Complete CIF brackets: BOYS, GIRLS
By Mitch Stephens
HAYWARD, Calif. – Frank Otis couldn’t wrap his brain around it. None of his McClymonds (Oakland) teammates could.
The Warriors, the nation’s No. 11 boys basketball team according to MaxPreps, had just defeated Newark Memorial 62-42 in the CIF North Region Division I semifinals at Cal State East Bay.
Otis, a powerful 6-foot-6 senior, had 16 points and seven rebounds, the same total as his high-flying 6-6 junior teammate Damon Powell, who sent down four ally-oop dunks.
The Warriors are one step away of repeating as North Region champions and returning to Arco Arena in Sacramento, the scene of the crime, a dreadful 54-29 loss to Fairfax (Los Angeles) in the state finals.
McClymonds will face longtime East Bay nemesis De La Salle (Concord) in the North Region finals at 4 p.m. Saturday also at Arco.
Otis isn’t so shocked that his team is back in this position, though most folks thought the Warriors might need a little rebuilding after graduating three starters.
What he and everyone can’t fathom is that McClymonds is now 30-0.
“Not even thinking about it,” Otis said. “The only record we’ve been focused on is 4-0 once we reached the state tournament. We’re 2-0 now and we have two to go.”
When pushed further about the record, the SMU-bound fourth-year starter said the goose-egg on the right side has surprised him.
“It’s surprised everyone,” Otis said. “No one but ourselves thought we’d get back to this point. But to be undefeated? We’ve got some dedicated coaches, some dedicated players and we got some help.”
He referred to Powell and Quincy Hill, a 5-9 junior point guard. Powell played at McClymonds as a freshman, transferred to San Lorenzo, then his family moved back to West Oakland.
Powell is one of the best athletes coach Dwight Nathaniel has seen and considering he graduated from McClymonds in the 70s, and that McClymonds has featured such NBA greats as Bill Russell, Paul Silas, Joe Ellis, Nate Williams and Antonio Davis, that’s saying something.
“I’ve told the lad that he has a chance to make some money playing this game,” Nathaniel said. “And I don’t throw around the line very often. He needs a lot of work to polish up his game. He’s raw. But he’s very, very talented.”
Hill was cut from the JV team as a freshman, was a starter on the JV team last year and now has turned into a productive player.
Add in returning starting guard Will Cherry, a 6-foot junior guard who scored 13 points, and sharp-shooting senior guard Damario Sims and no wonder McClymonds has reached such heights.
“That number really jumps out at you,” Powell said. “We weren’t thinking that before the season. All everyone was focused on was getting back to Sacramento and taking care of business.”
Newark Memorial (26-7), which got 14 points from sophomore Khion Sankey, led only once, 15-14 following a layup and two free throws by Sankey. But Otis closed the first quarter with a putback then assisted William Cherry (13 points) on a fastbreak hoop.
When McClymonds opened the second quarter on a 10-4 run keyed by a 3-pointer from Sims and a putback by reserve Solomon Wiseman, it was in control for the duration.
Powell and Otis combined to make 15 of 20 shots, while Newark Memorial got very few easy looks and made just 17 of 46 shots.
“Everyone knows McClymonds basketball is all about defense,” Nathaniel said. “That’s where everything starts.”
De La Salle (Concord) 50, Oakland 45 (OT)
The host Spartans (28-3), the second seed, barely survived but got two free throws by Jose Rivera (18 points) in overtime to seal the victory.
Oakland senior Drake Green's rebound and putback off a desperation three-point attempt with three seconds to play in regulation tied the score at 41-41, sending the game into overtime.
The lead changed hands four times in the four-minute overtime, and De La Salle took the lead for good when senior guard Dominic Martellaro connected on a 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining, making it 47-45.
The teams traded possessions until De La Salle's Jeff Powers drew a charge with 0:07 remaining on Oakland guard PJ Taylor, and Rivera (18 points) sank both free throws to clinch it.
