Photo: Heather Cleaves The Heather Experience

Posted On: 11/27/21 6:25 PM

San Diego’s top two preseason teams face their first regional tests tonight, as Saint Augustine and San Marcos have advanced to the championship game of their respective tournaments. 

The top-ranked Saints (4-1), face No. 9 Mission Hills in the championship of the Madison Regional Rumble. The Grizzlies come into the finals off of a 75-36 dismantling of Hoover. Meanwhile, the Saints, whose lone loss came at the hands of national power Sierra Canyon last week, upended Helix 77-45 to advance to the finals. 

The Regional Rumble championship is at 7:30 p.m. at Madison High School.

The Saints come in having the best back court in San Diego, starting four guards who can beat you in a variety of ways. Sophomores Lolo Rudolph and Ian De La Rosa and juniors Jurian Dixon Jurian Dixon 6'4" | SG Sam Ysidro | 2023 and Jaden Matingou Jaden Matingou 5'11" | PG St. Augustine | 2023 have each had star turns during the team’s undefeated start against San Diego opponents. 

The Grizzlies pose a significant threat due to their balance on the interior and the back court. Albeit undersized, junior guard CJ Hofmeister and sophomore guard Jack Jillson have had their way in the tournament. And Mission Hills’ front court boasts the White twins, 6-5 Justin and 6-7 Jayden. Justin White Justin White 6'5" | SF Mission Hills | 2022 State was dominant in the win against Hoover. 

Meanwhile, No. 2 San Marcos (3-1) faces off against Top 5 San Diego team Mission Bay in the final of the Buccaneers Thanksgiving Classic. The Knights lone loss also comes from outside the region, to highly touted Southern Section team Heritage Christian. San Marcos rattled off three double-digit wins against Francis Parker, Carlsbad and Rancho Bernardo.

6-3 Yale commit Devon Arlington Devon Arlington 6'3" | PG San Marcos | 2022 State has rattled off two triple doubles during the tournament, and is playing at a very high level. 

Mission Bay (5-1) advanced to the title game of its own tournament by also going 3-0, but in much closer fashion. They escaped La Jolla Country Day in the opener 56-52 before winning their next two against Del Norte and Santa Fe Christian. They’re led by junior guard Angelo Gil Angelo Gil 6'1" | PG Mission Bay | 2023 , who is surrounded with a talented mix of upperclassmen and young talent. 

The Bucs lone loss is to a strong Ontario Colony team in last week’s Battlezone at Corona Centennial 

The Bucs Thanksgiving Classic Championship game is at 7:30 p.m. at Mission Bay High School.