Div. II: Foothill (Palo Cedro) 51, Chico 28
After these two teams split during the regular season, the last thing anybody figured was a rout by either one. Foothill did it behind Haley Ford, who scored 18 points and had eight rebounds.
Div. III: West Valley (Cottonwood) 50, Las Plumas (Oroville) 47
Danielle Orsillo had 24 points for Las Plumas, but West Valley overcame it with the duo of Kasey Igarta and Delaney Gover. Igarta made six three-pointers and totaled 23 points. Gover connected on four three-pointers and had 17 points.
Div. IV: Sutter 63, Winters 43
Carolie Baker piled up 26 points as the Huskies won their first section title. Another key was the defense, which held Winters' Keri Anglin to just 14 points. She's been averaging well over 25. Sutter was surprisingly seeded third in the NorCal playoffs ahead of Salinas Notre Dame, although Notre Dame fans shouldn't complain because Sutter's the one that got stuck with having to play Santa Rosa Ursuline in the first round.
Div. V: Loyalton 69, Etna 66
This was the upset of the week in the section (boys or girls). Etna came in at No. 4 in the state, but fell to a team that won the Div. VI title a year ago and therefore wasn't able to qualify for the state playoffs. Annie Maddalena sparked Loyalton with 19 points. Etna had a 19-game win streak and was hurt when both of its top inside players got into foul trouble.
Div. VI: Champion Christian (Red Bluff) 52, Butte Valley (Dorris) 26
Tanya Bekendam broke loose for 23 points to lead the winners, who won their first section title. Maybe Champion will follow the lead of Loyalton and move up to Div. V for next year.
NORTH COAST SECTION
Div. I: Berkeley 87, James Logan (Union City) 41
The Yellowjackets are almost as dominant in NCS girls hoops as De La Salle is in NCS football. This year's final was rout city as Danesha Wright (17 points) led a squad that forced numerous turnovers. Coach Gene Nakamura also seems to have gotten his team ready for another strong run at the Div. I state title, although getting past Mitty in NorCals will be very tough. Berkeley has now won eight straight section titles, 12 in the last 14 years and 17 overall.
Div. II: Carondelet (Concord) 51, Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 33
Amador was going for its fifth straight section title, but got spanked by a team it edged, 59-58, earlier in the season. Carondelet also established itself as a legitimate challenger to state-ranked Pinewood in this week's NorCal playoffs. Raquel Castellanos led the Cougars with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Div. III: Acalanes (Lafayette) 53, Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 37
After nipping Lamorinda rival Miramonte (last year's NorCal champ in this division) in the semis, 53-51, the Dons hit that magic number again in the finals but in a much easier victory over Moreau.
Div. IV: Piedmont 45, Ursuline (Santa Rosa) 43
The losing Bears should know all about losing in the NCS final and then coming back to win the NorCal and state crowns. It happened last year when they were the ones who won this game and Marin Catholic was the one that won everything else. Ashley Paris made the game-winning basket for Piedmont with two seconds left on what was described as a "scoop" layup. The real losers on the week weren't Ursuline, anyway. That would be Marin Catholic and Healdsburg, two state-ranked Div. IV teams that lost in the semis and now won't even have a chance to redeem themselves in NorCal. There's no doubt that MC and Healdsburg are better than 80 percent of the Div. IV teams in the state that are playing this week.
Div. V: Convent of the Sacred Heart (San Francisco) 44, Rincon Valley Christian (Santa Rosa) 40
Whew, that might be longest scoreline in the history of Cal-Hi Sports. Convent won its first-ever section title behind guard Liz Brown, who netted 17 points. It's hard to see how any of the NCS teams, though, can get through the first and second rounds for a spot in this weekend's NorCal final even though Convent was mysteriously given the top seed over Forest Lake Christian.
Div. I: Laguna Creek (Elk Grove) 50, Kennedy (Sacramento) 43
A rematch of last year's final went to the Cardinals this time. Kennedy led 33-31 early in the fourth quarter, but offensive rebounds and free throw shooting let Laguna Creek pull away. India McDaniel went 8-for-8 from the line and finished with 14 points to lead coach Glenn Mayol's club. Ms. Basketball nominee Alisha Hicks pumped in 18 to lead Kennedy.
Div. II: Vacaville 73, Folsom 44
Vacaville's inside strength took control in the second half and wore down the Jenn Hall-led Bulldogs. Bernadette White led Vaca with 15 points, 15 rebounds and four steals. Tamar Gruwell had 19 points and seven rebounds.
Div. III: Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 72, El Camino (Sacramento) 67, 2 OTs
Coach Steve White's club almost won it at the end of regulation, but a shot rolled around the rim and off. The Trojans took control in the second overtime. Lani Scruby tossed in 23 points and had 12 rebounds for Oak Ridge, which has avenged two of its four losses on the season in the playoffs.
Div. IV: St. Mary's (Stockton) 88, Colfax 47
The Rams completed an easy run through this field for their fifth straight section title. St. Mary's would have been the No. 1 seed in this week's NorCal regionals had Ursuline won in the NCS, but Piedmont did so a No. 2 seed will have to do. Regardless, all three of the Rams' games this week will be in Stockton since the Div. IV finals for NorCal will be at Stockton's Delta College. A win there and La Jolla Country Day (with Candice Wiggins) probably awaits in the state finals.
