The Open Division isn’t the only thing getting underway on Friday night in the Central Coast Section. First-round games will be played in all five of the traditional enrollment divisions as well, with a few games standing out above the rest as the most compelling:
Division I: Silver Creek (12-12) @ No. 9 Mountain View (14-10), 7 p.m.
Just when the Spartans seemed to be slumping, they closed out league play with a bang, a 52-44 upset win at Los Altos to restore momentum heading into the postseason. Mountain View has played two games against teams from Silver Creek’s BVAL Santa Teresa Division, beating both Prospect and Branham in December.
Division II: Gunn (10-14) @ No. 11 San Mateo (14-10), 5 p.m.
The first playoff game to get underway in the entire Central Coast Section will have all sorts of personal aspects for San Mateo first-year head coach Josh Gould, who served as an assistant at Gunn for the last five years. The Bearcats last made the playoffs in 2018, when they defeated Hill at home but were eliminated at Mountain View. Last year, the Titans were an unseeded team in Division II and were knocked out in San Mateo, falling in a first-round game at Aragon.
Division III: Prospect (12-9) @ No. 11 El Camino (12-12), 7 p.m.
One of the hardest teams to predict in the entire section, El Camino is truly a team that can beat anyone but can also lose to anyone. Forced into the 11th seed by way of a forfeit that knocked them behind Westmoor in the league standings, the Colts, led by Antonio Roussanov, Thomas Haysbert and Jovaughn Williams, may be the most talented and dangerous team out out of any of the 38 playing across Divisions I through V on Friday night. To win, they’ll need to slow down Prospect’s stud sophomore, Nate Lewit, who’s broken the 20-point mark in five of his last eight games.
Division IV: Latino College Prep (8-13) @ No. 11 Gonzales (12-12), 7 p.m.
The best crowd in the entire section should be at Gonzales on Friday night, where the Spartans are asking fans to wear white and create what should be a memorable atmosphere for the program’s first home playoff game since 2014. Without a single senior in the starting lineup, the hope is that this year is just a stepping stone, and, as evidenced by their reaction when they found the news, it’s clear that having a home playoff game will be a massive occasion.
Division V: University Prep Academy (14-9) @ No. 11 Pacific Collegiate (15-5), 7 p.m. at Holy Cross Middle School
One of the most evenly-matched games of the night, the Golden Eagles, led by Jason Plasschaert’s 15.1 points per game, will make the trek down to Santa Cruz to take on the Pumas, who won the PCAL Arroyo Division.