One-two punch carries Riordan

Northern California's best chance of winning a CIF state boys basketball title is probably in Division III and the region's top two ranked Division III teams squared off on Friday in San Francisco.

It wasn't much of a contest. Riordan of San Francisco, the No. 3 team in Division III in the state and No. 3 in Northern California overall by, extended a four-point halftime lead with a 13-4 third quarter and went on to defeat Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco, 50-39.

It was the first loss of the season for Sacred Heart Cathedral, which came into the matchup at No. 4 in the state in Division III and No. 4 in Northern California. Riordan improved to 16-1 overall and 4-0 in the West Catholic Athletic League.

Cal-bound Marquis Kately rang up 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Crusaders. Big man John Tofi also shined for Riordan with 21 points and 13 rebounds. The duo also helped shut down the Irish's Odioh Odiye, who only had one basket, didn't make a free throw and had just two points.

In other noteworthy games played Friday in the Central Coast Section, St. Francis of Mountain View defeated Serra of San Mateo, 64-58; Oak Grove of San Jose won by 62-48 over Hill of San Jose; and Valley Christian of San Jose clipped Leigh of San Jose, 75-52.

David Chiotti had 22 points and Hakeem Gilliard had 15 for St. Francis, one of the top Div. II teams in Northern California but which would have fallen to 1-3 in the WCAL if it hadn't won.

Oak Grove's 14-point win was another disappointment for Hill, the defending CCS Div. I champion which lost its fifth game of the season despite Jayson Obuazuaye scoring 20 points.

Valley Christian improved to 11-4 overall and 4-0 in Mount Hamilton League play. The Warriors, along with Christian Brothers of Sacramento, may be emerging as a favorite for the Northern California Div. IV title. Defending state champ St. Mary's of Berkeley has moved up to Div. I for this year while other NorCal Div. IV teams that were foreseen in the preseason to be strong teams have faltered.

Note: Most of the information in this update taken from Saturday's San Jose Mercury-News.

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