Div. V: Forest Lake Christian (Auburn) 57, Ripon Christian 54
A ninth section title in 11 years for RC was not to be as Forest Lake Christian took over down the stretch. Freshman Brittany Allen led the Falcons with 17 points, but most of the postgame chatter surrounded 6-9 sophomore Lindsay Hayward, who was a towering presence on both sides of the court and is improving on offense every day.
Playoff Final: Oakland Tech 55, Castlemont 50
Sophomore standout Alexis Gray-Lawson racked up 19 points and Jelela Sampson had 11 rebounds and 12 steals as the Bulldogs won their second straight crown. Don't be deceived by the seven losses on Tech's overall record. Four of them are by forfeit. There's only been three on the court.
SAN FRANCISCO SECTION
Playoff Final: Lowell 56, Washington 51
The Cardinals won their second straight title and might have a few more up their sleeves since freshman Jazmin Holmes was the key player in this year's final.
CENTRAL COAST SECTION
Div. I: Mitty (San Jose) 83, Salinas 36
Coach Sue Phillips' juggernaut pretty much wrapped up the top seed in the Div. I Northern Regional with this romp. It gave the Monarchs seven section titles in eight years. Four Mitty players made it into double figures, led by Khalilah Daniels with 16.
Div. II: Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 70, St. Francis (Mountain View) 51
The Panthers should be No. 1 in the state in this division heading into NorCals after previous No. 1 Redondo lost. They've already set the state record for most three-pointers in a season (more than 300 and counting) and they've been playing well for more than two months. Against St. Francis, Katy Digovich had 31 points and 10 rebounds.
Div. III: Sacred Heart Cathedral (S.F.) 44, Presentation (San Jose) 40, OT
These two league rivals might even meet again in this week's NorCal playoffs as Div. III in the north looks devoid of powerhouses.
Div. IV: Notre Dame (Salinas) 40, Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 37
If we were Notre Dame fans, we'd be worried with this game. Sacred Heart Prep has a losing record and winning by only three does not bode well in a division that includes the likes of Stockton St. Mary's, Piedmont, etc.
Div. V: Eastside Prep (Palo Alto) 47, Redwood Christian (Castro Valley) 40
This title was decided at the free throw line as the winners were 19 of 25 while the losers were only 7 of 21. Eastside Prep earned its first section title after two straight losses to Redwood Christian. Markisha Coleman battled big-time foul trouble in the first half, but had all of her 15 points in the second half.
Div. I: Madera 55, South (Bakersfield) 36
First-year coach John Wicks has delivered the Coyotes to the promised land of being a section champ. Having four-year starter Heather Bates around has certainly helped and Bates had 22 points to beat the Rebels. The only bad news of the weekend was that Madera was unlucky at the seeding meeting Sunday and will now have to play Long Beach Poly right away.
Div. II: North (Bakersfield) 89, Sanger 56
There probably hasn't been a team ever in the state that's had two different girls make 100 or more three-pointers in a season. North has done it with Ana Onaindia and Laura Thomas. Against Sanger, Thomas had 31 points and Onaindia had 27. The Stars got a major break at Sunday's seeding meeting, too, when they were given a No. 2 seed in the SoCal playoffs. That means two possible home games this week. The seeding committee must not have been told that both of North's losses were to Southern Section Div. II teams, otherwise how could the Stars have been seeded above Mater Dei.
Div. III: Porterville 77, Granite Hills (Porterville) 38
Too bad this game didn't live up to the hype of being the first ever all-Porterville matchup for a Valley final. Porterville romped behind Jennifer Borrer's 25 points.
Div. IV: Taft 61, Corcoran 54
Claretha Davis netted 30 points to lead Corcoran, but once again it was Taft winning in the section final. It's the seventh section crown for Taft in 10 years and the third straight for current head coach Marsha Eubank.
Div. V: Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 64, Central Valley Christian (Visalia) 43
The Royals broke a state record by winning their 12th consecutive section title. Brea-Olinda had the previous record with 11. Julia Walters led Mission Prep with 19 points. If the Royals don't win in this week's regionals, it would be as surprising as Mater Dei not winning in boys Division II. It was a very emotional record-breaking win, too, as Mission Prep head coach Jay Cowitz has been battling pancreatic cancer since last summer.
L.A. CITY SECTION
Championship: Narbonne (Harbor City) 41, Sylmar 40
Wow, this was the near-upset of the night. The Gauchos haven't had an L.A. City opponent come close to them since the days Palisades was good and Sylmar didn't appear to be in that class. The Spartans took advantage of a horrible night of shooting by Narbonne and even had a chance to win on their last possession. Miriama Wrightser, however, wasn't able to get off a last-second shot. Wrightser led all scorers with 15 points.
Invitational: Hamilton 38, Palisades (Pacific Palisades) 36
The Yankees beat the Dolphins in this final in which the winner does not advance to this week's regionals.