Standout Guard Damian Lillard led Oakland (23-9) with 15 points, but fouled out with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter.
Dominguez (Compton) 80, Fairfax (Los Angeles) 77
Dominguez, the nation’s No. 3 team, pulled out another stunner, fighting back from a 15-point third-quarter deficit and an 8-point deficit with two minutes to go. Last week, Dominguez knocked off previously undefeated and the nation’s No. 1 team Mater Dei (Santa Ana). Fairfax was just 5-of-14 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Dominguez (31-2), which got 28 points and 15 rebounds from Jordan Hamilton, didn't lead until 52 seconds were left in the first overtime His three-point play to start the second OT gave the Dons the lead for good.
Renardo Sidney, a 6-10 post considered the top junior in the country, and Chris Soloman had 22 points each for Fairfax (27-6).
King (Riverside) 83, Taft (Los Angeles) 82
King slayed its second straight Los Angeles City power as Kawhi Leonard made six key points in overtime to pull out the win over the nation’s No. 2 team. Leonard had 22 points, while teammates Eric Wise had 24, George Fields 19 and J.J. Campbell 13. King made nine 3-pointers, including five from Fields.
It helped offset a monster game from Larry Drew Jr., who had 35 points but missed a potential game-winning 17-footer at the end of regulation.
King knocked off another national power, Westchester 77-75 on Tuesday, a day after beating a lesser squad, but also from the Los Angeles City, Fremont, 82-56.
Mitty (San Jose) 85, Hayward 68
Drew Gordon, who made a dramatic entrance in a first-round win over Shasta, came back had had another big outing in limited duty with 15 points, three blocks and eight rebounds as the nation’s No. 18 team rolled to an easy home win.
The UCLA-bound Gordon, a 6-9 senior, has been plagued by injury all season, including what was supposed to be a season-ending broken left foot six weeks ago.
But Gordon came back on Tuesday, even though coaches insisted he’d be out for the season as late as two weeks ago, and scored 12 points with two dunks in limited play.
Mitty lost in the state championship last year to Mater Dei (Santa Ana). The Monarchs were still top seed and expected to get to the state finals even without Gordon. Now with him, they have a shot to compete with Mater Dei.
Angelo Caloiaro and Collin Chiverton had 25 points each for Mitty, which improved to 31-1. Davion Berry had 22 for Hayward (23-8).
Fairfield 62, Rocklin 59
In a rematch of the Sac-Joaquin Section final, James Lake made a 30-foot bank shot at the buzzer lifting Fairfield (28-5), which lost to Rocklin 44-43 on Saturday. Lake finished with a game-high 29 points to outscore Rocklin's 6-10 junior Brendan Lane with 19. Rocklin, the second seed, finished 30-3.
"I've made that shot a lot in my dreams," Lake told the Sacramento Bee.
Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 83, Mission Hills 54
David Wear had 20 points and Travis Wear 19 as the Monarchs (33-1) won their second straight lopsided South Region game. They beat Centennial by 37 points in a first-round game. Gary Franklin added 11 for the winners, while Taylor Darby had 14 for Mission Hills (25-8).
Edison (Fresno) 68, Hoover (San Diego) 58
Greg Smith had 29 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks leading the second-seeded Tigers (28-4) pull out their 19th straight win. Phillip Ward (13 rebounds) was another strong interior player for Edison.
Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco) 72, El Camino (Sacramento) 67 (2 OT)
A San Francisco squad reached the North Region finals but it’s not the one everyone thought.
The Irish (21-12), which was beaten soundly in the Central Coast Section finals, won their second straight road game, this one in double-overtime as they didn’t allow a single point in the second overtime.
A 3-pointer by Teandre Hubbard (14 points) sent the game into the first overtime and teammate Darryl Cooper made a 5-footer with two seconds left in overtime to send it to a second overtime. Jerry Brown led the way for the Irish with 23 points and Kevin Green added 18. Will Olsem and Austin Bracey had 18 points apiece for top-seeded El Camino (27-6).
