It seemed like teams were just starting practices a few days ago, but the final two days of the CCS regular season are upon us. With the seeding meeting set for Wednesday and the first round of the postseason on Friday, this week is going to be a whirlwind.
No. 2 Serra (17-6, 9-4 WCAL) @ No. 3 Riordan (16-7, 9-4), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Second place in the WCAL will be on the line as the Crusaders look to avenge a defeat at Serra in which they held a 12-point lead. The winner will have the second seed in the Open Division, while the loser will drop to third or even fourth if Bellarmine beats Mitty. As of now, second place faces St. Francis, third faces St. Ignatius and fourth faces Menlo-Atherton, by far the top public school team in the section. When the two teams first met, Patrick Simon scored 13 huge points off the bench for the Padres.
No. 1 Mitty (17-6, 11-2 WCAL) @ No. 4 Bellarmine (17-6, 8-5), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Bragging rights are far more significant than the actual playoff implications in a game where Bellarmine will try to avenge an earlier blown 14-point lead. When they met on January 8, Mitty closed the game on an 18-0 run for an improbable comeback after being completely shut down for the first three quarters. The Bells might be entering this game with some injuries, as Constantijn Cole and Cole Troedson’s statuses are up in the air after suffering ankle injuries in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss to Riordan.
No. 16 Eastside (15-7, 12-1 WBAL) @ No. 21 Sacred Heart Prep (13-10, 10-3), Tuesday, 6 p.m.
One of the most compelling stories in the Bay Area, the Panthers will try to complete their remarkable run to the WBAL title with a trip to take on an SHP team that led them by 13 the first time they met. It’s Senior Night for the Gators, who will be honoring lead scorer Brendan Carney and four other seniors. Carney averages 15 points per game, but was held to 11 when the teams met on January 22.
PAL Tournament: No. 10 Carlmont (20-4) vs. Jefferson (17-7), Monday, 4:30 p.m. at Sequoia
The first of the two PAL Semifinals should be a compelling matchup featuring excellent guard play. Carlmont’s trio of LaJuan Nelson, Sho Takahashi and David Bedrosian is apt at handling defensive pressure, which is what makes Jefferson’s triumvirate of Marquez Costiniano, J.J. Cruz and Luis Villareal so dominant. This marks the third straight year the Grizzlies are in the semifinals, whereas the Scots haven’t been in the PAL Tournament at all since it shrank back to eight teams in 2013.
No. 25 Menlo (15-8, 9-4 WBAL) @ No. 17 King’s Academy (16-7, 11-2), Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
WBAL play has been disappointing for Menlo, but Cole Kastner and the Knights have a shot to take down one of the other teams in the league called the Knights on the road Tuesday night. TKA can still share the league title with a win and an Eastside loss, though Eastside did sweep the head-to-head series. Menlo’s guards play excellent defense, but they’ll be tasked with handling Malachi Mitchell, who’s a particularly difficult guard to stop.
No. 11 Sacred Heart Cathedral (10-13, 3-10 WCAL) @ No. 6 St. Ignatius (11-12, 7-6), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
With their playoff fate secured, the Wildcats can focus on celebrating Wrenn Robinson, Neal Begovich and four other seniors, including the hardworking Ross Klein, who scored nine late points against the Irish when the teams first met in the Bruce-Mahoney Game. Klein has been established as something of a fan favorite over the last two years, and he’s even gotten some significant minutes in tight games. SHC has been playing well over the past two weeks, with point guard Cedric Reed Jr. pushing the pace and at least 21 points in three of his last four games.
No. 13 Valley Christian (10-13, 1-12 WCAL) @ No. 9 St. Francis (12-11, 4-9), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Senior Night at St. Francis gives the Lancers a chance to avenge a January 8 loss to the Warriors, and unlike that game, they’ll have Oscar Pedraza and Maurice Wilmer in tow. A win for Valley Christian would likely ensure the Warriors get seeded ahead of Mountain View in Division II, while a Lancer win would help boost their Open Division credentials.
Prospect (10-12, 6-7 BVAL Santa Teresa) @ Westmont (9-14, 7-6), Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Needing a .500 league record, the Panthers’ Tuesday night trip to Westmont will determine their playoff hopes. It would have been a do-or-die game for both teams, but the Warriors beat both Sobrato and Live Oak last week to secure a place in the Division II field. Westmont has three scorers averaging double-figures, including Santiago Musgrove, who missed the team’s first nine games with a concussion.
Watsonville (16-7, 7-2 PCAL Santa Lucia) @ King City (9-13, 5-4), Monday, 7 p.m.
A win would secure a share of the Santa Lucia title for the Wildcatz, which would allow them to take the PCAL’s automatic playoff bid reserved for the division champion. With a loss, they wouldn’t have that security and would likely lose out on the last spot in Division I to Silver Creek, so there will be eyes on this game from San Jose. The Mustangs ensured at least a .500 league record with Thursday’s win over Gonzales, meaning this won’t be a do-or-die game for both teams.