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Posted On: 03/2/18 2:42 PM
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The Open Division championships in the CIF’s Southern and San Diego Sections are on tap Friday night, with L.A. City’s tipping Saturday evening.
The Southern Section game will be contested in The Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus, when Sierra Canyon, top-ranked after its semifinal win over unbeaten and top seed Bishop Montgomery last Saturday night in Riverside, faces No. 3 Mater Dei at 8:30.
It’s the first meeting between the programs in “regular season” game (they’ve played in winter and summer competition), even though each has been a part of the first five Open Division playoffs.
Sierra Canyon has a starting lineup with an “NBA flavor” via the presence of juniors Scotty Pippen (and Kenyon Martin, and sophomore Terran Frank (whose father, Tellis Frank, was a seven-year NBA power forward), as well as an Ohio State-bound senior guard in Duane Washington Jr. and another terrific junior in Cassius Stanley.
Mater Dei has three college-bound seniors in Spencer Freedman (Harvard), Michael Wang (Pennsylvania) and Harrison Butler (Southern Utah).
The left-handed Freedman (PICTURED) is a three-time Trinity League Player of the Year and leading candidate to be the SS’s Open Player of the Year.
The winner will be the top seed in the Southern Open Regionals (which get underway on March 9), with the loser almost certainly locked in as the No. 2 seed.
No. 7 Foothills Christian and No. 15 Mission Bay hook up for the third time this season during the San Diego Open championship, at San Diego State, at 8 o’clock Friday night.
That matchup – and potential seeding in State Regional brackets – took a significant turn when Foothills Christian senior forward Taeshon Cherry announced Thursday night on Twitter that he was no longer going to play as a prep, without revealing a reason.
The 6-foot-8, Arizona State-bound Cherry was the San Diego Player of the Year last spring when he attended St. Augustine in San Diego.
With Cherry it seemed as if Foothills Christian was likely to play in the State Regional Open Division, regardless of the outcome of the clash with Mission Bay.
Not it would seem that only Mission Bay – with a win Friday night – would be the only Open-bound program from the San Diego Section
The only “certainties” for the eight-team Regional Open field right now are the four teams from that reach the Southern Section semifinals (Mater Dei, Sierra Canyon, Bishop Montgomery and Etiwanda), along with L.A. City finalists Westchester and Fairfax, which play Saturday night at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Among the other sectional titles being contested this weekend, Gold Coast League members Brentwood and Crossroads play 2 o’clock Saturday in the Southern Section’s 2AA final, with Riverside Poly and San Marcos (Santa Barbara) competing for the 2A crown and, at 8:30, Pasadena and Chino Hills in the Division 1 title game.
Each of those games are among the six (includes girls’) finals held at Azusa Pacific Saturday.
Crossroads is led by senior Shareef O’Neal (son of you-know-who), who “committed” to UCLA this week just a couple of days after “decommitting” from Arizona.
Brentwood has a strong junior class, led by forward Braelee Albert.
Chino Hills has the best player in California in 6-9 junior Onyeka Okongwu while Pasadena has one of the best scorers in the state in UNLV-bound guard Bryce Hamilton.
The updated BurlisonOnBasketball SoCal Top 10 Plus 15 Southern California team ratings:
SoCal Top 10 Plus 15
(Records as of March 1)
Friday: vs. Mater Dei/Open championship at Long Beach State (8:30 p.m.)
March 9: TBD/State Open Regional playoffs
Friday: vs. Sierra Canyon/Open championship at Long Beach State (8:30 p.m.)
Saturday: vs. Fairfax/Open championship at Cal State Dominguez Hills (8:30 p.m.)
March 7: TBD/State D-I Regional playoffs
Friday: vs. Mission Bay/Open championship at San Diego State
Saturday: vs. Westchester/Open championship at Cal State Dominguez Hills (8:30 p.m.)
Saturday: vs. Pasadena/D-1 championship at Azusa Pacific (8:30 p.m.)
Saturday: vs. Chino Hills/D-1 championship at Azusa Pacific (8:30 p.m.)
Friday: vs. Foothills Christian/Open championship at San Diego State
March 7: TBD/State Southern Regional D-I
March 7 or 9: TBD/State Southern Regional Open or D-I
Saturday: vs. Brentwood School/D-2AA championship
Friday: vs. El Camino Real/Open third-place
Dropped out: San Bernardino Cajon (SS/24-7) March 7: TBD/State Southern Regional D-II