Regional finals set for Saturday at four sites as the road to the 2012 CIF state championships on March 23-24 gets very narrow.
Highlights from Tuesday’s games included:
•Bullard of Fresno upsetting nationally ranked Long Beach Poly on 40-foot bomb
•Katin Reinhardt coming back for No. 1 Mater Dei and scoring 21 points in win over Loyola
•Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame’s Don Lippi joining exclusive ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports record book list by picking up 700th career triumph
•Mater Dei (D1), Archbishop Mitty (D2), Alemany (D3), Salesian of Richmond (D4) and St. Joseph Notre Dame (D5) remaining as No. 1 teams
With help from Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens, here is the seventh listing of boys teams this season for each division (records listed after regional semifinal games played on Tuesday, March 13; previous ranking in parentheses):
CIF Division I
1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 30-2
2. (8) Bullard (Fresno) 31-3
3. (7) Sheldon (Sacramento) 28-5
4. (2) Long Beach Poly (Long Beach) 29-3
5. (6) Loyola (Los Angeles) 26-6
6. (5) Taft (Woodland Hills) 30-4
7. (10) Jesuit (Carmichael) 27-6
8. (3) De La Salle (Concord) 28-3
9. (4) Etiwanda 31-3
10. (9) Lutheran (Orange) 22-12
11. (11) Mission Viejo 28-5
12. (12) Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) 25-7
13. (13) McClymonds (Oakland) 19-11
14. (14) Dorsey (Los Angeles) 27-9
15. (15) Crenshaw (Los Angeles) 24-6
Bubble: Castro Valley 22-8, Clovis West (Fresno) 22-7, Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta) 26-8, Deer Valley (Antioch) 28-9; Fairfax (Los Angeles) 20-10, Foothill (Tustin) 24-6, Piedmont Hills (San Jose) 28-4, Santa Monica 21-9, Upland 20-10, Westchester (Los Angeles) 22-9.
Saturday’s Regional Finals: Mater Dei vs. Bullard; Sheldon vs. Jesuit.
Comments: It’s safe to say that at least two of the regional finalists in this division are surprises with Bullard knocking off Long Beach Poly and Jesuit beating De La Salle in Tuesday night’s regional semifinals….
Mater Dei’s chances of winning that record-breaking ninth CIF state title for coach Gary McKnight also improved with Katin Reinhardt scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in its win over Loyola. It was believed that the senior headed to UNLV was going to miss the rest of the playoffs with a thumb injury. He was taped up, but if there are no further problems that will make it even tougher for Bullard to get the upset on Saturday….
Bullard’s win over Long Beach Poly came on a 40-foot buzzer-beating heave by Walter Orr after it appeared the Jackrabbits had survived with a last-second blocked shot. Poly still hasn’t won a CIF state title in boys hoops since 1984…
Entering Saturday’s NorCal final, Sheldon is 3-0 so far this year against Jesuit. The Huskies also went 3-0 against the Marauders last season. The CIF must be happy about the two finalists because it ensures that there will be a Sacramento area team in the CIF state final on March 24…..
CIF Division II
1. (1) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 29-3
2. (2) Newark Memorial (Newark) 28-4
3. (4) La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) 33-2
4. (6) Lincoln (San Diego) 24-9
5. (3) Mayfair (Lakewood) 27-6
6. (7) Serra (San Mateo) 24-7
7. (NR) Hoover (San Diego) 28-5
8. (8) San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno) 24-9
9. (NR) Chico 27-4
10. (NR) Inglewood 23-11
Drops: Previous No. 5 Antelope; No. 9 Elsinore (Lake Elsinore); No. 10 El Camino Real (Woodland Hills).
Bubble: Colony (Ontario) 22-10, Compton 20-10, El Camino Real (Woodland Hills) 23-8, Elsinore (Lake Elsinore) 28-5, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 20-11, Monte Vista (Spring Valley) 22-7, Murrieta Valley (Murrieta) 25-3, Ocean View (Huntington Beach) 24-4, Righetti (Santa Maria) 25-6, Royal (Simi Valley) 24-8; Tulare 29-6.
Saturday’s Regional Finals: La Costa Canyon vs. San Diego Lincoln; Archbishop Mitty vs. Newark Memorial.
Comments: An All-San Diego final in the South became a reality not so much because of top-seeded La Costa Canyon beating Inglewood on Tuesday, but more because of Lincoln eliminating second-seed Mayfair. The Hornets took a 52-51 lead with 45 seconds left by all-state Grid-Hoop junior Tyrell Robinson….
Lincoln’s win plus the fact that Hoover has a head-to-head win over San Joaquin Memorial puts the Cardinals squarely back into the top 10 even though their season ended in the section semifinals….
Casey Norris scored 23 points for Newark Memorial in its win against Serra of San Mateo, but it took a basket with 1.2 seconds left by sophomore Damien Banford to help the Cougars break a 46-46 tie. The close game shouldn’t diminish Newark’s chances for an upset of Mitty in the NorCal final. Serra also played the Monarchs close in WCAL contests…..
