McClymonds of Oakland had the score tied with 38 seconds left against Sacramento Valley, but couldn't do much after that and lost to the Vikings, 58-52. O'Dowd seems to win every game these days something like 52-48 or 54-40, so 52-50 over Bellarmine wasn't a surprise. It'll probably be the same Thursday at Valley. In the other half of the NorCal bracket, Oakland Tech should absolutely roll. In the south, meanwhile, the higher team in our state rankings all won, so it'll be Westchester vs. Eisenhower and Fairfax vs. El Camino in Thursdays semis. How much Tuesday's game vs. Bakersfield took out of the Lions will be one of the keys against El Camino as they will be hitting the road once again.
Division I Girls
Mitty of San Jose and Berkeley remained on track for a potential NorCal final. Mitty plays a Kennedy of Sacramento team on Thursday that it lost to in last year's NorCal final. In the South, Narbonne played much better against Hart than it did in the L.A. City final vs. Sylmar. The game of the night was in Oceanside where San Clemente edged host El Camino, 42-40. The game went down the wire with San Clemente's Sara Brown making a shot from the lane with just five seconds left. The Tritons won it even though standout junior Lindsey Pluimer fouled out with just over three minutes left. Lynwood won easily and Long Beach Poly trekked about as far north as a SoCal team has to go -- all the way to Madera -- and won its game by 62-45.
Division II Boys
The game of the night in NorCal for us was Woodcreek's 65-62 victory over Amador Valley. And since Woodcreek will play at home Thursday vs. Pleasant Valley and since the NorCal final is at nearby ARCO, the Timberwolves just might carry this thing all the way to the state final. Amador Valley had a chance to take the lead with eight seconds left, but Stuart Yoshida missed a short jumper. After two free throws by Duane Hicks gave Woodcreek a three-point lead, Amador's Andy Bocian missed on a three-pointer that would have tied it. Pleasant Valley, Sacramento and Montgomery all won in the other first-round games up north. In the south, Mater Dei's march to the state title continued with an 81-44 win over Highland of Bakersfield. The Southern Section teams won in each of the other games, too.
Division II Girls
All four state-ranked teams in the north advanced, while the same was true in the south. Redondo was the only road team to win, which was expected as it was just a week ago the Seahawks were the state's No. 1-ranked team in this division. We still think this is perhaps the most wide-open girls division in the state.
Division III Boys
Another close game had Compton Centennial nipping Easton Washington in the closing seconds, 53-51. Washington could not get a shot off on its last possession. Hanford did well to force La Jolla into overtime despite a long road trip, but wound up on the short end of a 77-74 score. Artesia and Harvard-Westlake were winners in SoCal games, too. In the north, Foothill of Sacramento appears to be more of a favorite to get to the state finals than it did two weeks ago. The Mustangs play El Cerrito in the semis on Thursday at home.
Division III Girls
No problem for Bishop Montgomery in its quest for a four-peat. The Knights cruised by Granite Hills of Porterville, 84-36, in the south. Mission Bay's 55-40 win over Bishop Amat was impressive, even though it was on the Bucs' home floor, since the Lancers have been as high as No. 2 in the state and pushed Bishop Montgomery into overtime in one game. Does Mission Bay have enough to deny Noelle Quinn and company? The north remains wide open. Moreau Catholic and Presentation both won on the road.
Division IV Boys
Monte Vista Christian and Hercules are the top seeds in the north and both won in their first games. In the south, all the preliminary crap of the last few months is now over and we can now finally get down to business: Horizon vs. Verbum Dei in one semi and Garces vs. Lincoln in the other.
Division IV Girls
As expected, Ursuline of Santa Rosa ventured over to Sutter and rolled to an easy win, setting up the Ursuline-St. Mary's and Piedmont-Notre Dame semis that was expected. A St. Mary's-Piedmont final still looks likely. In the south, La Jolla Country Day breezed to a 61-25 win over Bell-Jeff of Burbank in its opener and looks more and more like a heavy favorite to earn a spot in the state finals.
Division V Boys
Three-time defending state champ Price won its first-round game in the south by the incredible score of 101-40. Yes, this was actually a state playoff game. Price won't have it so easy in the semis vs. Rolling Hills Prep. Immanuel and Santa Fe Christian also should play an entertaining semi. In the north, Branson's easy win over Liberty Christian was tough to take considering Liberty had been in the lower portion of the state top 10 for most of the year. Next year, Liberty can go 40-0 and beat everybody by 50 points and all we'll be able to think about is what happened against Branson. Modesto Christian, Hoopa Valley and Eastside Prep also advanced.
Division V Girls
Ripon Christian had one of the longest trips, going all the way to Loyalton, but the Knights have done this before with trips up to Modoc County and back, so it wasn't surprising that they were able to win, 56-53. Convent of the Sacred Heart, Eastside Prep and Forest Lake Christian all won regional openers as well. In the south, Mission Prep is an even bigger favorite than La Jolla Country Day in Div. IV, so that should tell you what happened in its first-round game vs. North County Christian.
Performances of the Night
Nick Corso (Santa Fe Christian, Solana Beach): In his team's 79-66 victory vs. Apple Valley Christian, Corso fired in 41 points for the highest total of the night in the state (boys or girls).
Shaun Davis (Lincoln, San Diego): Davis went for 31 points in the Hornets' 66-57 triumph over Oaks Christian of Westlake Village.
Jenna Green (Mitty, San Jose): Posted a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks in a 77-45 triumph over Washington of San Francisco.
Liam Hughes (Modesto Christian): In a 68-33 victory over Redwood Christian, the 7-2 senior dominated with 20 points, 23 rebounds and 12 blocks. Seems the Redwood Christian players thought they could drive to the bucket and pick up fouls. Nice idea, but when you're 7-2 that might not work.
Grayson Moyer (La Jolla): Netted six of his 36 points in overtime as La Jolla outlasted Hanford 77-74 in the SoCal Div. III playoffs.
Danielle Orsillo (Las Plumas, Oroville): Oroville's own Orsillo (we like the sound of that) rang up 37 points and had 10 rebounds in a 67-64 loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.
Leon Powe (Oakland Tech): The leading State Player of the Year candidate took advantage of smallish opponents and poured in 38 points plus 15 rebounds as the Bulldogs downed Salinas, 73-54.
Ray Reed (Inglewood): Just call him RayRayRay Reed due to the triple-double he had in the Sentinels' 81-60 win over Escondido. Reed had 25 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Robert Swift (Garces, Bakersfield): The 7-0 junior blocked 14 shots to go with 22 points as the Rams ripped Campbell Hall of North Hollywood, 105-61.
Bryce Taylor (Harvard-Westlake): Big-time junior shined again with 33 points and made 6-of-7 shots in a 31-12 third quarter by his team as the Wolverines beat Santa Margarita, 77-52.