Boys and Girls: Huge Division I doubleheader in Danville
For high school basketball fans, there might not be a better place than San Ramon Valley on Thursday night. The men’s team hosts Sacred Heart Prep at 5pm and the girls host long-time rival Carondelet at 7pm.
The boys’ game features two unlikely Division I opponents. SHP, the No. 15 seed, went to No. 2 Folsom and stunned the Traditional Power 63-62 when Sam Norris’ lob layup came in with just a few seconds left.
Meanwhile, the San Ramon Valley Boys traveled to Clovis North as the 10th seed and walked away with a 63-57 victory. Senior point guard Parker McClaughry made big plays down the stretch to help SRV pull away.
“He made some great baskets to give us the win,” San Ramon Valley coach Brian Botteen told the Bay Area News Group Tuesday night.
Carondelet has been one of the elite programs in the Bay Area for years, but the San Ramon Valley girls have had their number as of late. As of 2020, SRV are 5–2 against Carondelet, which includes a 76–69 win on 17 January.
Amanda Kerner led SRV (27-4) with 13 points in their 63-54 win over Sacred Heart Cathedral, and Jamie Kent’s 17 points propelled Carondelet to victory over Antelope on Tuesday.
Girls: Pinewood’s sharpshooters have the firepower to take down the No. 2 Oakland Tech
Oakland Tech has not lost a playoff game of any kind since 2018, when Oakland High fell to the Bulldogs 45-43 in the Oakland Section playoffs.
Tech has since won two Division III state titles, a NorCal Division II championship in a pandemic-ended 2020 season, and is currently the second seed in NorCal Division I. until the fourth quarter for Tech to pull away.
Up next is another tough team that seems to be peaking at just the right time – Doc Scheppler’s Pinewood unit that went 3-0 in the CCS Open Division pool game and played the closest thing Archbishop Mitty had to a competitive game in weeks.
Tech and Pinewood start at 5:00 pm, and the Tech boys host Lincoln-San Francisco at 7:00 pm in a Division III game as the second half of the doubleheader.
Oakland Tech, with 6-2 Sophia Askew-Goncalves and 6-3 Jhai Johnson in the middle, has the size advantage over a Pinewood team that doesn’t have a player taller than 5-11.
But Pinewood, as ever, is full of players who can light up from far away from Tech’s talented frontcourt.
Top of the bunch is junior guard Alex Facelo, a 5-3 scorer who hit seven three-pointers in Pinewood’s 58-50 win at Acalanes.
Although Tech beat them 69-59 on Jan. 16, if there’s any team that can beat the Bulldogs, it’s Pinewood. The team is known for impressive shots, but their coach made it clear that the team spirit is about more than just playing and praying from anywhere.
“We can kick the ball,” Scheppler said Tuesday night. “Our whole philosophy is threes, floaters and submissions. We do not fire medium-range shots.”
Boys: How long do Carlmont executions last, Bellarmine?
On a night where surprises abounded, the Carlmont Boys’ 70-66 triumph over Division III top seed Las Lomas was perhaps the most surprising. Las Lomas had won 10 games in a row before the Nate Wong-led Scots headed to Walnut Creek and snapped the streak.
“Nate is our ground general,” Carlmont head coach Ron Ozorio told the Bay Area News Group on Tuesday. “He has a great touch.”
Next is a trip to Oakland High, who hit the road as the No. 9 seed and defeated Ponderosa 78-50. The other point guards in Wong and Carlmont will have their hands full with Montana commit Money Williams, who scored 24 points on Tuesday.
But another turn is not out of the question. Oakland High doesn’t have overwhelming size and can be pushed by more physical teams, as Oakland Tech showed in section play. If Carlmont can bring courage to the school on McArthur Blvd, it could walk away with a win.
In San Jose, Bellarmine entered Division II play with a 14-13 record and a game at No. 4 Moreau Catholic on the docket. After a frantic 32 minutes and a last-second layup by Tariq Weiser, Bellarmine won 62-60 and survived to play another night.
“I’ve won a few games before, but they’ve never been on such a big stage,” Weiser said Tuesday night.
Bellarmine travels to Vanden on Thursday and is carrying a five-game winning streak. It will be the first showdown between the two schools since MaxPreps started recording records in 2004.
Weiser and Brayden Harris, both listed at 6-3, give Bellarmine a tall backcourt that can compete with a Vanden team that has just three players listed below 6-0.
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