CIF Division III
1. (1) Alemany (Mission Hills) 31-4
2. (2) Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF) 27-5
3. (3) Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland) 26-5
4. (8) St. John Bosco (Bellflower) 25-7
5. (5) Calabasas 28-4
6. (6) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) 30-4
7. (7) Oak Park (Agoura Hills) 25-9
8. (9) Pasadena 25-8*
9. (4) Foothill (Sacramento) 29-4
10. (10) Arroyo Grande 24-10
Bubble: Beverly Hills 20-10, Campolindo (Moraga) 22-7, Center (Antelope) 23-9, Damien (La Verne) 26-3, El Cerrito 21-9, Foothill (Palo Cedro) 22-9, Miramonte (Orinda) 20-10, Ridgeview (Bakersfield) 20-9, St. Augustine (San Diego) 23-7, Sierra (Manteca) 27-4.
Saturday’s Regional Finals: Alemany vs. St. John Bosco; Sacred Heart Cathedral vs. Bishop O’Dowd.
Comments: St. John Bosco, which is in the same league as Mater Dei, reached the SoCal final with a 53-51 win over Pasadena in which David Hamilton scored the game-winning basket with two seconds left. To have a chance at upsetting Alemany, the Braves need to slow down senior Marqueze Coleman. He scored 31 points when the Warriors beat Cathedral Catholic in their Tuesday game….
In the north, the seeds have held up exactly as thought with Sacred Heart Cathedral and O’Dowd advancing with Tuesday wins. O’Dowd is looking for a third straight trip to the final under coach Doug Vierra, who announced last week that he would be stepping down after this season….
CIF Division IV
1. (1) Salesian (Richmond) 32 -2
2. (2) Serra (Gardena) 31-2
3. (4) Price (Los Angeles) 25-8
4. (3) La Verne Lutheran (La Verne) 25-8
5. (6) Pacific Hills (Los Angeles) 30-5
6. (5) Crespi (Encino) 24-8
7. (7) Bishop Montgomery (Torrance) 23-5
8. (9) Windward (Los Angeles) 20-9
9. (NR) Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 23-6
10. (NR) Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) 20-6
Drops: Previous No. 8 Central Valley Christian (Visalia); No. 10 La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla).
Bubble: Army-Navy (Carlsbad) 22-7, Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa) 27-6, Central Valley Christian (Visalia) 29-3, Half Moon Bay 24-7, La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 21-10, Modesto Christian 27-6, St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 20-12.
Saturday’s Regional Finals: Serra (Gardena) vs. Price; Salesian (Richmond) vs. Sacred Heart Prep.
Comments: There is no team perhaps as big of an underdog on Saturday as Sacred Heart Prep in this division in the NorCal final. Salesian has had no trouble in its post-season so far while the Gators had to scratch to beat Modesto Christian on Tuesday 58-57. Cole McConnell scored 25 points to lead the way and canned a late free throw for the winning point….
Salesian’s romp in the north is completely the other way around in the south. The tough tussles continued with Serra topping Pacific Hills 58-55 and Price edging La Verne Lutheran 53-52. La Verne Lutheran won the D3 state title last season. Price won the D4 state crown two years ago…..
CIF Division V
1. (1) St. Joseph Notre Dame (Alameda) 28-5
2. (4) Renaissance Academy (La Canada) 27-6
3. (6) Village Christian (Sun Valley) 31-3
4. (5) Pinewood (Los Altos Hills) 27-2
5. (2) St. Bernard (Playa del Rey) 24-8
6. (3) Ribet Academy (Los Angeles) 21-11
7. (8) Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 24-7
8. (10) Branson (Ross) 26-10
9. (9) Capital Christian (Sacramento) 26-6
10. (NR) Central Catholic (Modesto) 26-7
Drops: Previous No. 7 Fresno Christian.
Bubble: California Lutheran (Wildomar) 21-5, Fresno Christian 25-3, Holy Martyrs (Encino) 20-12, Liberty Christian (Redding) 25-2, Providence (Burbank) 26-6, Ripon Christian 23-7, Sacramento Waldorf (Fair Oaks) 26-5, University (San Francisco) 21-11.
Saturday’s Regional Finals: Renaissance Academy vs. Village Christian; St. Joseph Notre Dame vs. Pinewood.
Comments: Congratulations to St. Joe coach Don Lippi for recording the 700th win of his coaching career. According to the Contra Costa Times, Lippi’s win came in the team’s 66-45 victory over Central Catholic on Tuesday…..
According to our own Cal-Hi Sports state record files, Lippi is the ninth in state history to reach the 700-win coaching milestone. He’s still only third on the all-time win list for coaches who have spent at least a few seasons of their careers with the Alameda school…..
The total is 10 if you count Clovis West’s Tom Orlich, who had more than 500 at South Lake Tahoe (actually a member of the Nevada state association) before taking over for the Golden Eagles….
The others with 700 include Mater Dei’s Gary McKnight (the only one above 900), Mike Phelps from Alameda St. Joseph and Oakland Bishop O’Dowd, Lou Cvijanovich of Oxnard Santa Clara, Willie West of Los Angeles Crenshaw, Abe Abrami from Emery of Emeryville, Frank LaPorte from Bishop O’Dowd and later from Alameda St. Joseph, Mike LeDuc of Glendora and Ed Azzam from Westchester of Los Angeles.
Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.