Sacramento 59, Riordan 49
Chase Tapley, a highly-touted 6-3 junior guard, scored 11 straight points to start the fourth quarter and finished with 28 as visiting Sacramento (29-3) ended Riordan’s season for the third straight year.
Jorge Camacho led second-seed Riordan (21-11) with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Brian Miguel added 13 points. Daniel Cannon (four points) sat for a 10-minute stretch in the second half with an ankle injury.
Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) 69, La Jolla 51
Klay Thompson almost had a triple double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists but it was the balance of top-seed Santa Margarita (28-5) that makes it so tough. Five players scored in double figures including Zach Zaragoza (13 points) and Jason Pancoe, Jaime Serna and Trayce Thompson all with 10.
Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 56, Hanford 53
Mike Panaggio hit three free throws with 1:04 left to tie the game and Justin Cobbs secured the win with two free throws giving the second-seeded Knights (26-6) the hard-earned win. Leland Jones had 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for the winners.
St. Mary’s (Albany) 70, Colfax 50
Chris Brew had three dunks during an 11-2 run to start the second half to break open a close game. St. Mary’s forced 13 turnovers in the third quarter alone and 28 for the game.
Chris Brew, a 6-3 junior, had 18 points and his brother, a 6-3 senior, added 14 followed by 14 from Marcus Semien and 11 by Dominique Lee, who added 10 rebounds. Scott Krizman led all scorers with 28 points for Colfax (28-4).
Modesto Christian 89, Kennedy 72
The remarkable duo of future Pac-10 players D.J. Seeley and Reeves Nelson was at it again in a convincing home victory for second-seed Modesto Christian (29-4). Seeley, a 6-3 transfer from Lodi who has signed to Cal, scored a career high 43 points and Nelson, a 6-7 junior who has already committed to UCLA, added 27. Nelson had 52 in a 122-100 Sac-Joaquin Section win over Encina last week. Modesto Christian has won 20 straight and scored at least 80 19 times and at least 94 seven times during the streak.
Campbell Hall (West Hollywood) 82, Garces (Bakersfield) 56
Dallas Rutherford had 24 points, Jrue Holiday 20, Deuce Johnson 15 and Austin McBroom 14 as the host Vikings had little trouble with Garces. Holiday, a national Player of the Year candidate heading to UCLA, picked up his third foul with 5:51 left in the second quarter but Campbell Hall increased its lead from eight to 16 without him. Campbell Hall (29-5) now faces San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) in Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship at Mater Dei.
San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 66, Horizon (San Diego) 63
Four players scored in double figures for the Panthers (26-8), who pulled off the upset on the road despite 36 points from 7-foot Horizon center Jeff Withey, who has signed to Arizona. Mike Palmieri, Bryce Martinho and Anthony Seto had 15 points apiece for the winners, while Matt Mazzoni contributed 12.
Lick-Wilmerding (San Francisco) 46, Liberty Christian (Redding) 34
For the last two days all Liberty Christian focused on was how to slow down Marcus Wells, Lick-Wilmerding’s 25-point-a-game scorer.
The home team did just fine in that regard, holding Wells to a season-low seven points. But it forgot all about 5-8 guard Andrew Manansala who had 20 points as Lick (26-8) went on a 28-13 run in the second half to shock second-seed Liberty Christian (25-7).
“They put a box-and-one on Marcus and the rest of our guys raised their level of play,” Lick coach Elliott Smith said. “These guys never cease to amaze me.”
Lick has won two NorCal road games, including a 58-50 decision at Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) on Tuesday. It now gets top-seed and two-time defending champion Branson (Ross) in Saturday’s 3 p.m. North Region finals at Folsom High School.
Branson-Ross 37, Woodside Priory-Woodside 30
Oliver McNally was the only player in double figures with 14 points for Branson (30-3), which won its 20th straight game. Greg Somogyi, a 7-2 center headed for UC Santa Barbara for Woodside Priory (29-4) had a team-high nine points.
