Photo: Mark Tennis.

D3: Sacramento 25-7
See separate writeup from Wednesday’s final.

D4: Venture Academy (Stockton) 29-3
In the first section title win for the Mustangs, senior guard Mario Williams went bonkers on the UC Davis court on Friday and finished with 39 points in a 78-74 win against Natomas of Sacramento. Despite losing in the D5 NorCal semis last season, Venture Academy still could be a team to beat in this year’s regionals even if it gets moved up to D4 or higher. Its only losses are to Vanden, Weston Ranch and Sheldon (a D2 champ and two D1 playoff teams). On Sunday, Venture got word it would be No. 12 in the NorCal D3 bracket.

D5: Ripon Christian 23-6
The Knights snapped an 18-game win streak in beating Futures Academy of Sacramento, 67-47. RC also won its 13th section title. Six-foot-9 center Jace Beidelman was dominant for the victors with 18 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and six blocks. This is a team that lost in the NorCal D5 title game last year to Sierra of Tollhouse and probably thought it would be D5 or at least D4 for this season. CIF said nope on Sunday as RC was seeded No. 15 in D3.

D6: Stone Ridge Christian (Merced) 23-8
Kassius Salazar roared loud with 31 points as the Knights won their first-ever SJS title and the first SJS title for a Merced squad since the 1990s with a 91-77 win over Valley Christian of Roseville.


Open: Carlsbad 29-2
Junior guard Jake Hall continued his track to having one of the best careers in section history with 19 points and some clutch three-pointers during a 56-57 win on Saturday over Montgomery of San Diego. Those two have been the section’s top two ranked teams and Montgomery had a previous win over the Lancers. Carlsbad (ranked No. 15 in the state) won its 19th straight game while the Aztecs had a 15-game win streak snapped. Tony Duckett added 18 points and five rebounds for the Lancers. J.J. Sanchez had 20 points for Montgomery.

D1: Mission Bay (San Diego) 21-11
Football quarterback Charlie Hutchinson racked up 17 points and pulled in 12 rebounds as the Bucs topped Scripps Ranch, 57-43, to win their section title. Kai Brown piled up 25 points for the Falcons.

D2: University City (San Diego) 25-8
The Centurions are having their best season in 15 years and captured their section title with a 72-57 win over Rancho Buena Vista of Vista. Junior Dylan Griffin and senior Ben Gavani have been on a roll in recent weeks, but in this game senior point guard Ash Aka had 25 points, six assists and six rebounds.

D3: Olympian (Chula Vista) 28-3
Freshman Tristan Anderson, a 5-foot-7 point guard, led the Eagles past Monte Vista of Spring Valley, 50-36, in the championship contest on Friday. He scored 18 points. The San Diego Union-Tribune also reported that Olympian head coach Marty Ellis and Monte Vista head coach Mike Tully have been best friends since the two played together at Monte Vista in the early 1990s.

D4: Mt. Miguel (Spring Valley) 23-8
Thaddeus Boudreaux pumped in 26 points and had eight rebounds as the Matadors added a hoops title to their D3 football crown in the fall. They topped Southwest of San Diego 70-48 in the title game.

D5: Del Lago Academy (Escondido) 21-10
The Firebirds won their first-ever section title with a 59-43 triumph over Calipatria. Ogden Victor led the victors with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.

D5AA: Tri-City Christian (Vista) 21-10
A 75-54 win against San Diego Jewish Academy gave TCC the title. The winner of this division does not advance to the SoCal regionals.


D1: Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) 29-3
Mercy Miller continued his outstanding senior season with 22 points in leading the Knights past Windward of Los Angeles, 69-65, in the CIFSS D1 final on Saturday at the Toyota Center. Notre Dame, last year’s D1 state champions and ranked No. 4 in the state overall despite not being placed in the CIFSS Open Division playoffs, also received 16 points from Angelino Mark. Gavin Hightower had 21 points to lead the Wildcats, who fell to 28-4 and likely won’t drop from its No. 11 state ranking. There was no change in the CIFSS and CIF pecking order in Sunday’s pairings as ND was placed with the No. 7 seed for the SoCal D1 bracket (still behind all of the CIFSS Open teams and behind two teams from San Diego).

Quincy Phillips from St. Anthony of Long Beach angles his body to get a shot off during CIFSS D2A championship vs Rolling Hills Prep. Photo: Joseph Kling /

D2AA: St. Anthony (Long Beach) 25-7
Team that has been coming up in the state rankings got past Rolling Hills Prep of San Pedro, 48-42, on Friday at Azusa Pacific. Quincy Phillips tossed in 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Saints. Head coach Alan Mitchell was thinking about his father after the game, who died just last month. Mateo Trujillo, a recent SoCal Player of the Week, had 16 points for RHP, which was hoping to add another section title to the resume of legendary head coach Harvey Kitani.

D2A: Marina (Huntington Beach) 26-7
Junior guard Dylan Gomez clinched the Vikings’ 53-49 win over Long Beach Poly for the section title by making a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left and his team ahead by two points. Gomez earlier in the fourth quarter hit a big three-pointer for a six-point lead. Marina’s leading scorer also was a junior, Barak Simon, who had 19 points plus five assists. Poly was looking to win its 21st section title (fourth on the all-time state list) but that will have to wait.

D3AA: La Habra 29-4
The Highlanders won their first-ever CIF Southern Section title in convincing style, 76-45, over St. Bonaventure of Ventura. Leading only 19-16 after one quarter, they took charge in the second quarter to take a 37-24 lead at the half they built upon pretty much right up until the final buzzer. Junior Jaedon Anderson led La Habra (29-4) with 22 points with 19 coming in the second half when the Highlanders were pretty much in control. Sophomore point guard Acen Jimenez had 21 points with eight in the pivotal second quarter. Junior star Grayson Sinek added 13 points (six rebounds) with nine in the first half, and junior Sebastian Esparza rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points.

D3A: Alemany (Mission Hills) 20-15
The game of the night in the state on Saturday probably was the Warriors going to three overtimes to top Bosco Tech of Rosemead, 86-80, to win the CIFSS D3A crown. Alemany is the team that knocked out Lynwood and state leading scorer Jason Crowe Jr. earlier in this bracket. Against Bosco Tech, Jared Mims had 25 points and six assists, Logan Dorsey had 22 points and 13 rebounds and Bourgeois Tshilobo had 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. All those points were needed as Bosco’s Jaden Erami was sensational with 37 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

D4AA: Cerritos 22-10
The Dons celebrated big time after this one since they claimed the first section title in school history with their 60-51 win on Saturday against Yeshiva University of Los Angeles.

D4A: Temecula Valley (Temecula) 19-14
Jeremiah Profit is considered one of the top freshmen in the state according to our Class of 2027 rankings that were posted recently. He lived up to that with 18 points as the Bears best Northview of Covina in their section final, 53-40. Head coach James Profit (Jeremiah’s dad) also has done a great job turning around a squad that 3-25 last season.

D5AA: Castaic 23-14
After going winless in the Foothill League against tough competition, the Coyotes went all the way in this division. They took out El Segundo in the final, 63-52, to prevent the Eagles from winning their first section title in 61 years.

D5A: Firebaugh (Lynwood) 18-11
The Falcons were 6-22 last year but they have new players and rolled to this section title in a lower division based on its previous season performance and not the current season. In the title game, Firebaugh routed Big Bear of Big Bear Lake, 76-31. That will change next season. Teiahjio Gilpen, a 6-foot-8 center, had 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Falcons.

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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