Posted On: 02/16/20 2:30 PM

CIF Playoffs kicked off this past week, and there were intriguing matchups all around. On Thursday night, Birmingham (No. 4) hosted Gardena (No. 5) in a first round City Section Open Division game.

Gardena has been a solid and surprising team this season and they certainly gave Birmingham all they could handle. The Patriots clung to a 35-32 lead at the half. They began to build a double-digit lead in the second half, but the Panthers kept fighting and clawing their way back into the game.

Missed free-throws plagued Gardena in the second half, and Birmingham was ultimately able to pull away and win, 70-58. Here’s a look at some of the players who impressed in this game.

1. Michael Frankling – Gardena 2020

Frankling is one of the most underrated point guards in Southern California. He’s a very strong guard and he’s able to get to the rim at will. He is bigger than most other point guards and he uses his strength and body well to finish strong at the rim. He’s a good defensive player too. He can anticipate what the offensive player is going to do and he can turn his defense into a fast break.

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