Price (Los Angeles) 61, Foothills Christian (El Cajon) 41
Top seed Price, a perennial power, won its second straight lopsided regional game after opening with a 66-44 win over Lutheran (La Verne).
Renaissance Academy (La Canada) 64, Immanuel Christian (Reedley) 56
Anthony Stover, a 6-10 junior post, had 13 points, seven rebounds and 12 blocks leading the Wildcats (26-3) to victory. Teammates Justin Cook (16 points), Tremaine Tatum (13 points, 11 rebounds) and De Andre Daniels (12 points) also led the Southern Section representative.
Berkeley 50, San Benito (Hollister) 38
Even with legendary coach Gene Nakamura retired after the 2006-07 season, the Yellowjackets are back at Arco Arena again. Tiffany Hamaski scored 15 points and the host team utilized a 39-20 rebounding advantage to defeat the Haybalers (24-6). Jazmine Perkins added 13 points and 11 rebounds for Berkeley, which held San Benito to just two points in the third quarter.
Kennedy (Sacramento) 52, Castlemont (Oakland) 49
Sophomore Cydni Matsuoka drilled a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left to lift the second-seeded Cougars (27-6).
Long Beach Poly 87, Miller (Fontana) 58
National Player of the Year candidate Jasmine Dixon had 25 points, 16 rebounds, three steals and three blocks in an easy victory for Poly (29-2), the nation’s No. 3 team which also got a huge game down low by Monique Oliver (24 points, 20 rebounds and seven blocks). Briana Hall had 21 points and seven assists for Miller.
Narbonne 54, Chatsworth 48
In a battle of Los Angeles City powers, third-seeded Narbonne (31-4) advanced to the finals thanks to its trio of Reiko Thomas, Gabrielle Clark and Tipesa Moorer. Narbonne has won 23 of 24.
Mitty (San Jose) 52, Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) 40
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Mitty (20-11), which lost its top two players, both now playing in college including all-everything Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma) and Kassandra McCalister (Oregon State).
The Monarchs struggled through much of the season but are back in the North Region finals thanks to a 13-0 run to close the game against the Trojans (27-6).
Hannah Stephens scored 12 points and Ashley Watson added nine for Mitty, which will face top-seeded St. Francis-Sacramento in the championship game.
St. Francis (Sacramento) 47, Wilcox (Santa Clara) 37
Defensive pressure by host St. Francis (26-3) in the second half shut down Wilcox. Troubadors' forward Ariel Gregersen had 16 rebounds, effectively keeping Wilcox (25-4) from getting second chances and helping control the tempo.Dominique Blanchette had 19 points to lead St. Francis.
“Down the stretch, we show a lot of poise, and that really made the difference,” St. Francis coach Vic Pitton said.
Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) 41, Redondo Union (Redondo Beach) 37
The fifth-seeded Mustangs scored revenge and the semifinal victory over the top seeded team it lost by 14 in the Southern Section final. As usual Mikah Maly-Karros and Megan Richardson, who each average 17 points per game, led the way.
Ayala (Chino Hills) 57, Colony (Ontario) 49
the trio of Rebekah Gardner, Jasmin Holliday and Rhema Gardner led the way for Ayala, which opened the regionals with a remarkable 90-51 win over Centennial (Bakersfield).
Sacred Heart Cathedral 67, Sacramento 46
The nation’s top-ranked team (31-0) had 10-2 runs to close the first and second quarter to build a 38-21 lead by halftime.
Tierra Rogers and Jazmine Jackson paced Sacred Heart with 15 points each, and Kamilah Jackson (10 points) had 17 rebounds to help the Irish to a 43-20 advantage on the boards which is pretty impressive considering the Irish don’t have a 6-footer on their roster.
Kiki Moore (10 points) had nine assists, as Sacred Heart scored 22 assisted baskets.