Div. I-AA: Lynwood 69, Poly (Long Beach) 63
Don't let that score fool you. This was Lynwood all the way. The Knights, ranked No. 1 in the state and still in contention to be No. 1 in the nation, led by 64-47 in the fourth quarter before Poly made it cosmetically close. The Jackrabbits had won 24 straight games as Lynwood bounced back from a sub-par outing in the semifinals against Palmdale. Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood led the Knights with 20 points.
Div. I-A: San Clemente 68, Hart (Newhall) 38
Lindsey Pluimer scored 24 points and had 11 rebounds and six blocks as the Tritons won their third straight section title. Last year, these two met in the finals and San Clemente won by just seven. Now the Tritons will turn their attention to the SoCal playoffs where they were knocked out right off the bat a year ago by El Camino of Oceanside. They'll go to Oceanside again in their first-round game.
Div. II-AA: Troy (Fullerton) 82, Perris 45
This was another surprisingly one-sided affair as the Warriors took advantage of a team that didn't seem to be ready for the bigger stage. UCLA-bound Amanda Livingston starred for Troy with 24 points. The Warriors have just as good a shot as anybody in wide open Div. II to go all the way to a state title.
Div. II-A: Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 43, Redondo (Redondo Beach) 39
The Monarchs just might be the state's best comeback kids team of the postseason so far. They trailed 20-6 early vs. Brea-Olinda and came back to win and against Redondo they were down by 14 late in the third quarter. The emergence of Jen Rogers, who scored 26 vs. Redondo, has been the key to Mater Dei's surge. And since Redondo was the state's No. 1 Div. II ranked team, don't be surprised if the Monarch girls join the boys next week in the state finals. That task was made more difficult when Mater Dei was seeded behind North of Bakersfield, a seeding that makes no sense unless all you're going by is a win-loss record.
Div. III-AA: Artesia (Lakewood) 57, Santa Margarita (Rancho SM) 55
We'd classify this one an upset only because Santa Margarita won twice in league over Mater Dei and the Monarchs did so well in the Div. II playoffs. On the other hand, Artesia is no stranger to top-level competition. Cacie Pope had 22 points and seven rebounds for the Pioneers. The Eagles had a chance to win or tie in the final seconds but Brittany Imako came up with a steal for Artesia.
Div. III-A: Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 64, Bishop Amat (La Puente) 40
All you need to know about why this win was so lopsided for the Knights compared to their previous two matchups vs. the Lancers was that Noelle Quinn had 29 for her team while Erin Myrick was held to only eight for hers. Quinn also had eight assists and six steals. A fourth straight state title also now looks even more likely for Bishop Montgomery.
Div. IV-AA: Marlborough (Los Angeles) 42, St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs) 36
Emily Tay had 14 points to led Marlborough in what could be called a mild upset of the Swordsmen. Crystal Erwin was held to only 10 points by Marlborough's defense.
Div. V-AA: Thacher (Ojai) 54, La Sierra (Riverside) 50
Alright, we can now say the Toads have made in-roads. Thacher's first section title was won even though there's only one senior on the team and even though this team was unseeded. The Toads are no threat to Mission Prep in the South Regional, but they could be a team to watch down the road.
Div. V-A: Hesperia Christian 53, North County Christian (Atascadero) 46
It's the first section title for Hesperia Christian, which won it on the strength of an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter.
SAN DIEGO SECTION
Div. I: El Camino (Oceanside) 66, Poway 34
After Poway upset scoring phenom Charde Houston and San Diego High in the semis, the Wildcats ended any thoughts of another upset quickly. Lauren Laurent (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Megan Johnson (17 points) led El Camino, which won its third section title in four years. If they don't have to play Long Beach Poly right away, El Camino looks like a sure bet to make it to the South Region semis.
Div. II: Mt. Miguel (Spring Valley) 55, El Capitan (Lakeside) 49, 2 OTs
These two teams both could be darkhorses in this week's regionals as Div. II looks more wide open than any of the other divisions in the south. Christine Fitzgerald led the winners with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Mt. Miguel won its first section title.
Div. III: Mission Bay (San Diego) 59, Kearny 53
Since the Bucs had only lost by one point to Redondo earlier this year, we've been mystified why almost all the local rankings in San Diego have seemed to be "down" on them this year. That should change after Mission Bay's big win in this game. Amber Sprague was dominant with 26 points and 19 rebounds while fellow junior Amanda Rego had 12 assists.
Div. IV: La Jolla Country Day 73, Bishop's (La Jolla) 54
Although this easy win was expected, it is still significant as Bishop's had won six straight section titles. LJCD, which was Div. V state champs the last two seasons, cruised behind Candice Wiggins, who is almost back to full strength from a knee injury. Wiggins finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, nine steals and five assists. Marissa Rivera had 21 points and 10 rebounds. The Torreys can be called heavy favorites in this week's South Regionals and there's even a chance that Bishop's will turn out to be the region's second-best team.
Div. V: Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) 34, Calvin Christian (Escondido) 28
Ît's the third title in five years for the Saints, but Brandi Collato isn't around anymore so there's not much of a chance they'll be a challenge to Mission Prep in this week's regionals.