San Francisco Chronicle
Boys, girls teams aim to advance in regionals
There are 26 Metro teams still alive in a quest to win a state championship, 13 boys and 13 girls. Eighteen of Saturday's 24 CIF Northern California regional semifinal games feature Metro teams and seven of them are an all-local matchup. Unless there's a doubleheader, all are 7 p.m. matchups (see scoreboard for all of them). Here's the eight best at local venues, in order.
1. No. 3 seed St. JosephSanta Maria boys (26-6) at No. 2 Dougherty Valley-San Ramon (27-3), Open Division:
The host Wildcats are a carnival to watch with prolific senior guards Ryan Beasley (23.1 points per game) and Connor Sevilla (21.8). They average 71.3 points per game, but St. Joe averages 82.4, led by one of the top sophomores in the country, 6-foot-6, 211-pound big guard Tounde Yessoufou, who averages 28.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. He has scored at least 30 a dozen times this season, with highs of 40 points and 23 rebounds. He's considered the 12th-rated sophomore recruit in the country by 247Sports, with offers from UCLA and Arizona among his five. There's plenty more to like about the Knights, including 6-5 senior point guard Lus Marin (12.9, 4.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists per game), 6-9 senior post Caedin Hamilton, who had 18 points and 16 rebounds in the Knights' section-title game. “If we rebound, we will be fine,” Dougherty Valley coach Mike Hansen said. “We can't give them putbacks. … And I believe I'll have the best player in the gym” in Beasley.
2. No. 5 Salesian-Richmond girls (26-4) at No. 1 Piedmont (27-0), Open:
Piedmont beat Salesian 69-63 on Jan. 16, and is well rested, having not played for a week. It is led by San Diego State-bound forward Trinity Zamora and high-scoring junior guard Natalie Martinez. Salesian, meanwhile, went to two overtimes before winning at fourth-seeded Folsom 76-70 on Wednesday. Makiah Asidanya had 27 points in the victory.
3. No. 3 Clovis West girls (30-1) at No. 2 Mitty (26-2), Open:
A rematch of the 2017 state final, a 44-40 Clovis West victory. The Monarchs feature 5-star junior recruit Morgan Cheli and WCAL Player of the Year McKenna Woliczko, a 6-2 freshman, and have won 19 straight by an average margin of 37.9 points. That could work against them in a tight game, which this figures to be against the nation's No. 23 team; Mitty is No. 11.
4. No. 4 Riordan boys (23-6) at No. 9 Granada-Livermore (24-10), Division 1:
This was supposed to be at Riordan, but because of sanctions levied by the CIF for its part in a brawl that ended its 6152 home win Thursday, the Crusaders are on the road and shorthanded, as they'll be minus several disciplined or injured players as well. That will make it tough against the Matadors, who went on the road to knock off top seed Clovis West 70-62, thanks largely to 27 points from 7-foot St. Mary's College-bound post Andrew McKeever. Granada is one of four East Bay Athletic League teams that gained semifinal spots in the top two divisions.
5. No. 10 San Ramon Valley-Danville boys (26-7) vs. No. 3 Salesian (25-8) at Contra Costa College-Richmond, D1:
Salesian got 22 points from Alvin Living in a 65-39 quarterfinal win over University on Wednesday, and beat SRV 55-39 in the North Coast Section playoffs Feb. 16. The Wolves, another EBAL squad, squeaked past Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton 59-57 in overtime Wednesday behind 18 points by sophomore Will Ambridge.
6. San Ramon Valley girls (26-6) vs. No. 2 Oakland Tech (27-5), D1:
This is a 5 p.m. rematch of a Jan. 3 game at SRV won by Oakland Tech 70-45. The two-time state champion Bulldogs have won 15 straight, including a 63-37 home win Wednesday over PinewoodLos Altos Hills, keyed by a 35-12 run in the second half. The Wolves got 23 points from Sierra Chambers in a 57-54 quarterfinal win over Carondelet-Concord.
7. No. 7 Justin-Siena-Napa boys (28-5) at No. 3 Oakland Tech (21-11), D3:
J-S is the defending NorCal Division IV champion and led by the potent duo of Vincent Jackson (16.4 ppg) and Travis Hightower (15). The Braves manhandled second seed and host Rio Americano-Sacramento 85-56 behind 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists from Jackson. They'll face a red-hot Tech team that got 33 points (15 in the fourth quarter) from OAL MVP Ahmaree Muhammad in a comeback 64-59 quarterfinal win over Lincoln (27-4).
8. No. 9 Oakland boys (24-8) at No. 4 The King’s Academy-Sunnyvale (24-3), D3:
It could be an OAL final if the Wildcats win their third straight game. Money Williams, a Montana commit, had 24 points in a 76-51 quarterfinal win over 16th seed CarlmontBelmont. Tylek Barnett and Jon Taylor combined for 54 points in TKA's 74-60 quarterfinal win over Pinole Valley.