Hampered by Sacred Heart's man-to-man defense, Sacramento shot 16-of-57 from the field. Quanisha Taylor kept the Dragons in the game in the second half, when she hit four three-pointers and scored 14 of her game-high 21 points.
The win sets up arguably the most anticipated match-up in the country this year, as Sacred Heart tangles with St. Mary’s (Stockton) for the North Region title at 6 p.m. at Arco Arena in Sacramento.
Sacred Heart’s chances may be affected by the condition of Rogers, one of the country’s top juniors, who hurt her hip midway through the fourth quarter. She was on crutches after the game and is questionable for Saturday.
The Irish are already missing Pepperdine-bound guard Lauren Bell, the team’s top defensive player, out for the year with a torn ACL.
St. Mary’s (Stockton) 70, Miramonte (Orinda) 51
At Delta College in Stockton, Alle Moreno scored 10 of her 12 points in the third quarter when St. Mary’s (32-0), ranked fourth nationally, went on a 27-13 run to put the game away.
Courtney French, the team’s only senior, had 20 points, Chelsea Gray 15 and Afure Jemerigbe 14 and the Rams’ vaunted press forced 31 turnovers.
Katie Batlin had 11 points and seven assists and Stephanie Golden 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for Miramonte (27-4), the two-time defending North Coast Section champions.
Muir (Pasadena) 43, Mt. Miguel (Spring Valley) 35
Junior guard Eliza Pierre had 13 points and 10 points as she bailed out top seed and cold shooting Muir (28-2) to the defensive semifinal victory.
Magnolia (Anaheim) 45, Summit (Fontana) 41
Magnolia (26-8) overcame a 12-point first-quarter deficit to advance to its first regional final. The Sentinels bounced back with a 13-1 run in the second quarter keyed by Arizona-bound Jhakia McDonald, who had seven points in the run. Muir beat Magnolia in double-overtime earlier this season.
Justin-Siena-Napa 60, Modesto Christian 48
Vicky Deely had 32 points and 11 rebounds as top-seeded and host Justin-Siena (29-3) broke to a 29-10 lead but then held on. Britney Hyatt (11 points, five assists) and Deely made free throws down the stretch. Brandi Henton and Stefani Agostini led Modesto Christian (28-4) with 14 points apiece.
St. Patrick/St. Vincent (Vallejo) 56, Valley Christian (San Jose) 45
Alex Cowling scored six of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter when St. Patrick (28-5), the defending champion, outscored Valley Christian 17-1.
La Jolla Country Day 57, St. Mary's Academy (Inglewood) 47
Dominique Conners had a team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Torreys (25-5), who have won each of their five playoff games by at least 10 points. Janae Fulcher added 12 points for the winners, who took control in the second quarter with an 11-0 run.
Marlborough (Los Angeles) 50, Garces (Bakersfield) 21
The defending state champion (25-5) got 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals from Nikki Speed and 11 by Talia Caldwell in a decisive victory.
Branson-Ross 51, St. Francis CCC-Watsonville 24
The defending state champs had little trouble, taking a 33-5 halftime leading before pulling its starters. Rachel Bilney had a game-high 18 points for Branson (27-7).
Eastside Prep-East Palo Alto 72, Liberty Christian-Redding 60
Ahjalee Harvey and Felicia Anderson combined for 50 points to lead the host Panthers (31-1) to victory over Liberty Christian (29-2).
Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 48, View Park (Los Angeles) 25
The top seed (26-4), trying desperately to win its first state title after four losses in the state finals, got 16 points from Leigh Yetter in an easy semifinal win.
Calvin Christian (Escondido) 55, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 42
Janelle Judson, just off the JV team, had seven of her 10 points in the fourth quarter helping second-seed Calvin Christian (22-8) to victory. Michelle Baerg led Calvin with 18 points including four 3-pointers and Nicole Tasooji added 10 rebounds and eight points.
E-mail Mitch Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Items from the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union-Tribune, Pasadena Star-Press, Los Angeles Daily News, Modesto Bee, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.